This chicken tortilla soup recipe is a staple in my house. It’s a good meal to make for those with food intolerances because it can easily be adapted for those on different diets. It can just simmer away on your stove top or in your crock pot and it has such a deep, rich flavor. I started with cooking bone-in chicken thighs in crushed tomatoes in spices for several hours until tender. This way you get the most tender chicken and the most flavor out of it because of the bones. The chicken is taken out, bones removed, shredded and added back in with black beans, chicken broth and oven roasted veggies. The broth for this was SO rich and had such a nice body to it. The oven-roasted veggies add great depth of flavor.
This version calls for bone-in chicken thighs, but if you want less work (and less flavor), you could just use boneless chicken thighs. For more flavor, use bone-in chicken thighs with the skins and take the skins off at the end. My all-time favorite brand of chicken thighs are Rosie’s. They are sooo good cooked in the crock pot all day. Alternately, when I forget to start the crock pot, I just cook the soup on my stove top for as long as I can, like a half hour or hour until the thighs are tender. I get the base started cooking and then work on the veggies and by the time they are done roasting in the oven, the soup base is usually done.
To make this soup Paleo, just omit the black beans and the non-Paleo toppings. If you don’t do dairy, just use dairy-free sour cream, add extra avocados or forget the sour cream. This is a good example of a dish you could make for everyone in your house and they can choose the toppings according to their dietary restrictions and preferences. Because of this, it makes a good meal for feeding a group too.
So, I’m going to “stand on my soapbox” for a while. I’m sick of soup being thought of as a winter food. I’m even more sick of people thinking of crock pots as more of a winter thing. What can be better than not heating up your entire house turning on the oven? Well, ok, maybe a grill outside while you’re sweating from the hot flames comes to mind. But, really a crock pot can simmer away all day, not heat up your house and it can be ready for you when you come home at the end of a long day of having fun.
I don’t know about you, but I tend to eat out more in the summer since we’re out and about and tired and getting home just in time to eat dinner. It feels so good to know that you have dinner ready when you get home.
Our whole family LOVES this chicken tortilla soup – it is a huge hit in our home. It has a lot of flavor and is perfect for any time of year.
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- 4 Large Bone-in Chicken Thighs
- 1 28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
- 4 oz Diced Green Chilies
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 1 15 oz Can Black Beans
- 1 Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped or sliced
- 2 Small Zucchinis, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into half moons
- 1 Tbl Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 tsp Coarse Real Salt
- 4 Cups Chicken Broth
- 2 Tbl Chopped Cilantro
- Sour Cream
- Chopped Cilantro
- Corn Tortilla Chips
- Diced Avocado
- Slices Lime
Remove chicken and let cool in a bowl for ½ hour. Remove the bones and cartilage from the chicken, lightly shred, and add back to the slow cooker along with the black beans, salt, and chicken broth.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Toss the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini with the olive oil, spread out on a foil lined baking sheet and bake on the top rack of preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until vegetables have developed a little brown color. Add vegetables to the slow cooker and let cook for 30 minutes more.
Just before serving, add the chopped cilantro and check seasonings. Add more salt and pepper if desired.