Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup

I found this recipe over at Crockpot365. I've been meaning to make it for quite some time, but could never get around to soaking the beans overnight. I would always forget.

While it turned out really good, I might modify it next time. John and I called it fake tortilla soup (we even added tortilla chips and cheese when we ate it). For one, it was just way too beany for me. I'm not the biggest fan of beans. I try them, but they're not something that I've ever really liked. So I might do about half the beans. It also wasn't soupy enough so I might add another cup of chicken broth next time. I may also throw some more veggies in there like some bell pepper and onion, maybe some diced tomatoes.

Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup

1 pound chicken
1 cup dried black beans (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup sliced mushrooms - I left these out
1 cup frozen corn
1 jar prepared salsa (16 oz)
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup sour cream (to stir in at the end)
shredded cheddar cheese, avocado slices, cilantro (all optional)

The Directions.

If you know you are going to make this the night before (yay for meal planning!) soak the black beans in enough water to cover and another 2 inches overnight. In the morning, drain the water and rinse the beans.If you don't have super hard water or live in a super high altitude, you can quick soak the beans by pouring boiling water over them and let them sit for an hour or two. I did an hour, but 2 would really be better if you have the time. Drain and rinse the beans. Add to the crockpot.

Put in the chicken, and add the broth and salsa. Pour in the corn and mushrooms, and add the cumin. Stir, but don't disturb the beans---let them stay at the bottom of the pot, closest to the heating element.Cover and cook on high for 9 hours. Yup. High. For 9 hours. It took a crazy long time for the beans to soften, but they did. If you are using beans you soaked overnight, canned beans, or pre-cooked beans, you can cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-5--similar to normal soup-cooking time.

If you'd like to thicken the broth, you can use your immersible blender to blend a bit of the beans and chicken. If you don't have one, scoop out 2 cups of the soup and carefully blend in your traditonal blender. Stir the mixture back into the crockpot.

Stir in the 1/2 cup of sour cream before serving, and garnish with shredded cheese and avocado slices.

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