Wednesday, February 1, 2012

White Chili

My mom is an amazing cook but if there is one thing that I think she does better than anything else it is soup.  She makes a mean 16-bean soup, her chili is exactly what chili is supposed to taste like and her white chili is to die for!  

Recently she was making a huge batch of the white chili for a fundraiser at church called "Souper Sunday" where everyone makes a different soup and then sells it to on Super Bowl Sunday to raise money for the church and it's various outreach missions.  I was thrilled until I selfishly realized I wasn't actually going to get any but it was for a good cause so I guess this once I can overlook it...just this once!

Mom's white chili is a little different than some other basic "dump and stir" soups in that there is a process, steps that if not followed do not quite produce the same savory, hearty soup.  It's not difficult but requires a certain sense of preparation and patience....something I fear is becoming less and less prominent in kitchens these days!

White Chili
1 pound navy beans (soak overnight)
6 cups chicken brother
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped, divided
2 bay leaves
2 (4 oz.) cans chopped green chilis
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 chicken breasts
Combine beans, broth, garlic, half the onions and bay leaves.  
Simmer until beans are soft.  

Add more chicken broth if necessary.  
Saute the onions in a little olive oil and add seasonings and green chilies.  
Add onion mixture to beans.  

Add raw chicken, whole, to the soup mixture and simmer for 1 hour.  

When chicken is done remove it from the soup and cut into bite size pieces 
(I usually just pull it apart with two forks).  

Serve with salsa, sour cream, grated Monterrey Jack cheese and cut onion.
Note: The secret to this recipe is to stir often so that the beans do not stick to the bottom of the pot.
Since we were making this to be served later we put it up in plastic containers as it freezes wonderfully!
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