February 15th, 2012
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

By Melissa Pitts

One of my favorite things to use during the winter is my slow cooker. I use it to make beans, soups, stews, pretty much anything I can think of. While it gets a bad wrap for making everything soggy and mushy, it’s a great way to make soft and tender chicken for soups. Best part is, just set and forget it. This tortilla soup is easy, delicious, doesn’t have a ton of ingredients (you probably have most in your pantry anyways) and full of flavor.

Since it is winter tomatoes aren’t as fresh and flavorful so I use canned diced tomatoes. But, if you make this during the summer go ahead and use fresh tomatoes. Top this soup with tortillas strips (you can also just use tortilla chips if you don’t want to make the strips), some sour cream, and avocado if you like. Buen provecho!

Yields 6 servings

Cook Time: 6-8 hours

Preparation Time: 20 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes from a can, drained or 4 large plum tomatoes
  • 1 pound chicken breasts
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 small white onion roughly chopped (it will get blended later so it doesn’t need to be perfect)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 medium dried pasilla chile, stemmed, seeded, and torn into large pieces
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 corn tortillas, torn into 1-inch pieces (to thicken the soup)

For the tortilla strips:

  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
  • canola oil, for shallow frying
  •  salt


  1. Add the tomatoes, chicken breasts, cumin, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, pasilla chile, and stock to the crock pot. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
  2. Let the soup cool slightly and remove the chicken. Shred the chicken and set aside.
  3. Now that the soup has cooled, blend the contents in a blender with the 2 corn tortillas until smooth. I recommend adding the soup 2-3 cups at a time to the blender so it does not overflow. Strain the blended mixture and discard the solids. Add the strained mixture to a large pot, add the chicken. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper.
  4. To make the tortilla strips: In a medium, heavy skillet, coat the bottom with oil. Heat over medium-high heat until very hot, but not smoking. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season with salt. Set aside.
  5. To serve the soups, ladle the soup into the bowls and top with tortilla strips and pretty much anything you like!

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