chicken enchilada soup

My favorite part about this cooler weather is that it's soup season!  I love both the comfort factor and the convenience factor of soup.  So warming (literally) and I can make it with everyday items from my pantry and fridge.  Also the leftovers!  Soup just gets better each day and it feeds us for almost the entire week.  

I think my favorite (although this is a close second), is chicken enchilada soup (not to be confused with tortilla soup which is okay, but not the same).  It combines my love of soup and my love of Mexican food into one beautiful dish.  I've made several iterations of enchilada soup before, but I always found it too watery.  I wanted something that was thicker with a little more oomph to it.  It was then, while eating a tamale from Mexicue at Madison Square Eats, when it dawned on me that I should stir in masa harina (the main ingredient in tamales - basically a Mexican corn meal flour) as a thickener to the soup! That's precisely what I did and it was just what my recipe was missing.  

This soup is hearty enough to serve all on it's own, although I'm partial to serving with corn muffins, chopped jalapenos, and some fresh cilantro on the side.  Did I mention it's only 250 calories per serving?!  I mean, you can even go for that full-fat sour cream with this one. :) Not to mention, this soup is perfect for feeding a crowd, very easy to double or triple.  In fact, it would make a lovely Halloween supper tomorrow night (it's even orange!).  Give this one a try - it's too easy and too tasty not to.

Chicken Enchilada Soup
Serves:  8
Total Time:  30 minutes (+ more time if you have to cook your chicken first)

  • 2 large chicken breasts, roasted and shredded (or shred the meat from a rotisserie chicken - you need 2 to 3 cups of shredded chicken)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Half large onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoons cumin
  • ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • ½  teaspoons chili powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup masa harina (if you can't find this in your grocery store, you can just use stone-ground corn meal)
  • 2 - 32 oz. boxes unsalted chicken stock (I used a little less than 2 boxes at first, but added more stock on the second and third days to loose it up after it thickened more.)
  • 1 - 15 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 - 15 oz. can enchilada sauce
  • 1 - 4 oz. can diced green chilies
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) Velveeta cheese, cubed (I know, it's not real cheese, but it is the perfect consistency for this!)
  • Diced jalapeno, cilantro, and sour cream for topping (not included in nutritional info)

  1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add olive oil.
  2. Once oil is hot, add onion and saute until soft.
  3. Add cumin, garlic powder  chili powder  cayenne, salt and pepper.  Stir until spices coat the onions and are fragrant.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large measuring cup (or small bowl), combine the masa with 2 cups of chicken stock.  Whisk constantly until it become thick, about two minutes.  
  5. To the soup pot, add in remaining chicken stock, enchilada sauce, canned tomatoes, and canned green chilies.
  6. Slowly whisk in masa-stock mixture.  Stir until soup becomes thick.
  7. Stir in shredded chicken and Velveeta.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  8. Top with your choice of diced jalapenos, cilantro, and sour cream.

Nutrition: (per serving, not counting toppings)
  • Calories:  251
  • Carbs:  22g
  • Fat:  7g
  • Protein:  25g
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