I keep wracking my brain to figure out a recipe I could bring you that would be fitting for the Christmas season. I keep a mental tally of the posts I write here and thought food would make up a bigger portion. This distresses me. Mostly because I keep subscribing to an unspoken set of rules. Bloggers, in general, are supposed to bring you seasonal offerings. This time of year that means I am supposed to inspire you to bake snickerdoodle cookies, or warm some hot chocolate on the stove. Maybe there would be a roast or ham or something. But I have none of this because we are in a rental with all my possessions packed up and I don’t have all my platters and fancy equipment to make this stuff. I suppose I could just suck it up and find a way to do it, but I’m not feeling it. It’s not happening this year.
But you know what is happening an awful lot this year? Crockpot chicken tortilla soup.
I know. Mexican, Krysta? Really?
Usually it’s chili. I have three go-to chili recipes (a red, a white, and a sweet potato chicken) and usually when the weather turns chilly I make chili (see what I did there?) but I was shocked this winter to realize that I have not made my red chili even once. And that’s my favorite one. Why? Well, I discovered it was because of this chicken tortilla soup. It’s easier. Instead of browning ground beef and vegetables, you just chuck the raw chicken breasts and veggies right into the crockpot, turn it on and you’re done. Sometimes recipes like these don’t taste as good because the browning step is what gives food rich flavor, but that’s not the case with this one. It’s delicious, and developed and is awesome to ladle up at the beginning of an evening with some shredded raw jack cheese, avocado and fresh cilantro. Okay, so you are supposed to add crushed tortilla chips too. That’s the “tortilla” part. And usually I do, but lately I’ve been watching what I put into my mouth since a lot of what has been going in there is tequila on the rocks and chocolate covered ganache filled figs. So I’ve been sacrificing the tortilla chips this season. Somethings got to give. I chose my indulgences—and one simply does not have ganache filled figs in their pantries year round.
We already know this month we are going to make the obligatory things. I will roast a prime rib. I will eat HoneyBaked Ham. The rice pudding will be cooked, and Christmas morning eggs benedict will be gobbled. But in between? Crockpot chicken tortilla soup, baby.
In the spirit of full disclosure, this is a Pioneer Woman recipe but I tweaked it a little.
Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
- 2 chicken breasts
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 container or 4 cups homemade chicken stock
- 4 oz. tomato paste
- juice of 1 lime
- diced avocado, for topping
- shredded jack cheese, for topping
- cilantro, chopped, for topping
- sour cream, for topping (optional)
- crushed tortilla chips, for topping
Place raw chicken breasts in the bottom of a crockpot. Sprinkle chicken with the chili powder, cumin and salt. Add bell peppers, onion and garlic on top, then add in the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken stock. Cook at least 4-5 hours, but my favorite is when it goes for 8 hours because the chicken gets really, really soft.
Right before serving, take two forks and pull the chicken apart to shred it back into the soup. Add fresh lime juice. Stir and taste for salt. Serve in bowls with desired toppings.
Happy Holidays everyone!