2 Bean Chicken Chili Soup

 

 

2 Bean Chicken Chili Soup.

 

When I was young, I didn’t like anything with the name “chili” attached to it. I admit it—I was a spice wimp. I also disliked most beans. To me, unless it was your standard green bean it was considered inedible. I’m not sure where all that came from. Growing up, I was known as the picky eater in the family. Since then, I’ve often wondered if having three siblings was part of the equation. In some ways, I suspect being picky was a way to get attention, and yet at the time I was absolutely convinced I didn’t like the flavors and textures of many foods. Thankfully, things have changed for me. Now, I’m constantly surprised to discover that foods I once considered awful are surprisingly delicious—like this two bean chili chicken soup.

 

To be fair, the chili I ate as a kid often contained beans and as far as I can tell chili doesn’t have to contain beans at all. Thus, if you’re a bean hater like I was you might be surprised by chili recipes that go without.  I’m still not a complete bean convert, either. I tend to avoid Lima and Kidney beans, though less so than before. I think it’s a combination texture and flavor thing in my case—when I bite into a big bean there’s just too much of it and the spices don’t seem to penetrate. That’s why I’ll generally pre-chop my beans or use an immersion blender to break them up. I’ve found this makes a huge difference.

 

Recently, I came up with a chili soup recipe I wanted to pass along. In truth, I’m a little troubled by the distinction of chili versus soup. They both seem to contain liquid, though it seems chili has less of it. Since I added a little chicken broth in this recipe, I think I’ll stick to the idea we’re creating soup here.

 

Let’s Gather The Ingredients

 

I'm gathering my ingredients first.

This recipe is a good way to use lefteover chicken.

For today’s soup we’ll need:

1 cup pre-cooked chicken chunked
1 can black beans rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
1 sweet onion chopped
1 large red pepper or about 4 mini red, yellow or orange peppers chopped
4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
1 tablespoon dried parsley

Lots of good flavors here.

Click on this photo for some money saving tips on spice.

1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt

 

Preparation

 

I like the convenience of canned beans.

You can also make your beans fresh if you prefer. Just follow the instructions on the package.

Start by opening, draining, and rinsing the beans.  A pasta strainer works great for this.

 

I like the way my flavors combine when I make the chunks smaller.

Wow, this mini chop made quick work of my peppers.

Next chop up the veggies.  As mentioned above, I like to chop up my beans to allow the flavors to combine better.  I do this one of three ways—either beforehand with a knife on the cutting board, with my mini chop, or with my immersion blender while they are cooking.  I’ve also been known to combine methods.  However, if you like chunkier soup then don’t worry about it.

 

Let's stir fry these vegetables for a few minutes.

I like to give my veggies a head start.

Grab a large soup pot and put it on a burner at a medium heat. Pour in the oil and add the onions, peppers and garlic. Allow these to cook a few minutes to give them a head start.

 

I used my mini chop to grind up my chicken for this recipe. I did that to help my spices blend faster. However, you can also just chunk it up or toss it in whole. In fact, if you’re a big meat eater you may want to double up on the quantity.

 

Next we'll start adding spices.

Here, I’m adding the beans I rinsed.

Add the canned items—both types of beans and the diced tomatoes. Again, keep them whole or chop them up to your preference.

 

I've become a chili lover.

I used a tablespoon of chili powder, but if you like it spicier you may want to add more.

Now, add all the spices. If you are worried about salt intake replace the salt with something like Mrs. Dash Original Salt Free Blend. You can also find beans canned with 50% of the normal added salt or just cook the beans from scratch yourself. I know many people who prefer that, but I frankly like the convenience of the can.

 

I sure like these ready to go broth containers.

If you don’t have ready made broth, you can use a cup of water and a bouillon cube.

Add the chicken bouillon and then cover the pot and allow to simmer. I simmered somewhere between medium and medium low on my stove. I wanted the soup to bubble, but not vigorously boil.

 

If you like spicier chili, you can add more chili powder or cayenne powder. I’d start with the recommended quantities, allow to simmer awhile and then do a taste test. You can add more at that point if you think the soup needs it.

 

Lots of good ingredients here.

Here’s how it looks before I use my immersion blender. I let it cook awhile, blend it, and then let it simmer some more.

Plan to allow your soup to simmer for an hour or two on the stove. In fact, I’ll sometimes cook it several hours ahead, turn it way down to the lowest stove setting and then just let it simmer until I’m ready to serve.

 

Soup's done! Time to eat!

I love my immersion blender. It’s fast and I can do it right in the pot.

I shouldn’t leave off, without mentioning this is a great recipe for those on a diet, people who are trying to increase their fiber intake, or for those who need to cut the amount of fats they consume. Beans are packed with fiber and protein, chicken is lower in fat than beef, and vegetables are full of essential vitamins and antioxidants. Yet best of all, this chili soup is good enough for even the pickiest eater in the family. Believe me, having held that distinction for many years, I know what I’m talking about.

 

Enjoy!

 

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may want to try:
Salty Dog Clam Chowder
Homemade Cream Of Mushroom Soup

 

 

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