Add all ingredients (except additional salt and pepper and toppings) to a 3-quart or larger slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours. That's it! Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve with assorted toppings. Keeps refrigerated in an airtight container for about 3 days. It freezes well, too!
* Because jalapeno peppers can vary greatly heat-wise, I like to take a quick taste and see how hot it is. If it's fairly mild, I'll add seeds along with the flesh. If it's pretty spicy, I'll discard the seeds and even sometimes use only half of the pepper. Go with what you're comfortable with!
Add cooked diced chicken or browned ground turkey to the batch or to individual portions.