As some of you may know, my extended family is from El Paso and we usually go visit every other year for Christmas (Mark and I switch off Thanksgiving & Christmas every year to be fair). Since we live in Houston, a mecca for Tex-Mex, it naturally came as a shock to Mark when he discovered that the Mexican food in El Paso is not like what we categorize as ‘Mexican food’ at home. There are no sizzling fajita plates or Velveeta-based queso. Mexican food in El Paso is the real deal.
If you ever want to know what to order at a real authentic Mexican food restaurant and you’re afraid to venture into the unknown, stick with tacos and tortilla soup. No one does them better. When Mark ordered Tortilla Soup for the first time in El Paso, he fell in love. Real tortilla soup isn’t cream based or super fattening, it’s actually pretty healthy, extremely flavorful, and quite inexpensive to make.
Mark loved it so much, in fact, that he scoured the internet to find a similar recipe and asked me to make it. The original recipe was from Allrecipes.com HERE, but I’ve adapted it over the years to accommodate the items I usually have on-hand or prefer. Hope you enjoy!
Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup
Best ever chicken tortilla soup recipe! This is one of Mark's favorites.
- 1 Package Chicken Thighs I usually keep a package or two of frozen boneless skinless chicken thighs (around 8 thighs) in my freezer all the time. Feel free to throw them in the crockpot still frozen. Works great!
- 1 Can Diced Tomatoes ~ 15oz can
- 1 Can Red Enchilada Sauce ~ 10oz can, I recommend using the red kind
- 0.5 Yellow Onion Use 1 small onion chopped, or if the onions in your grocery store are enormous like mine, just use half
- 1 Can Chopped Green Chilies ~ 4oz can, any brand is fine.
- 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic You can use 2 cloves of garlic, or if you're lazy like me, just use 1 Tbsp of minced garlic
- 1 Package Chicken Broth ~ 32oz package, or you can use 3 cans of chicken broth
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Chili Powder I'm usually making this for my kids to eat as well, so 1 tsp if fine. If you like it spicier, you can add more to crank up the heat!
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper I have a pepper cracker, so I eyeball this instead of measuring.
- 1 Leaf Bay Leaf Remember to fish this out before you serve, though - don't eat the bay leaf!
- 1 Package Frozen Corn ~ 10oz Package
Add all ingredients listed to your crockpot. Cook on low for ~ 8 hours (I usually put it on before I leave for work, and it's ready when I get home!).
With a slotted spoon, pull out all of the chicken thighs, shred them with a couple forks, and return them to the crockpot.
I recommend adding shredded cheese (mozzarella and cheddar work great), sliced avocados, and crushed tortilla chips to your bowl before serving. Don't add these into the crockpot, because they don't hold up well and tortilla chips will turn to mush.
The green chiles I used will come in a small can. Any brand will work, and you can usually find them in Mexican food section of your grocery store, near the taco shells.
Enchilada sauce usually comes in red and green styles. The original recipe I adapted from never specified which color to use, but I've found the red works the best.
Any type of chicken broth should work just fine. The original recipe called for two cups of water and one can of chicken broth... but I like chicken broth for the depth of flavor it brings to the recipe. I typically keep around three of these chicken broth boxes on-hand all the time since I cook quite a bit, and they're used in everything. I used around four cups of #HEB brand chicken broth for my recipe, but you can use any kind you'd like!