I followed this recipe and it came out veryyyy goooood……
I followed suggestions from reviews and made some changes to the above recipe. Here are the changes made:
1) I used 4-5 hot italian sausages (uncooked) for sausage. Opened them up to get the ground meat inside. Mixed this with ground beef and cooked together as explained in the recipe
2) 4 (15 oz) cans chili beans in sauce, NOT drained.
3) I omitted the celery and tabasco sauce,
4) 1 jalapeno instead of chile peppers,
5) I made fresh bacon with thick cut strips and made pieces from it,
6) 1 cup of beer
7) Instead of using 2 (28oz) cans of diced tomatoes with juice, I used 3 (14 1/2 oz) can of diced tomatoes and 1 (14 1/2 oz) can of diced tomatoes with basil/oregano/garlic.
8) I cooked this in a slow cooker for 8-10 hours. We can refrigerate or freeze it, and reheat as well.
Toppings (optional) – Cheddar cheese shredded, Sour Cream, Green onions chopped, cilantro chopped, jalapenos chopped etc.
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 Tbsp dried basil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
2 (14.5 oz) cans petite diced tomatoes
1 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 cups frozen cheese tortellini (or you can use fresh)
3 cups packed spinach (you can definitely add more than this if you want)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy cream or 1 cup half and half
1. In a microwave-safe bowl add the onions, flour, basil, garlic, tomato paste and drizzle with olive oil. Microwave for 5 minutes, stirring every 90 seconds or so. (The mixture will be pasty and look weird but don’t worry it will all be okay in the end). Add the mixture to the slow cooker.
2. Add broth, tomatoes, chicken, salt and pepper to the slow cooker. Stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours (or until chicken is very tender).
3. Remove the lid and add in tortellini and spinach, Parmesan cheese and warmed cream (cream should be warmed because it may cause curdling if added in cold).
4. Use a fork to remove the chicken out of the slow cooker. On a cutting board, shred or cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Add the chicken back into the slow cooker. Put the lid back on and cook on HIGH for about 10 more minutes, or until the tortellini are cooked through.
Thanks to http://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/2014/11/slow-cooker-tortellini-spinach-soup.html