It will soon be that time of year when we crave some hot soup or soul food. The following recipe is easy to make and, if you have a slow cooker, you can make it in the morning and it will be ready for dinner after you return from shopping, golf, cards, or other appointments. There is a minimum of ingredients and preparation and I guarantee you will enjoy this time and time again.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

(5-6 servings; double for a large crowd)

Ingredients:

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 pkg. (32 oz.) Chicken broth

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained & rinsed

1 bag (14 oz.) frozen corn

2 jars (15 oz. ea.) medium salsa (or hot, if you prefer)

For Toppings:

2 avocados, peeled & diced

8 corn tortillas (Cut these into strips, place on a baking sheet, and bake in a preheated 400-degree oven

for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy; or, buy “Texas Toast” Chili Lime Tortilla Strips in the condiment aisle – they are less work)

Sour Cream

Shredded Cheese (I like cheddar)

Cilantro

Method:

Put whole chicken breasts, chicken broth, black beans, frozen corn and salsa in a slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can use a Dutch Oven or a large heavy stockpot, bring to a boil and simmer for about 4 hours.

After the soup cooks, and before serving, remove the chicken breasts and shred them with two forks, or chop into pieces with a knife. Put the shredded chicken back into the soup and stir.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with any or all of the toppings.

Note: This is a great recipe for company. I place all the toppings in individual serving dishes and let everyone help themselves to what they like. It’s a fun dinner and everyone seems to enjoy this way of serving. It makes them part of the event.