White Chicken Chili

Happy Halloween! I like having soups on Halloween to warm our bodies up either before, or after we’re out trick or treating in the cold. Either that or Jack-O-Lantern Pizza. I make that using my whole wheat pizza dough and then use pepperoni to make eyes, nose and mouth for our jack-o-lantern. When my kids hear we’re having soup for dinner, they’re usually not very excited (Charles is the exception), unless it’s tomato soup with cheese sandwiches, or this one? Why this one? Well, Annabelle loves the beans, Elisabeth loves chicken and mexican type foods, Charlie loves brothy soups, and all the kids like to dip tortilla chips in anything; so this pretty much covers everyone! Granted, a couple of our kids eat A LOT of chips with this soup (I’m pretty sure our 8-year-old Elisabeth eats more chips than soup. She’s our pickiest), but it’s all good. I’m just happy we don’t have to break out the PB & J for those of our children who will only eat the mandatory three bites; with this soup, they’ll eat until they’re no longer hungry, some of them have several servings.

Here’s what you’re going to need: chicken broth or water and ‘better than bouillon’, onion, cubed chicken, garlic, cumin, lime juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, cilantro, and  diced green chiles(be sure you read the label and make sure it’s diced rather than whole chiles to save yourself some work, and definitely do that before you buy an entire case of 24…not that I did that :))

Chop up your cilantro. Generally when I cut up my cilantro, I line up the ends, cut off a good part of it and toss, and then chop up the top half. It’s fine if you have the stem in there, I always have some, but I do like to get rid of big pieces all in one cut.

Saute your onion over medium heat in a big pot with olive oil until the onion is translucent. Once you’ve done that, sprinkle your chicken with a little salt and pepper and throw it in with the onion. Add the garlic and stir it all together. Cook the chicken for several minutes, until there’s no more pink. *

Then you’ll add your can of chiles, your beans, seasonings and broth. Stir it all together and bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add in the chopped cilantro and lime juice. You can then ladle it into your bowls and add some toppings. Give it a couple of minutes to cool so you don’t burn your tongue…or just add extra sour cream and cheese if you can’t wait that long :).

White Chicken Chili Soup- lightly adapted from Our Best Bites

1 T Extra virgin Olive Oil
1-2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 medium onion, diced (white or yellow)
2 tsp minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
4 c cooked Great Northern Beans (about 3 cans, drained)
1 3.5 oz can green chilies
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t dried oregano leaves
1/2 t salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
3 Tbsp lime juice (or 1 lime squeezed)
1/2 C chopped cilantro
4 c or 32oz chicken broth

Optional Toppings:
Sour cream
Cheddar or Pepperjack cheese, grated
Avocado slices
Tortilla Chips

In a large pot over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add diced onion and cook about 2 minutes- just until it starts to become translucent. Sprinkle cubed chicken with a little salt and pepper(not the half tsp listed above, just a little sprinkle) and add to pot. Add garlic. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add the whole can of green chilies, juice included. Add beans, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and then add chicken broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the juice from one lime and the 1/2 C chopped cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with sour cream and other toppings.

Makes about 8 cups of soup.

*Instead of cooking your own chicken, you can also buy an already cooked rotisserie chicken (Costco has them for a great price and they’re hormone free), pull off a couple cups of the meat with a couple of forks, and throw that in with your onion.

**A lot of soups freeze well, and this is one of them. You can put single servings into freezer zip-locks or freezer-safe containers for a quick lunch, or freeze in larger quantities and allow to thaw in fridge the day before.

***After you’ve sauteed onion with oil and have chicken cooked through, you could also throw all the ingredients in a crockpot on low for a few hours. I’ve cooked hard white beans in the morning on high for 5 hours in a crockpot and then saved 4 c of the water I cooked it in, drained everything else, dumped the water back into the crock pot and added chicken or vegetable bouillon(better than bouillon) the sauteed onion, cooked chicken and everything else and cooked it on low another hour or two.

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