Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Summer Squash Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

I've been wanting to make my own version of chicken tortilla soup full of fresh locally grown summer vegetables like the local onions, jalapeƱos, squash and zucchini I find at the farmer's market. My inspiration comes from a tortilla soup I've had that simply cannot be beat in my opinion. There's a Mexican food restaurant in Bowie and Graham, Texas called Dos Chiles Grandes that serves the absolute best chicken tortilla soup I've ever tasted and it has every vegetable you can think of in it. I've looked all over for a recipe like theirs...with no success. So I thought I'd experiment and come up with my own recipe incorporating a few of my favorite summer vegetables. I hope you like it! 


4-5 frozen chicken tenderloins or 3-4 boneless breasts
2 cans diced tomatoes and green chiles (I use mild Rotel - do not drain)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can chipotle white corn (do not drain)
1 medium onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1-2 fresh jalapeƱos (diced with or without seeds- made mine without)
1 red bell pepper (chopped)
1-2 medium zucchini (sliced)
1 yellow summer squash (sliced)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1  tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 teaspoon pepper
A few sprigs of cilantro (torn small)
2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth 
1-2 limes 

Soup Toppings (all optional): 

4 corn tortillas cut into strips 
Taco seasoning (sprinkle on tortilla strips before baking)
Diced green onion
Sour cream or fat free Greek yogurt
Shredded Mexican cheese 
Avocado (sliced)

Begin by lining the bottom of the crockpot with the frozen tenderloins. Then add all the ingredients minus the lime and toppings. I added mine in the order they appear, but that's not necessary. Put the lid on and cook in the crockpot for 6-8 hours. After about 3 hours, shred the chicken with two forks and give the soup a good stir to mix all the ingredients well, put the lid on and leave it alone for the remainder of the time.

When the soup is done, preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut the tortillas into strips and place flat on a cookie sheet. Spray the strips with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with taco seasoning. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until they begin to turn golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven to cool. 

Cut the lime into wedges. Ladle soup into bowls. Squeeze lime into soup for an added wonderful flavor enhancement (optional). Add tortilla strips and your favorites of the optional toppings to individual bowls and ENJOY! 

    Hubby's bowl with shredded cheese but minus the tortilla strips and lime.

My bowl of steaming hot tortilla soup with shredded cheese, lime and tortilla strips.

This has become my go to recipe for Chicken Tortilla soup. In the fall/winter I plan to sub in carrots and celery and other vegetables more readily available then. That's what's great about this recipe, you can add and subtract vegetables as you see fit. 

I can't wait for you to try this. So many yummy flavors. The chicken gets more tender and the flavors get better and better the longer it cooks. The best part...it's so easy to put together. And you can basically use what you have on hand, too.

If you get a chance to make this awesome recipe, let me know by commenting. Be sure to subscribe if you haven't already. 

I'm ready for for next cold spell to make the next batch. I'm definitely ready for cooler temps and my favorite season, Autumn. This is perfect for a chilly evening. Heck, it's so great it works in the summer time as well. Ha! Just ask my family who devoured my entire batch in one evening. :)