>> Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This soup is one of my favorites of all time. When we moved away to go to college in 2004, our new tiny town didn't have a Chili's, and I was so bummed. Every time we went home to visit, which was pretty often because we were only an hour and a half away, I'd always make sure I went to Chili's to get a bowl of soup to tie me over until next time.
Then, one day, I realized, DUH! I can find the recipe online and can make it at home! Wow, I'm smart. I couldn't find the exact recipe, but I found a few that gave me some good places to start, and then I tweaked it to make it a pretty darn good replica, if I do say so myself.
Each recipe I found for this soup used an ingredient I'd never heard of before, Masa Harina. So to spare you the temporary anxiety I had from not knowing what this ingredient was, let alone where to find it: it's a Mexican flour found in the baking section of your grocery store, and it's used to make tortillas, tamales and the like.
You can really use whatever you have on hand in this recipe. If I have cans of broth and enchilada sauce, I use that. But most of the time, I just use bouillon cubes and packaged enchilada sauce (both prepared according to package directions). It tastes fantastic either way. If you use bouillon cubes, though, use a little less salt than the recipe calls for. Those are much saltier than canned broths.
This makes a huge pot of soup. I made it the other night for my family of 5, and we all had 2 bowls, plus we all had some for lunch the next day, and I still have at least 1 more bowl's worth in my fridge. But it's so good that you won't mind eating it for like 3 days straight or longer. Oh, yum, now I know what I'm having for lunch!
1 pound chicken breasts, cooked and diced or shredded
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup Masa Harina
3 cups water
3 cups enchilada sauce
16 ounces Velveeta, cubed
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
Garnish (pick and choose from this list -- they're all great!):
tortilla chips, crushed
cheddar cheese, shredded
tomatoes, sliced or diced
avocado, sliced or diced
pico de gallo
red onion, diced
green onions, diced
Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Saute onions and garlic until onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth. Combine Masa Harina with 2 cups water, and whisk until well-blended. Add to soup. Add remaining water, enchilada sauce, Velveeta, chicken and spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes, or until thick.