White chicken chili could be made up of any number of things besides chicken—clear broth with chili ingredients, creamy broth with all white ingredients, or a medley of what you have hanging around in your pantry. Luckily I had a most excellent taste tester who knew exactly what he wanted in his white chili. This recipe is dedicated to my senior high school student with a busy school and work schedule, and a need for creamy chicken chili at a moment’s notice.
I’m slowly building a collection of favorite soup recipes that are easy to make. The one-meal kind that can be refrigerated or frozen and easily reheated. The kind that fill the belly and warm the soul. This is one of them.
The best way to defrost frozen soups (and a lot of other stuff for that matter) is to thaw them overnight in the refrigerator. I’ll leave you to your own devices if you don’t have overnight to defrost your frozen soup (such as immersing the frozen soup jar in a cold water bath to loosen it up and then warming slowly on the stovetop, or, gasp, the microwave on the defrost setting). To freeze, I split up the soup into quart servings (about 2 big bowls of soup), pour them into mason jars leaving about 2 inches of space from the top and then seal the jar with a top.
This soup has a few basic ingredients: a mix of seasonings, beans, chicken, broth, green chilis, and a creamy element, which can be dairy or dairy-free. For the chilis, you can use a can of diced mild green chilis (without additives) or you can make your own by quick-roasting a chili (it’s really easy).
There are a number of ways to make this dairy-free, so take a look at the head notes before you dive in. I was inspired by this recipe over at Cooking Classy. The roasted poblano pepper was inspired by this recipe over at Feasting at Home.
Roasted Poblano Chili
- 1 Poblano chili (90 g)
Gas burner method: Turn the burner on low to medium heat and use tongs to rotate the pepper over the flame until the chili pepper skin is charred on all sides. Rinse the pepper in cold water to remove the skin.
Oven method: Preheat your oven on a broil setting and place the pepper on a piece of foil. Roast the pepper in the oven for 5 minutes on each side, or until the skin is charred on all sides. Rinse the pepper in cold water to remove the skin.
White Chicken ChiliTo go bean/legume-free, replace the beans with bite-size cubes of roasted or steamed cauliflower, potato, or butternut squash. Some dairy substitutes you can use for creme fraiche include cream cheese, sour cream, or Greek yogurt. To make this dairy-free replace the cream with coconut cream, coconut milk, or other dairy-free milk. To make it lactose-free use yogurt or heavy cream that has been cultured for 24 hours. If you don’t have cooked chicken you can cut up raw chicken into bite-size pieces and cook them in the pan for about 5 minutes or so before adding the onions. For SCD, replace the cannelini beans with navy beans. Make sure to wash them whether you’re soaking them or they’re from a can. I know some don’t want to use beans from a can when following SCD, but if it contains no additives and is washed you may be able to handle them just fine. I’ll let you make that call. Also, use only SCD yogurt or cream, fermented for 24 hours. For the shredded cheese try aged white cheddar or Havarti.
- 1 small yellow onion, trimmed, peeled, and diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finey minced or pressed
- 4 cups (960 ml) chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 pounds (900 g) cooked chicken, diced or shredded
- 1 roasted poblano chili (about 90 g), diced (or 1 small can of mild green chilies)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder (or other chili powder)
- 3/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- 4 cups (about 2 cans) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces (240 g) crème fraîche, cream cheese, coconut cream or dairy-free milk
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- lime wedges and shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (or other cheese) for serving
- Place a large stock pot on a medium heat. Once warmed, add the olive oil.
- Add the onions and cook for a few minutes or until beginning to turn transparent.
- Add the garlic to the pot and cook for a minute or until the garlic is becoming fragrant.
- Add the stock, chicken, and chili pepper to the pot and blend well.
- Add the cumin, paprika, oregano, coriander, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt to the soup and blend well.
- Add the cannellini beans to the soup and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove about 1/2 cup of beans and soup stock and place in a blender. Blend until smooth and add it back into the soup.
- Add the crème fraîche and lime juice to the soup and blend with a spoon or spatula. Simmer for a few more minutes and then turn off the heat.
- Serve with lime wedges and shredded cheese.
Makes 4 to 6 servings