Monday, October 3, 2011

Soup: It's what's for dinner

A long, long time ago (ok not that long) when I lived in the grand ole' state of Illinois, once a month during the winter my grandma would host 'Soup Supper.' 

The purpose? One, to get my extended family with our busy lives all together for a few hours. And two, to eat soup. Betcha couldn't see that coming.

Each family would make a pot of soup to bring to 'Soup Supper', and we would have a feast of soup and cheese and crackers and bread. There was probably a vegetable or two in there somewhere, too. (Like the chopped veggies in the soup. Heh.)

I loved sampling all the different soups, but I always left completely stuffed! I guess three bowls of three different kinds of soup will do that to you.

Anyways, one night my cousin Charlie brought the most delicious Cheesy Chicken Enchilada soup. It was creamy and cheesy and spicy and chock full of Mexican flavor. I don't think I even tried any other types of soup that night. And I'm not sure anyone else got to try this soup, due to my mass consumption.

Anyway, the recipe he used was a knock-off of Applebee's Chicken Enchilada Soup. I don't know about you, but I have never ordered soup nor probably will ever order soup at Applebee's. (Their oriental chicken salad with the fried crispy chicken strips always has my vote.) So I have no idea if the soup was a good replication. But it was darn good. So I asked him what was in it. Chicken, tomato puree, Mexican spices, heavy cream, Velveeta cheese. No wonder it was so good. 

So I set off to make a healthier version of the soup. Because Velveeta cheese scares me just a bit. (Unless it's Velveeta Shells & Cheese. Then bring it on.) But that yellowy-orange brick that looks like it would bounce right back up if you dropped it on the floor? Doesn't get me all excited.

So, here's my version. No, it's not quite as cheesy, creamy as the original, but it's still really tasty. I think it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for the sake of my arteries. And so I can enjoy it more than once a year. 

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups tomato puree, (or 15-oz. can)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • dash cumin
  • 2-3 cups cooked & shredded chicken
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese, divided
  • sour cream, for garnish
  • tortilla chips, for garnish


Saute onion, green pepper, and garlic in 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock; bring to boil. Add tomato puree and seasonings. Let simmer 20 minutes.

Add chicken; let simmer 5 minutes. Stir in half & half and 1 cup cheese. Let simmer about 10 more minutes until creamy & smooth. (If there's still a few chunks, that's ok.)

Garnish with sour cream, additional cheese, and tortilla chips.

Source: Adapted from


Have Your Way said...

Yumm sounds so good!! Sounds like I needed to make this today when the weather we have going on here in Ohio!!!

O and your little trip to Vegas sounded very fun but also a little overwhelming!

Jessica @ rerunrunning said...

Oh man!!!! I was just telling Jason that I wanted to make soup for dinner, but that I didn't know any good soup recipes... this is perfect!!! (Then he told me that we're actually doing my mac and cheese dinner tonight... maybe a surprise planned for tomorrow?) Anyway, it's been rainy and cold and I've been craving soup and this sounds like just the ticket (like I can't think of a soup flavor I'd rather have than enchilada right now...) ... so I think I'll be making this Thursday... Thank you so much!!! (I'll let you know how it goes.)

Sara said...

@Have Your Way - I know!! Yesterday was definitely a soup kind of day.

@Jessica - hope you enjoy your mac & cheese tonite! If you try the recipe, do let me know! We planned on leftovers tonight (it makes kind of a lot) but got a free Domino's pizza instead from a facebook promotion. So leftovers tomorrow night, haha.

Cecily @ said...

I love soup for dinner. It still sounds good despite living in 24 hour heat! This soup looks delish, and I love that you've made it healthier. Not gonna lie, Velveeta scares me too. You described it perfectly! And made me laugh :)

Jessica @ rerunrunning said...

Okay, we just made it!! And it was a huge success!!!! Seriously, we both loved it! (The only thing I did different was to add in a can of whole olives.)

Thank you for this recipe... I can see this becoming a family favorite!! :)

Sara said...

@Jessica - yay, so glad you liked it! Olives would be good... adds another Mexican twist.

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