My husband could eat Mexican food everyday (he is from Texas). It was Soup Sunday so I decided to appease him and make some veggie enchilada inspired soup for him. This soup is a one pot meal that makes clean up soup-er easy!
I am a super picky meat eater. I often don’t eat meat out at a restaurant unless I know that it’s organic so I resort often times to vegetarian dishes. When we go to Mexican restaurants veggie or spinach enchiladas are a go-to for me. Depending on the restaurant the enchiladas can be with spinach and cheese or sometimes there will be zucchini and bell peppers in the filling. I thought, why not combine the two. For the base of my soup I used bell peppers, onions and zucchini. But because it was Mexican inspired I wanted to roast poblano peppers as well.
Poblano peppers look like a green pepper but darker in color and longer. I find the skin is a little tougher so I don’t use them unless I roast them and peel the skin off. It’s kind of a process but the smoky flavor from the charring on the pepper really adds to the complexity of the soup. Typically I put the peppers on a cookie sheet under the broiler and flip them until all the skin is charred. This time I used my grill pan to get the charred effect. I will say the amount of smoke from the grill pan was not worth the trouble. I will go back to the broiler next time. If you don’t want to spend the time peeling peppers a few cans of diced green chilis will do the trick.
Put the sides INSIDE…..
Sometimes I think the sides that come with my veggie enchiladas are better than the actual enchilada. I love rice and beans. But instead of having them as sides dishes (we are making soup after all) I added them inside the soup. After my veggies were cooked I added in my broth, tomatoes, enchilada sauce and beans. I use pinto beans to replicate refried beans but you could also use black beans instead. Then once that came up to a gentle boil in went the rice. Cooking the rice in the soup itself not only saves you a dish I think it makes the rice tastier. Because it is cooking in the spiced liquid it absorbs all the spicy and smokiness from the cumin and peppers.
Don’t forget your toppings!
Most of the veggie enchiladas I have had are topped with sour cream or guacamole and of course CHEESE! So to give the soup the same creaminess that sour cream offers I added in a splash of heavy cream. A little goes a long way. The cream gives the soup a little added richness that mimicks an actual enchilada. In addition to the cream I also top the actual soup off with pepperjack cheese, chunks of avocado and thinly sliced green onion.
This veggie enchilada soup has all the flavors of an actual enchilada. However since it’s in one pot you don’t have to worry about the mess that comes with stuffing tortillas. Furthermore, the flavors are just as good when the veggie enchilada comes in soup form.
Veggie Enchilada Soup
This soup has all the flavors and ingredients of a veggie enchilada - in one pot!
- 2 bell peppers, small dice (you want a small dice so that most of the ingredients are the same size like the beans)
- 1 red onion, small dice
- 2 medium zucchini, small dice (I cut my zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut each half again, then cut in long strips, then dice)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 TBS cumin
- 1 TBS chili powder
- 4 poblano peppers, roasted, skins removed, then diced or 2 cans of mild green chilis
- 3 cans of pinto beans, drained, not rinsed
- 1 c red enchilada sauce
- 1 14 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- 6 c chicken or veggie stock
- 1/2 c rice (I like basmati rice in this soup)
- 5 oz bag of fresh baby spinach, rough chopped
- 1/4 c heavy cream
- FOR TOPPINGS:
- scallions, thinly sliced
- shredded Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese
- avocado slices
- sour cream
- fresh jalapeños
- Step 1 In a large soup pot sautée onions, garlic, bell peppers, zucchini, cumin and chili powder over medium low to medium heat until softened, about 12-15 minutes
- Step 2 To the veggies add in beans, poblanos or green chilis, broth or stock, tomatoes, and enchilada sauce turn heat up to medium high and bring to a gentle boil, season with salt and pepper
- Step 3 Once the soup is boiling add in the rice and spinach, turn heat down to medium low, be sure to continue to stir so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom
- Step 4 Once the rice is cooked (10-12 minutes depending on what type you use) stir in the heavy cream
- Step 5 Serve with your favorite toppings
- Step 6 *NOTE: The soup will thicken up as the rice absorbs some of the broth, if you like a brothy soup add in more broth