At first I was confused (since I was still half awake and in a pre-caffeinated state) then I realized it was 47 degrees outside! I dug a sweater out of my closet (I had previously been wearing tank tops/t-shirts), swaddled myself in a blanket and went about my morning routine. I was tempted to turn on the heat, but convinced myself not to be such a puss-puss.
One strong coffee and two hot chocolates later I realized I needed more hot liquid for warmth. That's when I decided to make this soup. From scratch (well except for the canned beans and corn). Since it was only the afternoon. I'm soooo glad I did. Cause it's one of my favorite soups ever. Not sure what it is exactly, but white chicken chili + cornbread puts me at ease. In other words, this is a great anti-stress, chill-you-out or cheer-you-up soup. Especially when you pair it with a glass of pinot noir. Mmm...
White Chicken Chili
A healthy, hearty and super flavorful soup full of creamy, fiber rich white beans, shredded chicken, corn, carrots, and onions all floating in a savory broth. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese, diced green onion, cracked black pepper and a fresh-from-the-oven cornbread muffin for the ultimate comforting meal.
4+cups of of low-sodium homemade chicken stock
1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1 tablespoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon of celery seed (if you don't have this, use minced celery leaves from the stalk)
Sea salt, to taste
Cracked black pepper, to taste
3 cups of organic great northern or navy beans (3 cans if you're not using homemade--make sure to drain & rinse)
1/2 cup of organic sweet corn
16-24 oz of cooked chicken, shredded (homemade roasted, poached or baked works or use a store-bought rotisserie)
Shredded mozzarella, for garnish (optional)
Diced green onion, for garnish (optional)
Dice the onion, carrot and celery. Place a teaspoon of olive oil in a large pot set to medium. When the pan is warm, add the onion and sauté for five minutes. Stir and add the celery and carrot. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Pour in the chicken stock (increase the amount if you like more broth), add the spices, beans, chicken and corn. Bring to a gentle boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes, or longer if you want to flavor to concentrate.
When finished, ladle a large serving into a bowl, top with shredded cheese, diced green onion and a cornbread muffin.
Notes & Tips
This is a quick recipe for when you're craving soup, but don't have hours to let it cook. However, if you do have the extra time...I would recommend making the stock from scratch with whole bone-in chicken legs. This makes the soup much more flavorful and rich. But, if you don't have time, I totally understand. I've eaten this particular soup with store-bought ingredients more often than homemade and it's still stellar!
Also, go crazy with the spices. I know I use more than what's called for in the recipe, but that's just me. I always add extra seasoning in everything I make. Plus, I enjoy white bean soups/chilis pretty salty, so there's that, too. For everyone else...simply taste then adjust the spices to your liking!
I have no problem scarfing up the leftovers, but if you want to switch things up, add some diced avocado, a dollop of sour cream and a generous squeeze of lime for a mexi-soup version. I actually did this on the first night I made it, then ate the chili traditionally for the next two nights.
Roasted Green Chile Cornbread Muffins
Easy cornbread muffins come together in minutes and are jazzed up with the addition of sweet corn and hatch roasted green chiles. Split them open and spread with butter or plop them right into your soup or chili.
Yields: 6-8 muffins
1 box of jiffy corn muffin mix (or make a homemade dry mix)
1/3 cup of organic milk (buttermilk is best, but it all works)
1 pastured egg
1/2 cup of organic sweet corn
1 can (4 oz) of hatch roasted green chiles, undrained
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Dump the dry mix into a medium sized bowl. Mix in the egg & milk. Don't overbeat it. The batter will be slightly lumpy--that's okay. Pour in the corn and green chiles and gently stir into batter. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes, then pour the batter into greased muffin tins, filling each tin 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a fork or toothpick stuck into the middle a muffin comes out clean.
Notes & Tips
Use whatever milk you have on hand for the cornbread, but if you have access to buttermilk, use that instead. It makes wonderful cornbread!
Chopped fresh or jarred chile peppers (like jalapeno) would give these muffins a great kick. So would a few handfuls of shredded cheddar!
Looking for more comfort food? Check out my Cast-Iron Chicken Pot Pie with a Cheesy Garlic Crust or Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder. Do you prefer healthier recipes? Try my Protein Packed Green Smoothie or Lemony Garlic Baked Chicken Thighs.
Question for Discussion: What's your favorite cold weather soup? Answer in the comments section below.