Happiness Project#68: New Years Eve Tortilla Soup

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Forget Christmas. My now favorite time of year is New Years Eve. Why? Because it’s truly all about spending time with my family. No gifts or expectations. No running around in the mad rush of pre-Christmas frenzy. No cleaning FOR DAYS. It’s just one magical night, once a year, with pretty sparklers, s’mores and kids movies. One night a year which has become a Cadiz-Copper family tradition.

One of the uncountable things that I adore about my daughter’s toddler developments, is how excited she becomes over the experiences that just a year ago, she wasn’t “quite” into yet. Like throwing popping fireworks onto the cold, hard ground. I kid you not, I think I counted her gleefully throwing down at least a dozen of those popping sparklers this past weekend. All the while running around in circles, giggling joyfully, with her three adoring cousins in tow. It was such a beautiful sight to behold.

And dare I mention the giddy messiness of New Years Eve S’mores? Let’s just say that there was chocolate EVERYWHERE. On a counter, a floor, fingers, noses and maybe even in one mischievous little girl’s lovely curly hair. I’ll leave the rest up to your imagination.

However, the one New Years Eve tradition which has fast become my favorite sister experience? Whipping up some delicious crock pot Chicken Tortilla Soup. With everything warm and savory of a cold winters night. Which makes this Mama one very satisfied woman.

Ready to indulge in some of your own post New Years Eve magic? Let’s get to it! Here’s what you’ll need:

3 to 4 chicken breasts, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper

6 cups chicken broth

15 ounces Diced Tomatoes, drained

1 (4oz) can tomato paste

2 (8oz) cans yellow corn, drained

1 (8oz) can black beans, drained

1 (4oz) can green chilis, drained

1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (for garnish)

1 large bag of tortilla strip chips (for garnish)

The wonderful thing about this crock pot recipe is how quick and easy (truly easy!) it is to create. No more standing next to your bubbling crock pot, longingly counting down the (seemingly endless) hours until soup perfection. All you need is a little bit of pre-cooked chicken and 1 hour of cook time in that lovely little crock pot of yours. Seriously! So get cooking!

First up, the chicken. On medium-high heat, in a large pot of water, drop in 3 to 4 frozen pieces of chicken breasts, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 10 minutes, until the chicken pieces are just on the verge of being fully cooked through. Remove from the pot and let stand on a cutting board to cool slightly before shredding into bite size strips.

While your chicken is cooling, spoon in all of the other ingredients, one at time, into the crock pot. Once the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, corn, beans and green chilis are successfully transferred into the crock pot, add in the shredded chicken. Followed by 2 teaspoons of chili powder. Stir up all of that sweet goodness so that everything is mixed up well and good.

Now the easy part! Set the timer on your crock pot to 1 hour (on high heat) and let cook! It’s THAT easy! I’m doing a happy dance. Are you?

Once that hour is up, spoon out however much of this yummy tortilla soup as you want. Garnishing with a small handful of cheese and crushed tortilla chips.

AND EAT! Until you tummy is full and your kiddos are asking for seconds. Believe me, there will be seconds. Oh yes, there will.

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