Monday, January 4, 2010

Italian White Chicken Chili Soup with Melted Cheese

What inspired me to even think of making this recipe as soup is simple. I envy people that can eat French Onion Soup,( just the cheese part) it looks fabulous, all the melted cheese in a bowl but I can't eat that . The look of it as you pick up the spoon and all the gooey cheese on the spoon, just made me want to try it but there's a problem. I am so allergic to onions, can you believe that? Yep, mouth swells, blisters all over, throat closes, and I am not fun to take to a party or eat out in a restaurant, they have to make everything special and I have to get creative when I cook, I am very thankful for garlic because I have its no issues with it, and I love it! So you won't see any onions in my recipes, but feel free to add them to yours, I just omit them from all my recipes at home when I find something online that looks wonderful to try. So, whats the big deal with my soup? I wanted a soup with melted cheese and delicious bread in it, not the crusty part of the cheese, but gooey as I have seen it and admired it for so long now. Of course this tastes nothing like onion soup it's actually the opposite in color as well. I am sure satisfied with this one, the taste and all this cheese in it is a great substitute! I suppose you could put this in a baking crock bowl and broil the cheese on top and it would be wonderful also. But the idea of having melted cheese and the bread in the soup is what inspired me to create this one. The flavors are wonderful. Hope you like it as much as we do.

This soup always is a great starter for any dinner party as well, you will get many compliments on the flavors...a little tiny bit of heat inside gives it a extra special kick.

This soup is rich in flavors and will satisfy a very hungry crowd. A white base stock filled with a hearty beans, chicken and melted cheese.

Add to your bowl just before serving, is a handful of cheese on top. The soup is fairly thin. This will thicken it up very nicely and makes it delicious. You can use your favorites, cheddar, jack, mozzarella, whatever you have on hand is fine. Dip your bread in this soup or break into pieces and add it to your bowl.

There are a nice blend of seasoning that make this very hearty in flavor.

The beans are coated with the sauteed veggies, and flavored oil and seasonings, gives them a wonderful flavor for the soup.

Leaving a few teaspoons of oil after removing the chicken from the oven will flavor the peppers, garlic and celery leaves in butter and also the beans.

I use a pan that has handles that can go from the oven to the top of the stove. Here is the chicken inside the oven. It has all the seasoning on it and will bake until its white in color.

I try and use all fresh ingredients, I usually boil my chicken first when doing a roasted then bake it, reserving the chicken broth and freezing it for the future. This time I purchased one with no fat or preservatives, along with low sodium.

3 lbs of rinsed canned or dry white beans, northern, navy, cannellini (if you are using dry you must soak overnight, then I cook them all day in a crock pot in water and salt till soft, around 8 hours, freeze any leftover beans in containers)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or dry Italian dressing like good seasons
2 chicken breasts cut in cubes, roasted in the oven or use a leftover Italian roasted chicken shredded (you can use any parts you like)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
3 teaspoon of chopped jalapenos,
1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoon of celery leaves
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
3 cups of chicken stock
2 cups half and half
sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons of hot sauce
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 cups of shredded Mozzarella or Monterrey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Season chicken breast and sprinkle in seasoning or dressing mix. Add olive oil to the cooking pot if you have one or bake on a cookie sheet. Bake until chicken is browned and cooked. I use the same pot used in the oven on the stove top. When chicken is done spoon out and set aside. Drain most of the fat out leaving a light coating of oil.
On top of the stove, melt butter and saute onion, garlic, celery leaves, garlic powder and jalapenos until the onions are soft. Drain and wash beans and add beans to sauteed mixture, saute for at least 4 to 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin and flour, stirring five more minutes. Add chicken stock, half and half, salt, hot sauce and Worcestershire, and chicken, cooking until mixture is thickened and beans are soft it takes around an hour or so depending how thick you like it. Add cheese in your bowl last, this thickens it and is rich and creamy, stir to get it throughout the soup bowl. The soup is served with crusty garlic cheese bread. I transfer the soup to a crock pot on warm until ready to serve adding the cheese on top of your soup just before serving. My son loves this over pasta, and wanted to make sure I notated this on my post that the soup using as a sauce is also a perfect option.
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