What a Crock: Slow-Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

I'm always on the lookout for sure-fire crock pot recipes that are guaranteed good.

The Run Down Can you believe that some crock pot recipes can often involve several steps and be somewhat complicated? To me, that defeats the purpose. The recipes I like are "dump and run." Essentially, you dump all the ingredients in the pot, hit the "on" button, and head out. Come back eight hours later, and you should be a happy person with a sweet-smelling home. This chicken tortilla soup recipe fits that mold. It's super-easy, and you can put it together the night before, pop in the fridge, and take out the next morning.

The Taste This one is so good! I've had several people tell me how much they've enjoyed it. The spices blend well together, and the crispy tortilla chips provide that needed crunch. The cumin, chili powder, and cilantro are just a few of the ingredients that provide excellent flavoring. This chicken tortilla soup won't beat your favorite restaurant's version, but for at-home dining, it's hard to top.

The Ease Very easy. About the only thing that is time-consuming is opening all the cans. And there's only one extra step--frying the tortilla chips. Well, the recipe calls for baking, but it's easy to fry some up in a little oil, plus it makes the soup taste more authentic. It only takes a few minutes and is well worth it. I'd also recommend topping each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a little avocado.

Please do yourself a favor--go to the grocery store and buy a prepared rotessire chicken. Just take off all the meat and throw in the pot. It's cost-effective, saves a boat load of time, and those small chickens yield a perfect amount of meat for this recipe.

The Kid Factor Some tortilla soup recipes can be a tad spicy for the kids--not this one. My daughter loves it, but if you find it's a little too much for your little ones, just add some more sour cream. Also, the recipe doesn't call for it, but consider including some veggies like fresh zucchini and carrots.

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