light & quick white chicken chili

i've been in kind of a food funk for the last month or two. where my google reader is typically busting at the seams every week with too many dinners, too many desserts, and too many snacks to make each week, lately it's been the opposite. few recipes have caught my attention and i've been mildly stuck in a rut of old standbys.

maybe it's the weather. we're stuck between 'is it still fall?' and 'is it finally winter?' at a time of year when the high is typically thirty degrees and we've already had a snow storm, we've had a full quarter inch of snow and the temperatures have stayed in the fifties, with no chance of going down. it's really odd. and throwing me off.

so to break the rut i've been in, i dug out a few old cook's illustrated special editions i picked up a couple months ago when borders was going out of business. which led me to a week's worth of new meals. starting with this easy & delicious white chicken chili. bonus that it's light and leftovers reheat perfectly.

light & quick white chicken chili
adapted from america's test kitchen healthy kitchen, summer 2011
30 minutes, serves 4

i made this with 2 poblanos and 1 jalapeno and it definitely had a kick, but wasn't too spicy. if you like your chili spicy, add another jalapeno; if you don't, skip it.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
2 poblano chilis, seeded and finely diced
1 jalapeno chili, seeded and finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
16 ounce can cannelini (or pinto) beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups precooked shredded chicken or 2 raw chicken breasts
juice of two limes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. if you're using raw chicken, bring a large pot of water to a boil. poach the chicken in the water for 10 to 15 minutes. remove the chicken and place in cold water for a few minutes before shredding. if you time it right, you can cook the chicken while preparing the rest of the soup. you will be tending to the chicken while the soup is cooking - instead of tending to them both at once.
  2. coat the bottom of a dutch oven with the oil and place over medium heat. saute the onion and peppers until soft, about ten minutes. add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about a minute. stir in the beans and broth.
  3. if you have an immersion blender, use it to blend about half of the soup. you want the soup to thicken a bit, but still want to see whole beans, peppers, and onions, so don't blend it all the way. if you don't have an immersion blender, blend about two cups of the soup in a regular blender and return it to the pot. cover, bring to a simmer, and cook about ten minutes. if you're poaching your chicken, now is about the time it's ready to drain, cool, and shred. let your soup simmer as long as it takes to get the chicken ready - if it's a bit longer than 10 minutes, no big deal.
  4. stir in the chicken, lime juice, and cilantro and cook until heated through. season well with salt and pepper. serve with shredded cheese and avocado.


  1. This sounds great. I like that it has a thinner broth...and I like the kick in this!

  2. Made this tonight - so delicious! Thank you!


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