Today's recipe is brought to us by Stephanie O'Dea, once again, from the blog A Year of Slowcooking. It is sooooo good. And, when made with fat-free sour cream and garnished with low-fat cheese, it is low in fat and calories.
Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken and Black Bean Soup
--1 pound chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken breasts cut up into small pieces)
--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)
(If you know you are going to make this the night before 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.)
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.For a thicker broth, you can use an immersible blender 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. Or, instead of doing that, you can also substitute 1 can of refried black beans for one of the cans of black beans - this is what I did!
Stir in the 1/2 cup of sour cream before serving, and garnish with shredded cheese, avocado slices, and/or cilantro. (For a lower calorie meal, I skipped the avocado slices)