Sunday, March 21, 2010

Southwest Chicken Soup

A few years ago, when Jason and I were packing the truck to move out to California, we got to a point where, after a day of lugging boxes down three flights of stairs, we just didn't want to deal with packing, moving, thinking or dealing with one more thing. Perfectly good shoes were thrown straight into the dumpster. I whispered a hasty, but emotional, goodbye to our vacuum cleaner as I slowly shut the door, leaving it in a dark closet corner for the next tenant to find. We shoved our huge, fully working treadmill into the trunk of Jason's student's car. Even though he protested the whole time; even though it didn't even really fit. 

And my crock pot. Apparently, the thought of even trying to figure out where to put the crock pot in the truck was too much for me at the time, because I thrust it at my mother-in-law and begged her to take it, to give it a good home. 

And now, here I am, 16 weeks pregnant, and still at the point where even the thought of prepping and cooking a meal takes the wind out of me. How nice it would be to have that crock pot back, to throw a few ingredients into it, turn the dial, and crawl back to the couch for six or seven hours while an actual meal cooks itself.  

Well, mother-in-law to the rescue! She's wonderful, took pity on the fact that I was stranded out in California pregnant and crock pot-less, and sent me the means to acquire a very nice slow cooker.

Which I've put to very good use. My meal conditions are minimal ingredients and prep-time, but it still has to be tasty enough to please me and the little one growing inside me. This soup definitely passed the test, and had a little more kick to it than I thought it would, which I liked. I serve it over rice to make the meal a bit heartier, and to make the stew last a little longer through the week. And hey, it pairs really well with a nice homemade baguette, fresh out of the oven. I'm just sayin'. 

Southwest Chicken Soup
from Betty Crocker Slow Cooker Meals

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (2-cups)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 (14-1/2 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
fresh cilantro (optional)

1) Mix chicken, sweet potatoes, onion, tomatoes,  broth, oregano and cumin in a 3-1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker.

2) Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 8 hours.

3) Stir in corn and bell pepper. Cover and cook on high heat setting about 30  minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and vegetables are tender.

4) Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired. 

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