September 27, 2012

Slow-Cooker Tortilla Soup {Powernap}

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup via The Naptime Chef

This is the latest installment of my Powernap column. The series where I share quick, easy food that can be made for all kinds of situations. Powernaps are short and sweet, and so are these recipes. These are the things I make in a jiffy when I need a quick snack, am in the mood for a recipe experiment, or simply need to clean out the pantry.

This month I’ve been all about indulging my cravings for spicy food and it is beginning to show around here. I know a lot of you don’t mind a little heat now and then so hopefully I’m not going too overboard. Rest assured, I always include instructions on how to tone down the heat to suit your palate! In our Facebook chat earlier this month some of you indicated you want more slow-cooker dishes that are not beef or pork oriented. Lucky you, because now that the weather has cooled down, and I am slowing down I bit, I’ve been using my slow-cooker every chance I get and today I’ve got a great, lighter fall/winter soup for you!

This delicious southwestern-style dish was inspired by my intense desire for spicy soup and my latest obsession with Cowgirl Chef. Ellise’s recipe for Smokin’ Chicken Tortilla Soup looked ideal but I wanted streamline the steps and adapt it for my slow-cooker in order to make it more manageable for my schedule. I also chose to omit the chicken since we had planned for grilled cheeses on the side. However, if you have shredded chicken to add in feel free to go ahead and do so, then you’ll have a hearty, healthy soup that is a complete one-bowl meal.

While my daughter was a school I completed the simple steps of charring the onions and garlic, and crisping up the tortillas. Then I piled everything into the slow cooker and used my immersion blender to smooth it out. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can easily scoop everything into a food processor or large blender. After that it cooked for a few hours and our spicy soup was ready by dinner! We elected to top ours with smooth avocado and some cheese, my husband even added a dollop of plain Greek yogurt to cool it down a touch. We both noted that this is a great recipe to file away for this winter when the nights are long and I’ll be cooking on empty at least a few days a week. This nourishing, uplifting soup will be just the thing to keep us warm and sustained until the possibility of sleeping through the night returns!

Recipe

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

loosely adapted from Cowgirl Chef by Ellise Pierce

Ingredients

1 yellow onion, cut into eight wedges
8 cloves of garlic, in skins
6 small corn tortillas
2 canned chipotle peppers (2 PEPPERS from one can, not 2 cans) in adobo (FOR LESS spicy only use ONE pepper)
1 28-ounce can of whole tomatoes with juices
4 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie stock
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

For serving:

1 ripe avocado
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 cups tortilla chips

Instructions

1. Preheat your broiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread the garlic and onions over it and toss them with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Broil the onions until they begin to char around the edges, about 10 t0 15 minutes.

2. Place the tortillas directly on the oven rack beneath the onions and allow them to broil for the same amount of time, or until they crisp up and brown slightly. IF you do these steps separately decrease the broiling time for the tortillas. They will brown more quickly when directly under the broiler.

3. All the garlic to cool slightly, then squeeze it out of its skins. Add all the garlic, onions, tomatoes, chipotle pepper(s), chicken stock, salt and pepper to the slow-cooker. Then break the crispy tortillas into small pieces and stir them in as well. Use an immersion blender to smooth out the soup until it is just a lightly chunky consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can easily process the mixer in a food processor or blender.

4. Cook the soup on low heat for 5 to 6 hours. Serve with sliced avocado, cheese, and tortilla chips!

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

If you want to add chicken feel free to add about of a pound of shredded cooked chicken when you begin cooking. It will make for a terrific hearty soup! You can also add cilantro at the end if you choose. Sadly, my cilantro is gone for the season so I was unable to do so.

Naptime Stopwatch

30 minutes prep time, 5 to 6 hours cook time

Naptime Reviews

My husband declared this a new regular in our slow-cooker soup rotation. I feel we’ll be visiting that rotation a lot this winter!

More Naptime Recipes