Tortilla Soup in the Crock

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Soup season is short in Southern California. By early February, we are already flaunting crazy 80 degree weather. Personally, I feel cheated out of our chilly 70 degree winter and am outraged to see people in shorts all around. Can we keep the shorts in the closet until March, please?!
In protest, I am still making and eating soup weekly. I've been determined to use my crockpot more this year. To save time and my sanity, and spend more time with the kid and less time yelling at said kid to stop destroying my kitchen. I like crocking overnight, so the husband can wake up to delicious smells early in the morning.

This soup is a combination of recipes pieced together from Pintrest. And because I'm not a fan of chunk (unless it's my own!), I used my immersion blender to create a smooth base, and then added some whole corn and beans for texture. Also, I think the key here is using fire roasted tomatoes and chiles.
 And because I didn't take any other soup photos, here are pictures of Viggo being not a baby, sigh.
It rained for a day in LA, and this kid couldn't be happier. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
4 cups good-quality chicken stock
2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
1 (15-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained
1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 dried pasilla (negro) chile peppers
1 white onion, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon of Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon of chipotle powder
1 teaspoon salt, or more/less to taste
handful of fresh oregano and thyme
bay leaf
fresh lime wedges
optional garnishes: chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, diced red onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips/chips

1) Add all ingredients (except for lime and reserved corn and beans) to a slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 hours on high heat or 6-8 hours on low heat, until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily. Use two forks to shred the chicken.  Remove the pasilla chiles and herbs, and discard.
2) Puree using an immersion blender. Add reserved corn and beans and cook 30 more minutes.
3) Serve warm with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and topped with optional garnishes if desired.

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