Thursday, May 10, 2007

Chili's Chicken Enchilada Soup

Quick and delicious soup. Nothing better. Pardon the photo. That was my second bowl of soup. Maybe next time I cook it I'll remember to do the photo-op first! This soup also feeds an army, so it is a great meal for a potluck or guests. Make sure you have a bag of tortilla chips on hand. If you add a Mexican salad, iced tea and a bowl of cold black olives to the table, you'll have a meal fit for a king... or maybe el Presidente.

I have NO idea who gave me this recipe, so if it was you: THANKS! I believe it is supposed to be a weight-watcher recipe as well (5 points per serving without the Pepper Jack Cheese). I didn't let that stop me from adding ALL of the recommended ingredients, however. They are too good to leave out. If you like Tex-Mex, add a tad more Cumin. I even added a fourth cup of dry white wine to my soup right after cooking my onions... but that is entirely optional and I have made it both with and without (tastes great either way).

If you have trouble finding Masa Harina, ask your grocer where the Mexican specialty items are. Usually, they will have a bag of corn flour used for making tamales. It should say Masa on the bag. If they have it in Arkansas, they have it in your town - trust me!

2 Tbsp. Vegetable or Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Chicken base (or several cups chicken broth)
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 seeded Serrano pepper or chili cut lengthwise in long, thin strips (optional)
4 oz. chopped green onions
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
1 tsp. - 1 tbsp. chicken bouillon if you don't use base
1 cup Masa Harina (also called Masa - for tamales - Mexican corn meal - DO NOT use regular corn meal)
8 cups water (6 if you use chicken broth - adjust less water for more chicken broth)
1 cup crushed tomatoes
4 oz. (half a tiny box) Velveeta Light - cut in tiny cubes for quick melting
1 to 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
22 oz. boneless skinless chicken breasts - cooked in butter and salt and cubed (you can use canned chicken breast in a pinch)
15 oz. can black beans (drained)
1/2 bag of frozen corn or 1 can of corn (drained)

In a large pot on medium to medium high heat, place oil, onions, chili pepper (if used), and spices. Sauté until onions are soft and clear (about five minutes). Meanwhile, in another container, combine Masa with 2 cups of water. Stir until lumps dissolve. Add chicken base or bouillon and heat, stirring. Add Masa mixture to pot and bring to a boil. Once mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking for 2-3 minutes (stirring constantly) to eliminate any raw taste from the Masa. Add remaining 6 cups of water or broth to pot. Add tomatoes; let mixture return to boil, stirring occasionally. Add the cheeses to the soup. Cook stirring occasionally until cheese melts. Add chicken and heat through.

Serve with tortilla chips and some reserved pepper jack cheese sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

Serves 8 (or so).

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