What's For Dinner: Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Soup

Not sure what to do with that leftover chicken? This slow cooker southwest chicken soup is a tasty way to put those leftovers to use.

Southwest Chicken Soup || A Less Processed LIfe

As I've mentioned before, chicken is on our dinner menu quite often. So, by the end of the week, we typically have all sorts of odds and ends in the fridge. (Doesn't that sound delicious? Don't answer that question.) The great thing about all these leftovers (so long as the chicken wasn't cooked in a super crazy sauce) is that they can all end up in a soup recipe.

Southwest Chicken Soup || A Less Processed LIfe

For my most recent chicken soup adventure, I used leftovers from a dinner of chicken thighs, a roast chicken, and the meaty bits left over from making a batch of chicken broth. This soup recipe would also work quite well with a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, if that's your thing.

Southwest Chicken Soup || A Less Processed LIfe

This soup can be made in the slow cooker, or you can make it in about 30 minutes on the stovetop. I tend to make things in the slow cooker since that means I can put everything together and basically forget about it until it's time to eat. Especially since I recently got a programmable slow cooker which automatically switches to "warm" mode when the cooking period is over. 

I garnished my bowl of soup simply with chopped fresh cilantro, but you can definitely go to town on toppings if you'd like – a dollop of sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), avocado slices, or crumbled queso fresco would all be delicious options. Note: this soup is a little spicy; if you're sensitive to spiciness, dial down the amount of jalapeño pepper and red pepper flakes. 

Slow Cooker Southwest Chicken Soup (printer-friendly version)
makes 6-8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1/2 medium pepper)
1 tablespoon finely minced jalapeño
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups low-sodium (or homemade) chicken broth
1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with roasted garlic (and juices)
3 cups pre-cooked shredded chicken
1 can black beans
1 cup frozen corn kernels
fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a medium skillet. Add the scallions, chopped red pepper, and jalapeño and sauté until softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add the cooked vegetables to the bowl of a slow cooker. Stir in the salt and red pepper flakes.
3. Stir in the chicken broth, fire-roasted tomatoes, and cooked chicken. Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours.
4. Stir in the black beans and frozen corn kernels. Cook on high for an additional 30 minutes.
5. Garnish each serving with fresh cilantro and serve.

To make on the stovetop, replace the skillet in step one with a medium stock pot. After sautéing the vegetables, add the rest of the ingredients through the shredded chicken to the stock pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the black beans and corn kernels and simmer until warmed through, 5-10 minutes.


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