Monday, January 11, 2010

Soup Weather

The humidity in Virginia makes the 20- and 30- degree temperatures seep all the way to my bones. It is cold. Our windows seem to do nothing, so our heat runs constantly, and I find myself reaching for sweatshirts and blankets far more often than in winters past. Such weather calls for soup, I say! I made my mom's chili over the weekend, and tonight I made a new recipe for enchilada soup.
But first, speaking of my mom, I am going to have my very first Virginian visitor next week! My mom is making the trek out to see her only blue-eyed child, and I couldn't be more excited. And in honor of my dear mother, let me tell you how she thinks the mark of a true chef is one who can keep the kitchen clean as she cooks.
Now let me show you a picture of my kitchen after I made dinner tonight:

Clearly, my mom considers me an amateur. And, you know, I could say, "but I'm cleaning with an almost-two-year-old underfoot!" and to that, my mom would reply, "and I had five kids. Boom. Roasted." Oh well. We can't all inherit our mothers' neat-freakiness.

So, on to the soup. Now, please, set your calorie counters aside. These long winter months require us to stock up on our fat stores, see. That way you can stop reaching for the snuggie and just relish in your plumpness keeping you warm.
My sister emailed me this recipe a couple years ago, and I just now got around to trying it. It's rather simple, and incredibly delicious and filling. There is just enough spice to keep your mouth and body warm, but not so much of a kick to keep you reaching for the water after every bite. And it's rather thick, so I don't know that soup is the best word for it. Call it what it you will, it's scrumptious, and just the sort of thing to get me looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Enchilada Soup

8 chicken tenderloins, raw and cut into cubes

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cans chicken broth

1 generous cup enchilada sauce

3 scant cups water

1 cup masa (Mexican corn flour)

1 t salt

1 t chili powder

1/2 cumin

16 oz. velveeta cheese

In a large soup pot, brown the chicken in some butter, with the heat on high. Once it is fully browned, remove the chicken to a plate.
In the same pot, saute the onion and garlic until tender. Add the chicken back to the pot
Dump in the broth, water, and enchilada sauce. Stir and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat to low, then mix the masa, salt, chili powder, and cumin together in a separate bowl. Slowly pour the mixture into the soup while whisking briskly. Continue to whisk as fast as your little arm will allow to ensure that the masa doesn't clump. If it does, just keep whisking away until the clumps break up. Bring the soup to a low boil and stir constantly while the soup thickens.
Remove from the heat, and, once it stops boiling, add the cheese. Stir thoroughly to melt. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some tortilla chips.

Some notes:
When I said whisk as fast as you can when adding the masa, I meant it. And it will probably still clump. Just keep whisking; it will smooth out. I promise.
I stirred in some frozen corn to our individual bowls upon serving, as a way to cool it down. This was genius, because the sweetness from the corn worked so well with the heat from the enchilada sauce. I definitely recommend it. Also, I think the amount of cheese could be reduced slightly-- or at least cut it into cubes so it melts quicker. I ended up getting impatient and served the soup with large chunks of cheese sitting at the bottom of the pan. The soup still tasted great, which is what makes me think the overall amount could be reduced, but if you're intent on consuming the maximum amount of processed American cheese, just cut the cheese into small cubes to facilitate the melting process.


1 comment:

  1. when i saw the picture, i knew what it was! it's Chili's chicken enchilada soup! (google "copykat chili's chicken enchilada soup") i've been in love with this soup FOREVER!!!!