Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March 19: Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

So here we are, still on a diet. My husband's down about two pants sizes, and mine are beginning to get a little looser. Maybe. Men.

I'm finding that the thing that I'm craving, much more than fat or sugar, is spicy. Something about spicy food gets my engine going and makes me feel more satisfied with less. I'm sure there's some kind of neuro-biological reason for that, but at this point, I'd rather have one of my low-fat, practically-no-cheese-involved chicken enchiladas than a bowl of ice cream. Go figure.

Speaking of enchiladas, I make my own enchilada sauce because the stuff that comes out of a can tastes terrible and what I make tastes great. It's the America's Test Kitchen recipe, and if you're interested, leave me a comment or email me and I'll send it to you. Other than that, this soup is made of things I keep around the house regularly, but I am inclined to raise the stakes, by using fresh ingredients when I can. I'm also inclined to add tortilla flavor and thicken the soup by adding a quarter of a cup of masa to this, an hour or so before it's done.

This was a totally generic recipe when I found it; I've turned it into something a little more interesting since then. It's also easy: throw everything in the crock pot and just walk away, Renee. You need some leftover chicken on hand, which is something I almost always do have.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pound shredded, cooked chicken
1 can Muir Glen Organics fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 10 ounce can enchilada sauce, or 1 1/2 cups homemade enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped medium-fine
1 4 ounce can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
2 (14.5 ounce) cans low sodium chicken broth
1/4 masa (corn flour)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
7 corn tortillas
vegetable oil

Cooking Instructions
Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chiles, and garlic into a slow cooker. Mix masa into chicken broth. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper, and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.

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