Mr. B and I were walking through the grocery store together the other night, and he slipped his arm around me, leaned in and said, “It’s really beginning to get chilly these days. You can start sending soup with me in my lunch again.” So romantic. Nudge, nudge. Well, we both love soup, and it is definitely that time of year, so I thought I’d start a trend by sharing one of my all-time favorites with you – my copycat recipe for Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup. With or without chicken, this soup is warm-you-up-from-the-inside, stick-to-your-ribs yummy.
Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup has always been a favorite of mine, but I’ve only recently started making it myself because I thought it would be difficult to veggify. Boy-o-boy, was I wrong. In fact, this vegetarian-friendly version has all of the flavor and pop of the original even when you leave the chicken out, and still offers the option for meat-eaters to enjoy as much chickeny-goodness as they please!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ½ cups vegetable stock
- 1 can diced tomatoes (I use S&W Petite-cut Tomatoes, Diced With Sweet Onion & Roasted Garlic – these are my absolute favorite canned tomatoes for cooking)
- 1 can mild enchilada sauce
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 6 small or 3 large corn tortillas, cut into ½- ¼ inch pieces (I use a pizza cutter or ulu to do this.)
- 8 ounces Reduced Fat Velveeta (or other processed American cheese), cut into ½ inch cubes
- ½ cup grated pepper-jack cheese
- 1 ½ cups frozen corn
- 2 cups shredded or chopped roasted chicken
- Grated Pepper-Jack
- Sour Cream
- Tortilla chips or strips
- Sauté chopped onion in olive oil until it just starts to turn brown. Add garlic and sauté one minute more.
- In a medium sauce pan, combine vegetable stock, diced tomatoes, enchilada sauce, spices and tortilla pieces. Add sautéed onion and garlic and simmer five minutes.
- With an immersion blender, blend soup until it reaches the desired consistency. (This step is optional, but necessary if you want a smooth soup.)
- Add cheeses and stir until they are completely melted. Stir in corn and simmer 5 minutes more.
- If you are serving this to an all meat-eating crowd, add the chicken with the corn; otherwise, serve it in a separate bowl on the side.
8 pts per serving: PointPlus, calculated on the Weight Watchers Website, without chicken.
A few notes about the ingredients:
Velveeta/Processed Cheese: First of all, by now you know that I am not a big fan of processed food. Not only is it not good for us, but it usually tastes like Box. However, after a lot of experimenting, I’ve come to accept that processed cheese is the best thing to use to achieve that “Chili’s” soup flavor and consistency that I’m looking for.
Corn Tortillas: Most of the copycat recipes for this soup (and there are a lot of them!) call for the use of masa harina (corn flour) as a thickener. I chose to use used corn tortillas for two reasons: first, I personally like the consistency that I get with the tortillas better, and second, not everyone has a bag of masa harina sitting around, and I don’t want you to have to run out and buy one just to make soup. The tortillas solve that problem.
Serving it Veggie-friendly: Serve the soup in bowls with the chicken on the side, along with sour cream, shredded Pepper-Jack, and crisp tortilla strips. Could not be any easier.