If there is any kitchen appliance more helpful, cooperative and just plain satisfying than the good old slow cooker, I don’t know what it is. Sure, the food processor is all dramatic with the instant chopping, and the KitchenAid mixer is the 800 pound gorilla, towering over all the other gadgets. And every once in a while, my trusty rice cooker comes out to work on some rice or oatmeal or grits.
But my heart belongs to the slow cooker, for two reasons. First of all, pretty much anything you throw in there comes out tasting great. Beef barley soup. Bolognese sauce. Even a chocolate pudding cake that I really am going to make one day and post up here, since I talk about it and then don’t share. (Sorry!)
And second of all — and this happens to me every time — you toss whatever it is into the slow cooker first thing in the morning. Then you go off about your day while whatever it is cooks in perfect slowness for eight or ten hours. Then you slog back in the door at the end of the day, weary from the day, working up your energy to make dinner…and HAPPINESS!! You’ve forgotten that dinner is already made because you put it in the slow cooker that morning. And not only is it MADE, but it is scrumptious, because there is nothing to bring out the flavor in a whole lot of things like cooking them at a really low temperature for hours on end.
Which brings me to this soup, which is a spicy, hearty, easy mixture of shredded chicken, corn, chopped chili peppers, chopped tomatoes, some chicken broth and a bunch of spices that will open up your sinuses, and I mean this in a good way! The chicken should be cooked already, so this soup is a perfect thing to have on the menu for a day or two after you are making chicken for something else – just throw a few more pieces on the grill or in the oven or where you are making it. I serve it with a little bowl of crumbled tortilla chips right at the table so people can sprinkle some crunchiness right into their bowls.
So go find those slow cookers – I know you have one somewhere – and it give it some love!
Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup, adapted from Allrecipes