Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup

One Sunday after church, we went to Chili’s for lunch with some friends.  My friend highly recommended the Chicken Enchilada Soup, which my husband and youngest son then ordered.  Hubby gave me a taste of his and I thought it was pretty good, then, when my little guy ate his, he asked for seconds and raved about it for days!  So I knew I needed to find this recipe.  And voila!  CopyKat Recipes had it!
1/2 C. Vegetable oil
1/4 C. Chicken base
3 C. diced Yellow Onions
2 tsp. ground Cumin
2 tsp. Chili Powder
2 tsp. granulated Garlic
1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
2 C. Masa Harina
4 qt. Water (divided) (I actually used 3 qts of water as we like a thicker soup)
2 C. crushed Tomatoes
1/2 lb. processed American cheese, cut in small cube
3 lb. cooked, cubed chicken
In large pot, place oil, chicken base, onion and spices. Saute until onions are soft and clear, about 5 minutes. In another container, combine Masa Harina with 1 quart water. Stir until all lumps dissolve. Add to sauteed onions and bring to boil. Once mixture starts to bubble, continue cooking 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. This will eliminate any raw taste from Masa Harina. Add remaining 3 quarts (here’s where I added only 2 more quarts rather than 3) water to pot. Add tomatoes; let mixture return to boil stirring occasionally.
Add cheese to soup. Cook stirring occasionally, until cheese melts. Add chicken; heat through. Makes 1 1/2 gallons or 16-20 servings.
Please note you must mix in the mesa harina into 1 quart of broth completely.  If you add the masa harina into the soup directly it will be difficult to mix in and may be lumpy.  If you feel 2 cups is too much masa harina I have made the soup with 1 1/2 cups successfully.
My family also asked for the “chippy things” that were sprinkled on top.  To make those, I cut several corn tortillas in half and then in thin (1/4 inch) strips.  I spread them on a cookie sheet, sprayed them a little Pam, and baked them at 475 degrees for 5-7 min (until crispy).

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