A week or so ago my long time friend, Tracy M. from Indiana, sent me a message asking me if I had a good white chili recipe. To be completely honest, I had no idea what white chili was, but I was definitely up for the challenge of finding her a great recipe! I did some research on the internet and tried to figure out what I thought would be the perfect recipe, once I realized what it was. I guess normally a white chili wouldn’t have dark beans, but I liked the idea of the flavor combination of the black and white beans together. Especially since the rest of the ingredients were leaning towards a southwestern feel. She wanted me to try it out first and see how it was, and since we were having a dinner party on Saturday night, it was the perfect opportunity.
When I was trying to explain this “white chili” recipe to my husband he kept saying, “Well, I don’t know, I am not sure I would like that. I mean, it sounds like a chowder or something.”
“WHAT? A chowder?” Then I looked up and realized that he was playing a video game while I was trying to explain this recipe to him. Ahhh, I understand now. “Yea, babe, it’s a chowder and it has monkey fur in it too, it’s all the rage.”
“I don’t know, I mean, I guess you would just have to make it and we would just have to try it.”
“Yea, ok babe, I will do that. Watch out for that zombie!”
Once I got this made, I am pretty sure he had 3 bowls that night. He loved it. He said that he really thought I was describing something totally different. (It happens when your only half-focused!) He even sent me a text saying how awesome of a cook I was! All over some monkey chowder….Err, I mean, Bonfire Chili. I was just going to call this black and white chili, but everyone here decided they wanted to call it something else. So, since we were having another bonfire that night, this is what they decided to call the chili. This recipe really was a hit with everyone, I was very pleased with how great this turned out. It was so good that I was wishing I had the ingredients to make another big pot of it on Sunday.
You can really kick up the heat in this recipe if you want to. I used mild Rotel tomatoes and about half a jalapeno and the flavor was amazing, without being too hot. You can use the original Rotel with a whole jalapeno and even throw in some red pepper flakes if you want to really kick it up a notch.
** This whole recipe is Gluten Free using the Better Than Bouillon for the chicken broth. If you do not have that product, just use another gluten free broth of your choice.
** This recipe can also be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth and omitting the chicken.
Even though it may seem like extra work, you have to make the fried corn tortilla chips to go with this. It really does take this chili over the top. The crunch was a perfect match. It really only took me about 10 minutes to fry the strips up and I did it during the last few minutes of cooking time on the soup.
This recipe will easily feed 8-10 people. I am sure that leftovers would freeze up great to be saved for another meal if you are not feeding that many.
- 2 tbsp oil (I used avocado)
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- ½ red pepper, seeded and chopped
- ½ yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
- ½ green pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 – 4 oz cans of chopped, green chili’s
- 3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans Rotel tomatoes, un-drained
- 1 pound of cooked chicken, shredded
- 6 tomatillos, chopped
- 1 Jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
- 1 ½ tsp cumin
- 1 ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, more if you like (I probably used 1/2 cup)
- Juice of one lime
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 cups chicken broth, use more or less depending on how thick you like your chili
- Optional for topping: Fried tortilla strips, Monterrey jack cheese, sour cream, guacamole
- Corn tortillas, about half of a package
- oil for frying
Cut up all your veggies so that they are about the same size.
I had never cooked with the tomatillos before making this soup. They have a thin outside covering, sort of like an onion, and they were sticky once I took off that covering. I scrubbed them really good (like I do all my veggies) and then gave them a good chop.
In a large soup pot, heat 2 tbsp oil over medium heat. While it is heating up put in cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder and minced garlic. Add in onion, red, yellow and green peppers, and jalapeño and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until they soften up. Add in chopped tomatillos, cilantro, lime juice, 2 cans of chopped green chili’s and 2 cans of Rotel tomatoes. Sauté for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are softened. Add in all of your beans and chicken broth and stir so that everything is combined. Cover and let simmer on low heat for about an hour. I checked this about half way through, giving it a stir and checking to see if the seasonings were ok. You should check it just to make sure you don’t need more seasonings for your taste.
I always cook my chicken separate when I am making soups. I can’t stand to eat boiled chicken for some reason. I cooked this in a large skillet in some oil and seasoned it with salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Once it was cooked I took it out and shredded it with two forks and then just gave the shreds a rough chop.
When the soup is just about finished, take out your corn tortillas. I used these:
Drain them on paper towels and sprinkle them with a little salt. Set them aside so you can top your chili with them. I was so tempted to just sit and eat them right off of this plate, they were so good!