Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chicken Enchilada Soup


Chicken Enchilada Soup
Chili's Restaurant introduced me to the idea of chicken enchilada soup, and it was my standard order for a couple of years there.  Once I started cooking on my own, I came up with my own recipe.  I think I make it different every time.  I cook the chicken different ways, or add whatever vegetables I have around, or like tonight, it has no vegetables.  I can't say it tastes like the Chili's version, but I think I like this recipe better now than Chili's.  Go figure.
Since moving to Iowa I've had to change brands of enchilada sauce, and maybe it's just because I'm a midwesterner now, but I do enjoy the milder flavor of the Old El Paso Mild Enchilada Sauce.  Normally I use Las Palmas Medium Enchilada Sauce, but it wasn't available to me here until recently.  At any rate, select an enchilada sauce that you know you like, and you can't go wrong.
Because this recipe uses masa flour as a thickener, the soup is nice and thick and tastes of tortillas.  Mmmm.  If you don't use much (or any cheese) and use baked tortilla chips instead of frying the tortilla strips, this is actually a relatively low-fat soup.  High carb, but low fat.

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Ingredients: 
  • 3 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast*
  • 1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce
  • ½ tsp ground cumin (optional)
  • 3/4 cup masa flour (or about 8 corn tortillas torn up into medium pieces)
  • 6-10 corn tortillas
  • oil for frying tortillas
  • grated cheese (Monterey Jack is good)
  • pico de gallo
  • 1 ½ cups chopped and par-cooked veggies, if desired (I use sliced carrots and green beans)
Instructions:
1.  Pour chicken broth and enchilada sauce into a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add cumin and chicken breast(s)and simmer for about 1/2 hour, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove pan from heat.  Remove chicken, shred or chop into bite-size chunks, and set aside.
2.Whisk masa flour into hot broth, or use an immersion blender (i.e. Braun hand blender) until smooth.  (If you’re using the corn tortillas instead, put in the torn tortillas and let simmer in broth for a few minutes and then blend with an immersion blender.) If you don't have a hand blender, you may want to add 2 cups hot liquid into a regular blender with the masa flour (or tortillas) and blend, later returning mixture to the saucepan with the remainder of the broth and mix. 
3. Add chicken pieces and simmer on low for 15-25 minutes, stirring occasionally so the masa does not stick to the bottom.  You can also add chopped veggies or beans for added fiber and texture.
4. Heat about 1/2 inch oil in another pan for frying tortilla strips.  Cut tortillas in half and then cut into 1/8 to 1/4 inch strips.  Fry a handful at a time until crisp and golden.  Drain on paper towels and lightly salt.
Serve soup with tortilla strips, shredded cheese, and pico de gallo.
Makes about four hearty servings.

*You can cook the chicken as described in the recipe, or you can use a roasted chicken or grill up some chicken.  Tonight I used grilled chicken breast tenders that had been seasoned with Penzy's Spices Adobo Seasoning.  I shredded them once they were cool.  I must say, it resulted in one of my better pots of soup.


3 comments:

  1. Have you had the chicken enchilada soup at Palmers Deli? I've been trying to find a recipe for years that compares to theirs and haven't came across one yet!

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    Replies
    1. Hmmm...I have not tried their chicken enchilada soup. I've actually only eaten there once. I may have to do some research there. Have you tried asking them for the recipe? Just wondering. I will have to try the soup soon. Very soon.

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