My kids each ate their weight in this soup. It smelled delicious while cooking, and tasted even better.
This is a brain-child of Natalie, who emailed me early last week. The neat part about this soup is that she (and then I did, too!) used dry black beans instead of canned or pre-cooked dried beans.
The beans will take a super long time to soften, so this is a great candidate for those who are out of the house for long periods of time. It's soup---there's a lot of volume, and it won't burn on you. The even-neater (more neat?) trait of this soup is that there is no chopping or dicing, yay!
Thank you so much, Natalie!
The Ingredients. --1 pound chicken (I used frozen breast tenderloins)
--1 cup dried black beans (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
--4 cups chicken broth
--1 cup sliced mushrooms
--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)
updated 12/15: Pace salsa is pictured in the ingredients. Pace, and many Campbells products are now no longer being classified as "gluten free"---please read all labels and use your best judgment when making choices to feed your family. You can read a discussion about the labeling, here.
I used a 6.5 quart crockpot. You will need a 4 quart or larger.
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 (I did this), you can use your immersible blender (I love that thing) 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.
We all loved this. My crockpot was more than half way full, but the four of us ate so much we only had a small tupperware full for leftovers.
This is a new favorite in our house. I thought that the salsa might be too spicy, but the kids didn't complain once. They are used to spicier things than some of their peers, but I didn't find the soup spicy at all, just packed with flavor. If you're concerned, stick with mild salsa. You can always add some white or red pepper to the grown-up portions.
Thanks again, Natalie, for a new family-favorite!