Thursday, January 16, 2014

White Bean Chili

This white chili came about due to a craving I've had the last 3 winters for a classic White Chicken Chili.  There's something about the green chilis, the cinnamon, the light hearty-ness of it.  This past fall, I figured out a plant-based version that satiated my desires.  The addition of barley, I decided, was the factor that changed everything.  Without it, it's just a nicely flavored white bean soup.  With it, though, there's a chewiness that I equate to heartiness.

I served this soup at our annual "first day of fall" party with two other chilis, but this one was the crowd favorite.  The picture doesn't show the fresh cilantro, but make sure you have plenty on hand for sprinkling! 

White Chili
serves 6-8

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 7-8 oz chopped green chilis
  • 1 TBLS cumin
  • 1 TBLS oregano
  • 3/4 - 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup dry barley or bulgar
  • 3 cans white beans (white kidney or great northern, or a combo)
  • 2 TBLS lime juice
  • fresh, chopped cilantro for garnish
  • s & p to taste
-- In a large pot or dutch oven, saute the onion and celery until tender.  Add garlic and saute another minute or two.
-- Add green chiles and spices and stir for a minute
-- Add broth, barley and 2 cups of water
-- Puree 1 cup of the white beans with 1 cup of water until smooth.  Add to pot.
-- Bring pot to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes
-- Add beans and simmer another 15 minutes until grain is fully cooked
-- At the last minute, add lime juice and stir.
-- Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with cilantro

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