September 22, 2010

White Chili Chicken Soup; Chicken Broth & Roasted Green Chilies

White Chili Soup with Avacado
This soup is an all-time favorite!

Chicken Broth
Since I'd made the grilled "Dancing" chickens a couple nights ago and planned on a chicken left over, we'd put all the bones in a large pot and covered them with water. I always add a quartered onion with 3-4 whole cloves stuck in each onion piece, I cut off the leaf tops of celery I always keep in the fridge along with one of the older stalks cut up,  I look for the oldest carrot or two in the same fridge bin and cut up, then toss in some pepper corns and a tsp of salt. Simmer for at least an hour, then strain ... putting all in the compost. This is the way I make chicken broth all the time and freeze what's leftover. I like to freeze in pint sizes and whenever a recipe has a cream of ... something soup can, I make a white sauce of a couple TB of olive oil and WWflour in a sauce pan and stir in the thawed chicken broth till thickened. Because these bones and deboned chicken meat had been smoke-grilled, the soup flavor is even better ... and the chicken meat makes the best sandwiches ever too!

3 16oz cans northern white beans
4 c cooked chicken
1 Tb olive oil
2 medium chopped onions
2 cloves minced garlic
2 4oz cans chopped green chilies
2 Tb ground cumin
6 c chicken broth
3 c  grated jack cheese

That's how my good friend Jeanie, who's moved away, gave it to me. Now I'll tell you what I do:
I usually use canned navy beans, but might at times cook the beans from scratch, which would probably be about 2 cups of dry beans. I prefer the smaller white beans. I usually cook up a whole chicken, both for the meat and the broth. Otherwise I use organic chicken broth. I usually have cooked chicken and turkey in the freezer from past meals, but in a bind, I've used canned chicken. I can't tell you the sizes, but I think I used three cans.

Roasted Green Chilies Frozen
Saute the chopped onion and garlic in the olive oil. I always add more garlic than recipes call for. Then add the chopped green chilies. We always have frozen roasted anaheim chilies in our freezer from the farmer's market. I get a bushel roasted and usually 3 chilies equals 4 ounces. I don't remove the blackened skin when freezing, but remove it when thawed and I'm readying to chop them (and don't like washing it off, as I think I'm washing away good flavor, but just run my fingers down the chili to remove the skin, stem end, and seeds, then I do have to wash my hands to remove it all from them!). And the cumin, I grind fresh. I rarely buy pre-ground spices, preferring their fresh ground flavor. My cute little wood mortar & pestle sits on my kitchen windowsill.

If I'm taking the soup somewhere, then I put the cheese in it too. At home, we grate cheese and put some in our soup bowls and ladle in the soup. From another chicken soup recipe, I fell in love with fresh avacado cut in chunks and added to the soup bowls. When we have guests (some guests having had it more than once - and they love it!) we typically set up meals buffet style on our island in the middle of the kitchen that the stove is a part of. So the soup pot stays on the stove and there'll be a wooden bowl with wooden tongs of grated cheese and a bowl of cut up avacados (with fresh squeezed lime juice to keep them from browning). Homemade bread and salad top off the meal.
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