The other day I was firmly convinced I wanted white chicken chili. But then I realized that A) I neither had enough chicken to make this endeavor a true success and B) I really didn’t want the whole green chile flavor in my bowl. Not that I dislike this combo, I just wasn’t feelin’ it that particular day. Still, I wanted something creamy, bean (if it sounds like a word, it’s a word), and chicken, with a bit more substance than the average white chicken chili (and there are SO MANY of them out there it’s almost boring). Those of you who can neither stomach nor physically handle the green chile thing will appreciate this soup.
I had fun making this because I’m currently obsessed with pureeing everything. I’m not sure if I’m reverting to babyhood or something (I’m not, I promise), but I just really like mixing up random ingredients and turning them into something completely different. It’s an art in its rawest form if you ask me. Anyway, I thought it would be fun – not to mention far healthier – to create a creamy soup without using the heavy, fattening (and expensive) things like heavy whipping cream and a metric ton of butter. Hence the need to puree. Navy beans lend themselves beautifully to this type of recipe because of their naturally smooth flavor and they are very inexpensive, especially if you buy the dried beans versus the canned kind. Of course, you can definitely make this with canned beans if that’s all you have time for, but lately, I’ve been making the switch to using dried beans and have noticed it doesn’t take that much extra time to prepare them (if you’re organized, of course). Not that I’m not drowning in extra time these days, but even when I was still working, I just made sure to soak the beans overnight and cook them while I was getting ready the following morning. Once these are cooked, everything else is super easy! I like to make a big batch and use them for different recipes too, so that’s another good way to cut back on any extra time spent in the kitchen.
For those of you who do not eat meat, simply omit the chicken and replace the chicken broth with veggie and you will also be able to partake of this comforting little soup/stew. Though there’s no dairy or cheese or any of that fun, delicious creaminess, this will still be a very warm and filling soup that anyone can enjoy. Plus, it has that added punch of all that extra fiber from the bean broth, not to mention a delicious, smooth texture broken up by all those chunky veggies and tender chicken. Okay, now I want another bowl! Let’s check out the recipe first.