Monday, October 28, 2013

White Chili: It's What's for Dinner

It's been unseasonably cold here lately, and it's put me in the mood for soup. One of my favorite recipes is for white chili. My mother in law gave me this recipe when I was first married and learning to cook. I love it because it's simple, tasty, and quick - very little planning ahead needed. That works very well for me!

Here it is:

  • 1.5 lb. boneless chicken (If I have leftover chicken in the freezer, I use that. I freeze it in 2C bags and just dump one in.)
  • 28 oz. chicken broth (Tonight I used a 32 oz box of chicken broth - shh, don't tell the soup police!)
  • 48 oz cooked Great Northern beans, incl. liquid (Or, 3 cans. I used to be able to get a large jar of Great Northern beans when we lived in Michigan, but not in North Carolina. You could also cook your own beans, but that requires planning ahead. See first paragraph.)
  • 2-3 C chopped onions (You will get about 2 cups from a large onion. Trust me, that's plenty. After I have that sucker chopped up and ready to go, my eyes are watering so badly, I wouldn't dare attempt anything else with a sharp knife.)
  • 2T garlic, minced (I have a giant jar of pre-minced garlic from Sam's. This saves me from learning that my fresh garlic has all sprouted and is now useless. Again, refer to the first paragraph.)
  • 4 oz. green chilies, chopped, including liquid (One of those little cans. I don't have a clue how I'd prepare my own green chilies.)
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp oregano (I do not like oregano, so I would add half this amount or less.)
  • 1 tsp each cumin and coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (I think that's a lot. My husband likes things spicy and hot, but the rest of us, not so much. I can't remember ever adding this in this recipe.)

You can add any vegetables you like. I usually add 1 C chopped carrots and 1 C chopped celery. You might like to add some corn, or some jalapeños.

  1. Lightly brown the chicken, and dice or chunk to bite size.
  2. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. (I put the celery and carrots in there too.)
  3. Add chilis to onion and garlic.
  4. Place all ingredients in a pot, bring to a low boil, and serve.

See? Isn't that simple? Here are a couple more notes: 

  • I use my mini-chopper to chop the onions and sometimes the celery. It's not as good for the carrots, though, because if you cut them up too small, they turn the soup orange. That's less visually appealing for this soup. 
  • I use my soup pot to sauté the veggies. No sense in dirtying two pans.
Alongside, I usually try to have a salad and some bread. I know we're all supposed to be eating low-carb and avoiding processed carbs like bread, but soup needs bread. It just does. I might also steam some broccoli if I'm feeling ambitious. 

Let me know if you try this! I hope you like it! Click here for a printable version.

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