I’ve been wanting to try to make chicken enchilada soup for years. WHY have I waited so long to do it? This is going to be a regular thing throughout this soup season.
In Bend, there used to be this little soup restaurant downtown. It served 5 or 6 different soups every day, with bread, and I am pretty sure that was it. At least, that was all I ever even thought of ordering. My favorite soup there was the chicken enchilada soup, and that’s what I was going for here. A thick, spicy, enchilada-sauce-type broth, filled with shredded chicken and vegetables.
Good soups are the most perfect meal. Tons of vegetables, some protein, served up all hot and steamy and comforting . . . and healthy. At least soup can be healthy, if it’s not full of heavy cream.
Unfortunately, most of the time “soups of the day” are cream based calorie bombs, so I rarely order soup when I go out.
I’m not sure if that little soup cafe is still there in Bend. It was for years, even though it changed ownership and names several times, maintaining the same soup-heavy menu. If it’s not, it should be. And there should be many, many more like it EVERYWHERE!
I love tomato based soups. They are thick, flavorful, low calorie, and packed with lycopene, a nutrient that helps ward off cancer.
This soup is also a great source of gelatin (<– read more about the health benefits of gelatin). I have been roasting a whole chicken most weekends lately, and we do enjoy the chicken, but I really do it more for the soup that comes the next day.
This soup is made with fresh chicken stock, which is super simple to make. Roast a chicken, and enjoy it as a meal one night. Make sure you have a bit of chicken left over for your soup! We usually eat most of the breast meat, and then the next morning, I pull off any of the remaining meat (mostly the dark meat). Add the carcass to a large soup pot, and fill with enough water to cover the bones. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and continue to cook for about 2 hours. Add more water, if needed. After its cooked down well (the bones have fallen apart), strain the stock to remove the bones/skin, and you have a beautiful chicken stock.
Another tip to keep this soup ultra healthy? The crunchy tortilla strips are baked. Just corn tortillas, sprayed with olive oil spray, sprinkled with sea salt, and baked. I’ve made tortilla chips using this method for years. I think I like them better than actual chips.
Happy Soup Season!
Chicken Enchilada Soup
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 1 15- ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 6- ounce can tomato paste
- 6 cups chicken stock (read above for how to make your own. Can sub vegetable broth or bouillon)
- 1 cup water
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube (I use Rapunzel)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons high quality chili powder
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano (sold in the Hispanic section of most grocery stores in plastic bags)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon molasses sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 15- ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 carrot diced
- 2 bell peppers (I used 1 green, 1 yellow)
- 2 ears fresh corn removed from cob
- 1 zucchini sliced and quartered
- 2 cups shredded chicken (from roasted chicken, or shred 2 cooked chicken breasts or thighs)
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- cilantro (garnish, optional)
- cheddar cheese (garnish, optional)
- 6 thin corn tortillas
- olive oil spray
- sea salt
- Read the post above for information on how to start this soup from a whole roasted chicken. If you'd prefer, start with canned chicken stock or use vegetable bouillon instead (I recommend Rupunzel.)
- Add olive oil to a large soup pot, and saute onion until it's translucent, about 7-10 minutes.
- Add the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, water, and vegetable bouillon cube. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
- Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, and molasses sugar to the broth. Taste, and add sea salt, if necessary (will depend on your chicken stock).
- Add the carrot and bell peppers, and continue to cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the black beans, corn, zucchini, chicken and lime juice. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, then remove soup from heat.
- Serve the soup topped with cilantro, cheese, and tortilla strips.
- Slice tortillas in strips. Lay out on a cookie sheet, and spray with olive oil spray and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in a preheated oven at 425 f for about 10 minutes, watching carefully to not burn. Turn oven off, and allow tortilla strips to sit in the heated oven to continue crisping.
Comment below and tell me what your favorite soup is!
Do you have a favorite soup you’d like to get a healthy makeover for?
Other Warming Soup Recipes
- Turkey Bacon Split Pea Soup, by iFOODreal
- Healthy Crock Pot Jalapeno, Chicken and Corn Soup, by Krafted Koch
- Fat Burning Vegetable Bean Soup, by Not Quite Vegan
- Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Soup, by Ohsheglows (<– I make this several times a year!)
- Creamy Chicken and Rice Soup (Dairy-free), by Vitamin Sunshine
- Summer Minestrone, by Vitamin Sunshine