Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean and Chicken Soup is a hearty, healthy, effortless crock pot dinner for those cold winter nights!
We interrupt this month of holiday recipes to bring you a cozy, slow cooker soup that can be enjoyed all winter long!
It’s probably no secret by now that I love cooking with beans. From side dishes to soups to crock pot suppers, beans are nourishing, filling, and inexpensive. It’s easy to infuse them with other flavors and they require minimal prep work to pretty much cook themselves. And let’s be honest here…is there anything more comforting than a big ol’ pot of beans (or bean soup) on a chilly day?
One of my all-time favorite bean recipes is the Slow Cooker Chicken & White Bean Chili that I shared on the site last fall. In fact, I went to make it last week and, lo and behold, I was out of dried white beans! But I did have a container of dried black beans in the pantry, and that got my wheels a-spinnin’. If white beans are good, would black beans perchance be better?
7-year-old: “May I please have more? A whole bowl.”
5-year-old: “Mama, you’re the BEST cooker!”
2-year-old (who, incidentally, is currently subsisting on a diet of apple slices and cheese popcorn): “Mmm-mmmm…DEEEEE-wishous!”
Husband: “I think I like this even more than the white bean version.”
And gosh…it feels like blasphemy to admit it, but I enjoyed this Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean & Chicken Soup every bit as much as my old tried-and-true white chicken chili recipe. The variations between the two recipes are subtle but the final results are quite different, albeit delicious in their own respective ways.
To make this black bean version of my white bean recipe, of course, I started out by switching the beans. I also slightly decreased the amount of chicken used, since black beans don’t swell up and expand quite like white beans do and I didn’t want the chicken-to-bean ratio to be lopsided. As black beans are able to stand up to some pretty robust flavors, I increased the spices a bit, both in amount and variety. I also threw in a can of diced tomatoes and green chiles for extra pizzazz.
The biggest difference in flavor between these two soups, however, is probably due to how I finished off each one. While I typically stir in some cornmeal (or masa) and milk into my white bean chili at the end to give it that extra dimension, I decided to forgo that step in this black bean soup. Instead, I stirred in some sour cream. Hellooo, silky, creamy broth! Take my word for it…black beans + sour cream = match made in heaven.
When hosting parties, I’ve been known to set up and serve a “Chili Bar, with a big crock pot full of traditional beef chili and another crock pot of chicken/white bean chili. I bake up a batch of cornbread muffins, pop open a bag of tortilla chips, and set out bowls of shredded cheese, diced avocado, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, pickled jalapeños…you name it! Everyone can garnish each kind of chili as he or she sees fit.
The next time I host such a party, however, you can bet I’ll be adding this black bean spin to the line-up! It would be yummy with any and all of the above suggested garnishes, but at the very least, I recommend stirring in some crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheese, salsa, and chopped cilantro before you dig in. Yum, yum, YUM.
So the next time you want to warm up on a chilly day with a steamy bowl of comfort food goodness, toss the ingredients for this Slow Cooker Creamy Black Bean & Chicken Soup into the crock pot. It’s a simple, hearty meal that’s sure to become a new family favorite!
More slow cooker soups…