Chili’s Enchilada Soup

I try to go out to eat here and there. Sometimes I get lazy to cook, and other times I hit a wall that is actually an empty pan. That empty pan has a big question mark in it. “What do I make tonight?”  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need a little inspiration in my cooking routine.  That’s when I say, “grab your shoes, we are going out!”

Having kids with a boring palate complicates things a bit.  However, they can also inspire me to change it up.  My little Chef Takis loves everything.  He is easy to please.  Just like my husband.  Boys eat everything, at least mine do.  It’s Benan, aka, Nanie, who is the picky eater.  So when she came home one day from a playdate and said, “Mom, I love Chili’s Enchilada Soup!”….I couldn’t catch my breath.  She said she “loved “a food…that I didn’t make???  I almost felt cheated on by my own flesh and blood.  I am not the jealous type…unless you cheat.  But, if my little girl loved a soup, then I will make her love mine more;  and she did.  Mission accomplished.

Here is the recipe with a few pictures of key ingredients if you have no idea what I’m talking about:

Enchilada Soup

4 chicken breasts or thigh meat, seasoned with Taco seasoning
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrots
3 cloves of diced garlic

4 cups of water

1 cup of chicken stock
1/2  cup Masa Harina mixed with 1/2 cup of water
12 ounce can of Enchilada Sauce
8 ounces of Velveeta Cheese
Add 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. pepper, 2 tsp. chili powder, 2 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. cumin

Topping:  Sliced avocado, sour cream/queso fresco and 5-corn tortillas for topping (cut into strips and fry)

First, cook your seasoned chicken breasts or thighs for 7-8 min in a large stock pot.  Remove meat from pan, and set aside to cool.  Shred the meat when cool. I toss my meat in my Kitchen Aid with the cake beater so it can shred it for me.  Make sure you add the chicken juice to it and the mixer does all the work.  You can use a hand mixer too.

In the same pot, sauté the onions, carrots and garlic until browned (this will soak up some chicken flavor left in the pan)
Add 3 1/2 cups of water and one cup of chicken stock to the onions, carrots and garlic once browned.
Add one 12 ounce can of red enchilada sauce (mild for kids or spicy for the caliente adults).
Mix 1/2 cup of Masa Harina (see picture above) with 1 cup of water until it forms a thick paste.  Add this to the pot of stock and enchilada sauce.

Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until thick.
Add 8 ounces of Velveeta block cheese (cube the cheese so it melts faster)  Hint: to all you food critics, do not attempt to use another cheese because you think this is not real cheese.  Trust me, your kids will say “this does not taste like Chili’s Enchilada Soup.” Because, you did not use the block cheese.

Add 2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. pepper, 2 tsp. chili powder, 2 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. cumin

Add shredded chicken meat to stock pot.

Ladle the soup into bowls or big coffee mugs and top with fresh fried corn tortilla strips and Cheddar Cheese and a dollop of sour cream or queso fresco and avocado slices if you have them.  Done! Enjoy with your family! Make kids and husband wash dishes while you relax.  That is part of the recipe too.


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