Friday, November 21, 2014

Creamy Chicken, White Bean, and Green Chile Soup

Today, I'm sharing one of my most favorite of soups with you guys. This recipe has been hanging around my kitchen for years. Since right around Day 1 of my food obsession. I've told y'all the story before- how I became super unhealthy in college, gaining 70 lbs from the day I graduated high school. Eating, and eating, and eating until I reached my rock bottom. Either go up another size in clothes or change my life. I chose to change my life and "Cooking Light" was where I started. In the beginning, I created a username at and began to save recipes under my username. I would spend hours trolling the website, looking for new recipes to add to my bucket list. This soup just happened to be one of the first recipes I tried in the those days. 

You can find this recipe on Cooking Light's website under the name "Witches Brew Chicken Soup". However, since it's long past Halloween, I decided to call this soup what it is rather than stick to the themed name. Besides, this soup is good all winter, not just in the fall. It's creamy. Flavorful. Delicious. And customizable with your choice of toppings!

One of my favorite parts about this soup is that it's made creamy by mashing a can of beans and mixing it with a little bit of milk and flour. You know, rather than thickening with a larger volume of flour, and then adding heavy cream. This soup is so creamy, you'd never know it was made that way by a healthy trick. 

I suggest serving the soup with a nice crusty bread. You'll want to sop up every last drop of this soup. 

Choosing this soup to feature today actually brought about a really fantastic blogging idea for me. There are so many wonderful recipes I've got hidden in my Cooking Light archives. I think it would be fun to dig out some of my most favorite recipes I haven't made in years and feature them on the blog. Of course, I think this may be a project of the new year. We'll see. I've got Pumpkin and Pecan pies to make this week, Pumpkin Brownie Bread and Cinnamon and Toffee Chip Cookies in the pipeline, and then... dun, dun, dun... It'll be time to feature Christmas Cookies. I held off pretty long on choosing this years cookie menu, mainly because I get so darn excited I want to start at that moment. And cookies get stale, so they aren't anything you can make early. So I waited, and waited. Until yesterday. Temptation took over, and I was on Pinterest like white on rice. It only took about 10 minutes before I'd picked out what I was going to make this year. Above all else, I make Snickerdoodles every year. They are tradition, and everyone looks forward to them. I'll also be repeating my Christmas Crunch Popcorn. Mainly because the hubby's family is addicted to it. The rest of my lineup will be as follows: Cake Batter Christmas Cookies, Peppermint Truffles, Peanut Butter Cup Bark, and Homemade Turtles. 

And there I go. All excited again. And there's still a couple of weeks before I get to start! Argh, the humanity!

Ok, I'm going to try to get excited to bake my pies. I'm making my first-ever pumpkin pie! I freshly roasted another pumpkin yesterday, and I have big plans. Big, BIG plans. Pumpkin Pie, Turkey Pumpkin Chili, and as I mentioned before, Pumpkin Brownie Bread. 

Yep. Excited again :)

You know what I'll be doing this weekend. I hope everyone else has a fantastic and safe weekend!

Ingredients (serves 6-7):

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 (16 oz) cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained (divided)
1 (4.5 oz) can diced green chiles
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup almond milk
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped or shredded (I used leftover meat from a chicken I roasted)
1/4 cup cilantro
toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, sliced green onions (optional)


1. Add bacon to a large stockpot while cold. Place over medium high heat. Sauté bacon until crispy. Remove from pan with slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain. Set aside, reserving the bacon grease. You only need about a tbsp, so you may want to discard some grease if you have more. 
2. Add onion and carrot to the bacon grease. Sauté for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic to pan, sauté for 30 seconds.
3. Add chicken broth, cumin, and ground red pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 can of beans and green chiles.
4. In a small bowl, mash remaining can of beans. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour and milk. Add milk mixture to the mashed beans. Stir to combine. Slowly, and stirring the soup continuously, add bean/milk mixture to the soup. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soup thickens. Add chicken and cilantro, and heat until chicken is hot (about 2-3 minutes).
5. Ladle soup into bowls and top with desired toppings, including reserved crumbled bacon. 

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.
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