This Creamy White Bean Chili is a vegetarian delight. To make the beans extra creamy, I blended them with an obscene amount of olive oil to make the stew extra hearty.
You might be wondering, is this a bean blog now? The answer is I wish! My favorite gift this Christmas was a booked called Cool Beans by Joe Yonan, from my brother Will. It’s full of amazing ideas of things you can do with beans, which I need more of! Since I quit eating meat at home, beans have allowed me to get really creative and also give me protein where I need it.
Something I have been missing is White Chicken Chili. It always used to be a staple, but I wanted to make something that has those flavors I love, but vegetarian. This Creamy White Bean Chili actually also happens to be vegan! Which is a win in my book. It’s incredibly flavorful from the roasted poblano peppers and tomatillos and the extra richness added from beans blended with olive oil make the perfect texture. You have to try this recipe! I can’t wait to hear what you think.
See the full recipe below.
- 1 lb dried white beans such as great northern
- 1 tbsp kosher salt plus more to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 carrot
- 2 onions
- 4 large poblanos
- 10 tomatillos
- 2 garlic cloves, peel on
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 tbsp
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1½ tsp chili powder
- juice of 1 lime, plus lime wedges for serving
- sour cream for serving
- Soak the beans in 6 cups of water overnight or between 6-10 hours.
- Once your beans have soaked, remove the ends and halve one of the onions. Peel and quarter the other onion. Peel the carrot and remove the end. Separate the cilantro leaves and stems, and chop both. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse off the sticky residue.
- Add the soaked beans and their soaking liquid, 1 tbsp salt, bay leaves, carrot, and the halved onion to a large dutch oven or soup pot. Add enough water to cover the beans by two inches. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer with the lid on for 45 mins to an hour, or until the beans are creamy and softened. Remove from heat.
- Remove the onion, carrot, and bay leaves from the pot of beans and discard. Use a slotted spoon to add 1½ cups of beans to the bowl of an 8 cup food processor. Add ½ cup of the cooking liquid and ¼ cup olive oil. Puree until smooth. Add the puree back to the pot of beans and stir to combine.
- Move an oven rack 6 inches from the top. Preheat your broiler to high. On a baking sheet add the poblanos, tomatillos, garlic, and quartered onion. Place this on your oven rack near the top of the oven. Broil until the poblanos and tomatillos are spotty and black. Remove from the oven, turn over the poblanos and tomatillos and broil again until the other sides are blackened. Place the poblanos in a bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let them sit for covered 10 minutes, then rub off the skins under cold water. Remove the ends and seeds from the poblanos and dice. Remove the peels from the garlic.
- Rinse out the food processor you used for the beans. Add the tomatillos, peeled garlic, and onion to the food processor and puree until semi-smooth, but not totally pureed, about 30 seconds.
- Place a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the cilantro stems, cumin, chili powder, and diced poblanos. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes until spices are fragrant and cilantro stems are softened. Add this mixture to the beans and stir. Add the tomatillo mixture as well. Add the lime juice and stir. Taste for salt and add a few pinches. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 30 minutes with the lid off. Taste for salt again. Add the cilantro leaves and stir.
- Serve the soup immediately with lime wedges and sour cream.