Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

We went out for lunch after church yesterday. The chicken tortilla soup was divine. I shared with Anna, and she asked why I don’t make this at home more often. I decided to make it today. Unfortunately, my frozen, homemade chicken stock is gone! Egads! So, I made it from scratch for the purpose of this recipe. There are dozens of recipes available for this soup using chicken breasts and cream soup. This is the one we love at home.

CHICKEN STOCK (for this purpose; my regular bone broth is different (link, eventually)

  • 1 whole 3-4 lb chicken
  • One onion, quartered
  • 3-4 ribs celery, rough chopped
  • garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • Any other herbs or veggies you have that maybe don’t look great, but are still good and will add flavor or nutrition to the stock.

Rinse and empty chicken (if it has stuff inside). Place all the other stuff into the crock pot, place the whole chicken on top, cover with water. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. Take the cooked chicken out and place on rack or platter or cutting board to cool. Use a slotted spoon or a small sieve to scoop all the ingredients out of the stock so it’s just liquid, and discard (the stuff, not the broth). When the chicken is cool enough to handle, take the skin off, the bones out (and discard), and shred/chop the chicken into bit-sized pieces.  *Don’t skim the fat. I know you want to, but the fat is magical, so keep as much as you are almost comfortable keeping. Trust me.


  • homemade chicken stock (first part of the recipe)
  • shredded, chopped chicken from above
  • 1-3C salsa (I’ll add my link here) (or use pre-made) OR – chopped tomatoes and onions
  • Chopped carrots
  • Bell pepper, if you like
  • 2 cups frozen corn – or 1-2 cans corn
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • any other veggies you want, but probably not potatoes (but your recipe, whatevs)
  • 1t ground cumin
  • ½ t dried cilantro or 1/2C fresh (or not, because yuck)
  • any other spices or blends that float your boat, including pre-blended taco, tortilla or other Mexican mixes, or a packet; as well as hot sauce if that’s your jam
  • Add everything into the crock pot with the broth. Cook on high for another hour, or low for 2 hours (really, you just need the carrots to be soft enough).  Serve while hot with shredded cheddar cheese on top.

Optional Toppings:

  • sour cream
  • green onions
  • cilantro (but yuck)
  • lettuce
  • diced avocado
  • tortilla strips or Fritos

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