The poor old Crock-Pot had been feeling a bit neglected of late, what with all the not being used and stuff. So, since I was heading to Gauri's for abso-freakin-lutely delicious Indian food and delightful company, I thought I'd toss some stuff into it so there would be proper soup when Jim got home. I wasn't expecting to eat any myself, nor was I expecting the boys to have any; but we were overwhelmed by the spicy savory yum of its aroma and found ourselves eating it up happily. With both relish and profit, in fact.
Chicken Taco Soup
Serves six or thereabouts, I guess
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or about a pound thereof; I think I had about 14 ounces all told)
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1-1/2 to 2 cups cooked black beans (I used the leftovers from the previous day's bean-batch)
1 15-ounce can refried beans (no, really)
A couple tablespoons of taco seasoning (mostly just salt and chili powder, maybe a little cumin... you can improvise here)
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles
2 cups chicken broth
Tortilla chips and shredded Cheddar cheese (or, better yet: crumbled queso cotija) for serving
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add chicken thighs and cook, turning once, until well browned on both sides. Remove and set aside.
Add onion and jalapeño to skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent and beginning to brown around the edges, about 7 minutes.
Scrape sautéed vegetables into a slow cooker. Add beans, tomatoes, taco seasoning and broth. Mix well. Add chicken and push it down into the mixture until it's just covered.
Cover slow cooker and cook on Low until chicken is done, about 4 to 5 hours. (It can go a little longer if you like.) Remove chicken with a slotted spoon; chop or shred roughly and return to slow cooker; cook for another hour or so.
For each serving: place a handful of tortilla chips in a bowl. Stir soup well, then ladle some over the chips. Sprinkle with cheese (and/or sliced black olives, and/or sliced scallions, and/or sour cream...) and serve forth.
This soup is good enough that even if you've just returned from a stellar meal of "puffed rice stuff," "rice goop" and "shrikhand" (that last "D" sounds uncomfortably like a "T"), you will probably find yourself eating it in the company of your old friends Relish and Profit.