Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Soup

It all began with, "what should I make for dinner this week?", and I had all kinds of suggestions from my coworkers, one of which was chicken enchilada soup.  And since it was a freezing cold and snowy week here, I planned to make soup three nights that week.  I really don't get tired of soup when it's cold out.

Her recipe was good inspiration, but I changed it up quite a bit, eliminating the bechamel sauce of butter, flour and milk, as well as the grated cheddar, and adding more spices, black beans, fresh herbs and some cream cheese for a creamy and thick broth.

While sauteing onion, jalapeno and garlic in a little olive oil, I thought about how much I love the aroma of garlic browning in a soup pot.  There's no need for those little ceramic garlic keepers in our house, since we probably cook with one or two full heads of garlic every week.

Chicken broth, spicy enchilada sauce and crushed tomatoes created the base for an intensely red broth, which was slightly dulled by the cream cheese.  A little heat from the jalapeno, green chiles and cayenne pepper.  Black beans for texture, and of course the chicken.  And plenty of chili powder and cumin along with a little smoky paprika.

Lastly, I stirred in a dash of cream and some fresh cilantro and green onions for a bit of brightness.


One Year Ago:   Port Brownies
Two Years AgoBlueberry Frozen Yogurt Sorbet

Chicken Enchilada Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds discarded)
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 28 ounce can red chile enchilada sauce, medium hotness
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 ounce can diced green chiles, medium hotness
  • 3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded, or two 10-ounce cans chicken, drained
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup cream, whole milk or half 'n' half
  • handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • for garnish, cheese, sour cream, green onions, black olives, tortilla chips, etc.

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and jalapeno and season with a little salt and pepper.  Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the chicken broth, enchilada sauce, crushed tomatoes, black beans, green chiles, chicken, cream cheese, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and smoked paprika.  Bring to a boil, then simmer over medium low heat, stirring occasionally to incorporate the cream cheese as it melts, for 20-30 minutes until the flavors have come together.  Before serving, stir in the cream, cilantro and green onions; taste and add more salt, if needed.

Yields about 8 servings

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen, inspired by a friend