This Chicken Enchilada Soup is a great recipe for cooking a week ahead, cooking for a sick friend, or cooking for a potluck. I came up with it a few years ago and have given it out again and again. I keep each batch of soup for myself, though.
All of the Mexican ingredients are available everywhere anymore. Major chains, organic groceries and specialty Latin shops sell everything you need for this recipe. Don’t wimp out! Don’t give in to any inherited women’s magazine cooking tendencies. Risk with the authentic ingredients, and you’ll be glad you did.
Chicken Enchilada SoupPrint Recipe
- 1 box of low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 28-ounce can of red enchilada sauce
- Freshly-ground black pepper
- 2 chicken breasts, minced
- 1/2 a large yellow or red onion, your choice, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 fresh Anaheim chiles, chopped
- 1 large can of diced tomatoes
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 1 block of queso quesadilla, or an equivalent amount of low-sodium Velveeta
- 3 handfuls of stale bits of tortilla chips, shaken to reduce salt
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon of ground coriander, more to taste
- Shredded extra-sharp cheddar for serving
- Sour cream for serving
- Pour the chicken broth into the crockpot and switch it on to low. You will never need to go to high for this recipe.
- Add 1 tablespoon each of coriander and cumin.
- Grind in some black pepper until it looks right; a pepper is a by-eye thing.
- Add the chicken and cook until the meat is soft); remove the chicken and run a fine strainer through the broth to pick up and discard cartilage or bits of skin. Refrigerate the chicken meat.
- Add the diced tomatoes and enchilada sauce, onion, garlic and cilantro. Cook for 2 hours at minimum.
- Add back the chicken meat, cut from the bone and shredded with a fork. Cook for a few hours, however long you need between tasks. At this point, you can let it cook overnight.
- Taste the soup. Add coriander and cumin to taste. Add the diced Anaheim peppers and cook until the peppers are softened for at least 4 hours.
- Add queso quesadilla, a small shaving or pinch of shreds at a time, diced as finely as possible. You must watch this part and stir constantly – the cheese needs to become completely melted into the soup stock for its salt and the overall thickness and richness it will add to the soup. Continue to cook after cheese is completely integrated, about 1 to 2 hours.
- Add tortilla chips and let the soup cook further until the chips disintegrate slightly. The chips will provide additional salt and thicken it to an almost stew-like consistency, which is the point of any Autumn or Winter soup.
- Taste the soup. You shouldn’t need a bit of salt, but if you do, now’s the time to add it. Grind in more pepper as needed.
- Serve with shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (for a taste contrast) and some nice, thick sour cream.