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Chicken tortilla soup

I had leftover chicken from my broiled, butterflied chicken that was begging to go in some chicken tortilla soup. Due to timing issues, I decided last night to cook it in the crockpot. It made me a little nervous, just because there are so many small variations on chicken tortilla soup. How to choose? Every recipe has different ratios of liquids and spices, as well as add ins. I knew I would end up with a decent product no matter what, but I was pretty much winging it this morning.

Well, somehow, I hit the chicken tortilla soup jackpot. The broth was rich and extremely flavorful, with a lot of spice. I was chugging water by the gallon, but it wasn’t so spicy that I couldn’t eat it. It was, I hate to say, perfect. I loved the amount of chunkiness from the onions, diced tomatoes, chicken, and chick peas. Yes, chick peas. For some reason, it seemed like a great idea to throw in some cooked chick peas around 4 when I added the chicken. I think I would choose adding chick peas if I made this again versus adding black or kidney beans. I could also add corn in the future, but why? It was great without.

The weakest part of the soup was the chicken. It was just fine, but a little dry I think. It had been in the fridge for like five days, so that could have been the problem. Also, I put the chicken in 2 1/2 hrs before eating instead of in the morning. I was worried cooking cooked chicken for 8 hours would be too much. But maybe it would have made the chicken better? I’m not sure. Next time, I’ll be adding raw chicken thighs along with everything else in the morning, and shredding right before dinner.

One random addition I made was that I added about 2 tbsp of leftover spicy lime garlic chicken sauce with the fat scraped off. I had it in the fridge, so I figured, why not? I also added some lemon juice at the end, which put the dish over the top. Lime would have been great too.

I can honestly say this recipe is mine because I didn’t follow any recipe even close.

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Me!)

Serves about 3


  • 1 splash vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 big cloves garlic, mined
  • 7 slices pickled jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • S&P
  • 4 chicken thighs, fat cut off
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes with onion and garlic
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • S&P
  • Diced small avocado
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Saute onions, garlic, and jalapenos for 5 minutes until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomato paste and spices. Stir for 2 minutes to cook tomato paste.
  2. Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray. Place sauteed onion mixture into slow cooker, followed by seasoned chicken thighs, the diced tomatoes, chick peas, and chicken stock. Add bay leaf. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Option – add chick peas later on. I added them 2 hours before dinner.
  3. Right before dinner, shred chicken and check for seasoning. Add lemon or lime juice. Serve soup with diced avocados, shredded cheddar cheese, and tortilla chips. Sour cream also if you can’t take the heat!

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