Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Souper Chili!

Good evening everyone! As the temperatures dip slowly into a more 'fall-y' feeling, our favorite flavors get to be front and center. These flavors include soup - for one, I can't get enough of it! Nothing says autumn more than curling up with a warm bowl of soup and a blanket around my body. Granted, that perfect scene is used when I'm sick, but there's just something about the leaves falling and the sweaters are being worn. It's just a wonderful feeling! Tonight, I'm taking a old favorite of many families and taking an alternate route. Though this recipe is popular, this is my first attempt at trying a chili variation.

The Recipe: White Chili
Original Recipe Found In: www.eatingwell.com

What You'll Need:

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 1/2 Cups chopped Onion
2 4-ounce cans chopped Green Chiles
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/8-1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
3 15 Ounce cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed
4 Cups Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth
4 cups diced cooked Skinless Turkey (or chicken)
2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar

Tyler's Note: Traditional tomato based chili has developed and evolved greatly from its southeastern roots over time, but there is no denying that there is something inherently southern about classic style chili. Almost as sacred as barbeque, the southern chili recipe is hotly contested, fiercly competed over and almost always a well guarded secret. White chili, however, finds itself with a whole new set of inspirations.

White chili is a product of the desert southwest. White chili is based around chicken broth, turkey, tortilla (either shells or bread) some forms even feature lime juice or a side of guacamole. On a whole, white chili is lighter and a little more zesty than its more traditional coutnterpart. Unlike the almost barbeque like traditional chili (thicker sauce, heavier flavors) white chili falls more in the line of a soup - with the flavors focusing on more light and even citrus-y themes. While the two dishes are far from regionally exclusive - they both cross over to other regions of the US and are worldwide dishes - you can see in the 'roots' of each dish that they are fairly indicitive of their region.

Those who are fans of traditioanl chili (such as myself) may find themselves surprised by the fact that they enjoy this variant of chili. In reality, it's chili in name only. The basis framework of the dish is as far from chili as possible. Now that we've covered the origins of the dish (and how it's different) let's let Maggie show us how to make it:

Begin by heating the oil in a large pot or a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onions, stir occasionally and cook until softened, about five minutes. The onions should begin to appear translucent by this point in time. Next, stir in the chiles, oregano, cumin, and cayenne. Cook, stirring occasionally for five minutes. This first slow cook allows the chiles and onions to really absorb the cumin, cayenne, oregano mixture and greatly enhances the flavor. Slow down and allow these ingredients to simmer. You'll be glad you did.

Fragrant flavors getting their flavor on

Stir in the beans and broth and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, giving a good stir every now and then. Add the turkey (or chicken) and vinegar and cook for five minutes more. Apple cider vinegar, while still packing a bite, is a bit sweeter than traditional vinegar. In this dish, it's sweet flavors will neutralize a little of the heat packed in by the cayenne. Finally, serve in soup bowls, and enjoy!!

All the ingredients simmering away

The End Result:

If you love southwestern/Mexican flavors, the soup is for you!  As Tyler previously explained the dish's roots, you can clearly smell it as you are mixing the chiles and spices together.  As for the taste?  It smells and tastes like a Tex-Mex fiesta in your mouth!  Like I said before, if you aren't a fan, this recipe won't be for you.  But if you are and/or you're feeling adventurous with your soups, then this soup is for you.  An overall classic flavor that isn't too spicy and you're left with a feeling of all the warm notes all the way down to your belly.

That's it for this evening.  Check back in tomorrow as Tyler tries something completely different with one of his favorite foods.  Until then,


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