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Crockpot Tortilla Soup

I’m participating in Kelly’s Show Us Your Life blog carnival, so I’m reposting this from a while back, with some minor changes.

I came to Houston about 14 years ago to interview for a job (which I turned down), and all I remember about the interview is what I had for lunch. A delicious Tortilla Soup left a lasting impression.

Honestly, I thought the name was ridiculous. But all was forgiven after a few slurps.

So you can imagine my delight – DELIGHT – when I came across an easily modifiable crockpot version of the soup. It has become my go-to meal for company and busy days because it’s easy and yummy, perfect for the 21st century Proverbs 31 woman.

All you have to do is get up in the morning, brush your teeth, stumble into the kitchen without tripping over a pet, toy or little person, and dump the following ingredients into the crockpot to cook on low all day:

1 can of black beans (do not drain)
1 can of red beans (do not drain)
1 can of pinto beans (do not drain)
1 can of Rotel (do not drain)
1 can of corn (do not drain)
1 large can of diced tomotoes (do not drain)
1 pkg of Ranch dressing mix
chicken broth (to taste)
shredded cooked chicken (make it easy on yourself and get a rotisserie chicken to shred with a fork the night before)
lemon juice (to taste)

This recipe can go from Tortilla Soup to Taco Soup just by adding taco seasoning and cooked ground beef instead of chicken.

But it’s what you serve with the soup that takes it over the top. The following are yummy possibilities:

  • Shredded cheese. If nothing else, serve this soup with shredded cheese to sprinkle over the top. The cheese will melt in the soup and make it an ooey gooey heavenly concoction.
  • Tortilla strips/chips. The easiest thing to do is use crumbled up tortilla chips, but you could earn some extra hospitality points by making your own tortilla strips. All it takes is cutting up tortillas into strips with a pizza cutter, spraying with cooking spray, sprinkling with salt, and sticking in the oven at 400 degrees for about fifteen minutes. You may need to experiment with the temp and time, but that worked for me.
  • Sour cream. ‘Nuff said.
  • Avocado chunks. Oh, how I love me some avocado. They can be a mess to cut up, but you may be able to find vacuum-packed pre-cut avocado halves in the refrigerated veggie section of your grocery store.

Your soup will cook all day, so all you have to do before dinner time is put some soup bowls, spoons, and cheese/tortilla strips/sour cream/avocado next to the crockpot so that everyone can serve themselves. Don’t forget to provide a soup ladle so that they can serve themselves more than a spoonful at a time.

If I make this for company (which I often do), I like to pair it with Sopapilla Cheesecake for dessert.

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