Beat Winter’s Chill with Chicken Enchilada Soup

Here we are in January, smack dab in the middle of winter. For most folks around the country, it’s gray to the west, gray to the east, cold from the north and vacation to the south is still six weeks away. But January has something going for it. January is National Soup Month.

I love soup. It’s quick, easy and delicious. It’s the perfect comfort food. It warms you up and makes you feel better when you have a cold. And, oh, the countless versions. Plus, soup goes with just about everything: a sandwich; a salad; a bread bowl; another bowl of soup. I’m like Oliver Twist when someone serves soup: “Please sir, I want some more.”

I also love sharing recipes. In honor of National Soup Month, here’s a chicken enchilada soup that’s perfect for the winter months. It’s thick, creamy, a little spicy and a lot delicious. It’s also very simple. Throw all the ingredients into the pot in the morning. Walk away. Wait for the DING! Dinner time!

Prep time 30 min.

Cooking time: 6-8 hours

Serves 8

  • 1 chicken – cooked, shredded
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, mashed
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 7 corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil


  1. Place chicken, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chilies, and garlic into a crock pot. For an added dash of color, try red chilies. Will this also add heat? It depends; there are a vast number of chili pepper varieties. Some are quite mild. When using others, like the Carolina Reaper, it’s best to have medics on hand.
  2. Pour in water and chicken broth, and season with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Stir in corn and cilantro. Cover, and cook on low setting for 6-8 hours or on high setting for 3 to 4 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°.
  4. Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, spread on a baking sheet and salt.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle tortilla strips on top. Add a dollop of sour cream, if you wish.

For an easy way to transfer the soup to the table without carrying over the crock pot or individual bowls, pour some into one of our ice buckets.

– P.J. Butland