Chicken Enchilada Soup

Is Indiana Jones just a guy thing? Do any of you ladies have a special place in your heart for Indiana Jones? Because I definitely don’t. I’d seen bits and pieces of all the movies before but for some reason couldn’t remember them very well. Now I know why. They are totally boring.

IMG_1669Eric loves the whole series. I decided to try out doing a “themed” stay-at-home date last weekend. I know Eric’s had a hankering to watch them recently, so we rented all the movies (thank you public library!), grabbed some Indian take-out (they go to India in Temple of Doom, okay? Like I need a more substantial excuse to get Indian take out.) and I made some “monkey brains” Monkey Bread for dessert. It was really fun. At least the food part was.

IMG_1685This was the first meal Eric’s mom ever made me. It was a few days after Christmas and I flew out to Montana to meet Eric’s family for the first time. I was 20 years old and scared to death. Eric and I had talked pretty seriously about getting married but weren’t engaged yet. It’s one thing to meet a boyfriend’s family, but knowing that they might soon become your family is a whooooooole different ballgame.

IMG_1706But I had nothing to worry about. Eric’s family is awesome. I should have known when I tasted this soup. Only awesome people make such awesome food, right? (That’s what I tell myself every day.) The fact that I have intense memories of the flavor of this soup in such a high-pressure situation is a testament to its deliciousness. Or perhaps it’s just a testament to my obsession with food.

Either way, I promise you will love this soup. Don’t be turned off by the fact that it calls for masa harina.

IMG_1710You can find this in the Hispanic foods aisle in any grocery store. It makes the soup so thick that you don’t even need to add sour cream, and it gives it that distinct enchilada-y flavor. Also don’t be a Velveeta hater! Embrace it! It’s the only way to keep the soup creamy. Shredded cheese will always gloop up on you. And nobody wants gloop-soup. Enjoy this!

Chicken Enchilada Soup


Source: my mother-in-law Kris, who got it from “Top Secret Restaurant Recipes” by Todd Wilbur

Serves 10

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound chicken breast (about 3), salted
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, pressed and minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup masa harina
3 cups water
1 cup enchilada sauce (I like green, red is fine)
16 oz. Velveeta (I use light)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin

For the Pico de Gallo:
4 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
3/4 cup diced red or yellow onion
3 tablespoons diced jalapenos (about 2, or 3 if they are small)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Juice of 2-3 limes
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Salt and pepper

For garnish:
shredded cheddar cheese
crumbled corn tortilla chips
Pico de Gallo
avocado (optional)

Add 1 tablespoon oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add chicken breasts to pot and brown for 4-5 minutes per side, or until they are no longer pink. Remove chicken from pot and set aside.

Add onions to the remaining oil in the pot (if there isn’t much left, add a bit more), and saute over medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until onions begin to become translucent. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add chicken broth.

In a medium bowl or measuring cup, add 2 cups of water. Add the masa harina gradually, whisking constantly. (This helps avoid grainy-ness.) Add masa mixture to pot with onions, garlic and broth.

Add remaining water, enchilada sauce, Velveeta, and spices to the pot and bring mixture to a boil.

Shred the chicken into small, bite-size pieces and add it to the pot.  Reduce heat to low and simmer soup for 30-40 minutes or until thick.

Serve soup garnished with shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled corn tortilla chips, avocado, and Pico de Gallo.

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2 thoughts on “Chicken Enchilada Soup

  1. This recipe looks great (in spite of the dreaded Velveeta). I’m always looking for ways to use up my masa flour, other than in tamales, mainly because I’m inept at wrapping tamales.

    And you’re crazy. Indiana Jones (at least, Raiders and Last Crusade) is awesome! You can’t knock the brilliance and beauty of a young Harrison Ford.

Thanks for the comments, foodies!

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