It’s December. Life’s hectic-at least mine is. You’re running low on cash-at least I am. And that’s exactly when I love to make a pot of homemade soup! Yes, it’s easier to open a can of soup. But you can’t beat the cost of soup made at home. Nor the flavor. So here’s another recipe to try. Unless you have a large family, you’ll probably have leftovers…or even freeze some of it for another day. Yeah! Don’t you love having some leftovers?

I mash half of the white kidney beans (cannellini or Great Northern) to thicken the soup, rather than adding flour or another thickening agent. So I start with that…mashing the beans. You can use a food processor, as I did…

Or, if you don’t have one, or you’re one of those cooks I don’t quite understand who keeps her food processor tucked away in a cabinet, you can use a potato masher or even a fork, to mash them up. They don’t have to be perfectly smooth, but just mashed enough to thicken the broth. Set those aside, and sautè some onions and garlic in a little olive oil…

Once they’ve softened up a bit, I add some cumin and oregano. I love heating up the spices a bit to release the flavor and the wonderful aroma they give!

Next I add the broth (or bouillon)…

…and some chilis. Here in Italy, I used some peperoncini, little hot peppers that are readily available dried.

Wow! That’s a zoomed in shot, isn’t it? At least you know what peperoncini look like! I think I only used about two of them, as they’re really hot! My good husband doesn’t “do” really hot stuff…and if I want a little more hot stuff, I addsome powdered peperoncino later to my own bowl.

Now I just let everything simmer for about ten minutes to blend the flavors., and then I’ll add the white kidney beans and mashed beans…

I stir it all up…adding more broth if it’s too thick…

And last but not least, I add some diced chicken. I had cooked up some chicken thighs earlier and so I used the deboned meat from them. Poached chicken cutlets would be great…though they’re usually about double the price of chicken thighs, at least here in Italy.

Now I just bring everything back to a simmer and we’re ready to eat!

Some people like to garnish their chili with grated cheddar cheese, or with a dollop of sour cream…we don’t have either one of those available here in Italy so I just added a few black olives for a little color contrast. Some minced green or red chilis would do the same.

On the side you could serve tortilla chips, cornbread, or any crusty bread. The whole grain of the bread pairs with the white kidney beans to give you even more protein than just the chicken does. Enjoy!



White Chicken Chili Recipe

Yield: Serves 6-8


  • 4 C. (usually 2 cans) white kidney beans (or cannellini or Great Northern beans), drained
  • 1-2 lg. onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 T. oil
  • 3-4 C. chicken broth or bouillon
  • 1/2 C. (4 oz. can) can chopped green chilies or equivalent
  • 1 tsp salt (unless you use bouillon above)
  • 1 tsp oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 1-2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3-4 cups cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces


  1. Mash half of the beans, either in a food processor, with a potato masher, or with a fork. They don't have to be perfectly smooth, but they will be used to thicken the chili. Set the mashed beans aside to add near the end.
  2. In a large saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in the oil.
  3. Add the lesser amount of broth, the chilis, oregano and cumin. Add the salt only if you're using unsalted broth.
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.
  5. Now stir in the mashed beans and the remaining unmashed beans. If the mixture is too thick, add more broth.
  6. Stir in the chicken and bring back to a boil. You can simmer it more at this point if you like. The chicken will start to fall apart if simmered a long time; it's all a matter of preference.
  7. Serve with grated cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, sliced black olives or minced green chilis. Tortilla chips or corn bread are great accompaniments.

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