Marie's tortilla soup recipe is a very easy slow cooker soup, and it is loaded with flavor. The soup takes just minutes to put the ingredients together in the slow cooker and then it cooks hands-free for about 7 hours. This is the perfect soup to come home to on a chilly fall or winter evening. Go about your daily routine while your dinner cooks!
The soup can easily be adjusted by adding more vegetables for extra nutrients, color, and flavor. Whole kernel corn is an excellent choice; add about 1 cup of frozen corn kernels to the soup along with the tomatoes. A diced carrot is a good addition as well, or add about 1 cup of canned black beans or pinto beans. Some other flavor possibilities: sweet red or green bell pepper, diced celery, or 2 to 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice.
The homemade tortilla strips provide a crispy topping for the soup but feel free to use purchased tortilla chips or seasoned croutons. Add some extra shredded cheese and some fresh chopped cilantro or green onions if you'd like, or top servings with a small spoonful of guacamole or sour cream. For a well-balanced dinner, add a tossed salad or sliced cucumbers and some freshly baked cornbread wedges.
- 2 boneless chicken breast halves
- 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (crushed)
- 3 medium tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 mild green chile, seeded and chopped
- 4 corn tortillas
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Optional: shredded Monterey Jack cheese (a tablespoon or two for each serving)
- Garnish: 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or Italian flat-leaf parsley
- Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size cubes.
- Combine chicken breasts, onion, garlic, tomatoes, broth, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and green chile pepper in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours.
- Cut the corn tortillas in half and then cut the halves into 1/4-inch strips.
- Heat the vegetable oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the tortilla strips and cook, stirring, until crisp; drain on paper towels.
- If desired, put a tablespoon or 2 of shredded Monterey Jack cheese in each serving bowl.
- Ladle the tortilla soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips; sprinkle with chopped cilantro or parsley.
- For some extra heat, add a finely chopped jalapeno chile pepper or about 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
- Use shredded pepper jack cheese for servings instead of the Monterey Jack cheese, or use a Mexican blend of cheeses.
- Replace the diced tomatoes with one 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes, chili seasoned tomatoes, or fire-roasted tomatoes.