Green Chile Chicken Soup

I probably have close to 50 white bean chili/soup recipes to try, but I won’t be getting around to making any of them soon because I have a new, delicious favorite.  The original name for this recipe was “White Chicken Chili,” but notes from the recipe said that it was more like a soup than a chili.

That turned out to be true the first time I made it.  In fact, I didn’t think it deserved to be categorized as a chili at all because it was so thin.  Despite that, its flavor was outstanding.  I went into full tweak mode the second time around and thickened it up by taking out some of the bean/vegetable mixture, puréeing it and adding it back in.  This technique gave it a wonderful texture and mouth feel although I still think it deserves to fall into the soup category.

As with all Mexican-flavored soups and chili, the standard accompaniments go really well with it.  But, you know what?  This soup is so good that it can stand on its own!

So, whether you think it deserves to be called chili or soup, I think it deserves to be called wonderful!

Green Chile Chicken Soup

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  • 1 tbl. olive oil
  • 4 to 6 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (amount depends on how meaty you like your soup)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cans cannellini
  • 1 3.5-oz can green chilies
  • 3/4 tsp. cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 3/4 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, optional
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 tbl. of freshly squeezed lime juice (I prefer just 1 tbl.—taste first, then add more if desired)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 64 oz. chicken broth


  • Sour cream
  • Pepperjack or Jack cheese, shredded
  • Avocado
  • Tortilla strips


In a large pot, heat olive oil.  Add chopped onion and cook for about 2 minutes—just until it starts to become translucent.  While onions are cooking, drain beans and rinse with cold water and set aside.

Then add green chilies along with all of the juices in the can.  Add beans, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, and a few turns of fresh cracked pepper.  Stir to combine and then add chicken broth.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes.  Remove 4 cups of the bean/vegetable mixture and purée in a food blender, being careful to vent so that the lid doesn’t blow off and spray you with hot liquid.  Return purée to pan.  Add the cooked, chopped chicken along with the lime juice.  Add the chopped cilantro.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and serve with traditional Mexican accompaniments of your choice.

Source:  Adapted from an Our Best Bites recipe

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