Chicken Enchilada Soup
The end of January has brought cold, nasty weather and a gnarly case of the sniffles to North Carolina. Yep, that’s right; this blogger is getting over a cold. I took a few days off this week to rest and recover under the direct supervision of my two favorite sick nurses. The first night my wonderful fiancée made my guilty pleasure for dinner, blue box macaroni and cheese. The second night I was starting to feel better so I decided to get up, stop being a slug, and make Chris and myself soup.
I chose to make my hearty and fufilling chicken enchilada soup. It’s perfect for a wintry day or when you don’t feel like exerting a lot of effort…or both in this case. This recipe is more about ingredient assembly than cooking and all it takes is 15 minutes of effort, a can opener, and a slow cooker. The soup simmers away in the pot for 6-8 hours, making it an easy dish to start one morning before you get to work (or around noon if you’re deeply involved in a “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” marathon). This recipe is a crowd pleaser and has something for everyone; heaps of shredded chicken breast, hearty black beans, sweet corn, plump tomatoes, and a perfectly flavored soup base of broth, enchilada sauce and cumin. I adore cumin; it’s nutty and warm and gives everything a wonderful depth of flavor. It’s the most used spice in my drawer, the soup wouldn’t be as stellar without it.
Once the chicken enchilada soup is completed, I’ve got a meal that stuffs Chris and I both, but also supplies leftovers for the next few days. The soup gets better the longer it sits and can be topped with all sorts of goodies. My favorite combination is cheddar, sour cream, and a little bit of Thai chili paste. This soup is really great for weeknight entertaining as well; just serve it with some tortilla chips and a toppings bar and you’re set. My favorite way to eat this soup however, is sitting under a fuzzy blanket, watching television with my two favorite space heaters.
Chicken Enchilada Soup
2 pounds chicken breast
1.5 cups chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) corn, drained
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies
1 (10 ounce) can red enchilada sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 heaping tsp. cumin
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
Add chicken to slow cooker. Cover with the broth, beans, corn, chilies, enchilada sauce, tomatoes, cumin, red pepper flakes and salt. Stir everything until mixed. Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours. Remove the chicken and shred. Stir refried beans into the hot soup until creamy. Add chicken back into the slow cooker and ladle the soup into bowls. Top with your favorite things.