Living in an Italian household, I grew up on this soup…only difference is it wasn’t called White Chili and it wasn’t at all spicy. For me, this is a new take on an old favorite and it has now become one of the most requested recipes in my family. I make the dairy version if I have half and half around that could be used up. If I’m out of it, I make the vegan version. Since I’m the type of cook that throws in a little of this and a little of that, I’ve had to guess on the measurements. Don’t worry though, I then made it according to those guesses to make sure it was right!

White Chili

Dairy Version:

In large saucepan with small amount of water (perhaps about 2-3 cups), simmer 4 large cloves of minced garlic. Simmer long enough to soften the garlic, about 5-10 minutes.

Add:

4 cans white northern or cannellini beans, drained
two pinches of cayenne pepper
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. dried chives OR parsley

In a cup, measure about 1/2 cup dairy half and half, then add a heaping T. of cornstarch. Dissolve and then add to soup to thicken. I also ladle out about 4-5 scoops of the bean/liquid mixture and blend. Add back to soup to help thicken. Add salt to taste. (I use a little black pepper also as I like it but I realize not everyone uses it for health reasons). Don’t worry about getting things exact because I always make it a little different.

Optional: I sometimes add a handful of ditalini pasta….it’s very small and made specifically for soups. If you do this it takes a bit longer because then you have to wait for the pasta to cook (about 12-15 minutes). It’s tasty though and makes the soup heartier.

Vegan Version:

I make it generally the same as above, sauteing the garlic in 2 c. water but instead of the half and half, I make a vegan cream of 1/2 c. raw cashews and 1 c. of boiling water in the blender. When using this method, I just put the spices in the blender (except the chives/parsley, adding it later or perhaps for garnish). I also add 2-3 T. chicken-style seasoning to the blender as well. I still use cornstarch but dissolve it in cold water or plain soy silk. If your soup gets too thick, just thin with water and adjust seasonings. I have often added a heaping Tbsp. of Tofutti Sour Supreme after taking it off the stove, stirring it in. It gives it a nice rich flavor. Of course everyone’s tastes are different, so adjust it to suit your family. We make it often. Hope you enjoy it!

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