Even though it’s the height of summer, I’ve been craving warm chili. And for some reason, white chili seems more hot-weather friendly than regular ol’ red chili, so I decided to whip up a batch of white chicken chili. It’s not refreshing per se (not in the way that smoothies are, for example), but I find it comforting, even after a day in the sun. And anyway, how intense is air-conditioning these days? I went to the grocery store to get the ingredients for this and I was shivering the entire time! All my friends bring cardigans to work, too, because their offices are so cold (I know. #firstworldproblems) But yeah. If you have a little chill on because of the powerful AC where you are, take a taste of this chili. It’s also protein-laden, healthy, and makes terrific leftovers.
I wanted to use up the pretty purple peppers I got at my local farmer’s market, so my white chili has some little pops of faded purple throughout. And that makes me so happy. If you don’t have purple peppers (which are tiny, anyway) feel free to just use a green, red, or yellow pepper.
White Chicken Chili
making 6-8 servings
total time: about an hour
total hands on time: about 20-30 minutes
What you’ll need:
3/4 onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
1-2 peppers, diced
few tsps olive oil
1-2 tsps cumin
sprinkle of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
1 can of white beans of your choice (try cannellini)
2 cups shredded chicken (try roasting your own!)
3 cups chicken broth
1 can green chiles (4 oz)
1 can corn
optional: jalapeno peppers
What you’ll do:
1. In a large soup pot, saute the onions in the oil with the garlic. Once soft and translucent, add the peppers and cook for about 2 minutes.
2. Add the can of green chile, salt, cumin and cayenne. Cook until peppers are soft, another few minutes.
3. Next, add the broth, chicken, and beans. Simmer on medium for 20-30 minutes. I like to really let it simmer because I think it makes the chili more flavorful, but if you’re pressed for time, 20 minutes will be just fine.
4. Using a potato masher (or, if you don’t have one, like me, use the bottom of a sturdy jar), mash the white beans up so the overall mixture becomes thicker.
5. Stir in the corn, add another pinch of salt or another seasoning (if you think it needs it) and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
6. Garnish with LOTS and LOTS of shredded cheese, plus green onions or cilantro.
This is easily made vegetarian by omitting the chicken, but I’d add another can of beans if you’re going for a veggie option. You might even try to add garbanzo beans or lentils!