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Healthy Chicken Poblano Chili Soup: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free & Delicious

The leaves are changing, the morning air is crisp, and football season has commenced. Fall has arrived! Which means it’s time to focus on warm and grounding foods.

I can’t think of anything I love more on a beautiful fall evening than a big pot of homemade food on the stove. Soups and chilis make the perfect one-pot meals and can be enjoyed for multiple meals during the week.

My Healthy Game Day Chili Recipe has been a blog favorite for a while, and people are always asking me for a chicken chili, too. Like my Game Day Chili, this chicken poblano chili is gluten-free and dairy-free, and can also be made without the chicken if you prefer meat-free eating. It’s perfect for a football party or just a cozy family dinner.

This recipe is:

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free,
Grain-Free, High-Protein, Highly Nutritious,
Whole-Food Based, Comforting, Delicious

chicken-poblano-chili-elizabeth-rider

I like to make a big pot on Sunday for dinner, then store it in the refrigerator for lunch or dinner on Tuesday or Wednesday. If you cook in a high-quality dutch oven, you can cool the soup on the stove then store the whole pot with the lid on it in the refrigerator for a few days. When you want to eat, just put the whole pot right back on the stove and warm it back up.  The only caution with doing this is taking care of the exposed cast iron along the rim of your dutch oven, if it gets wet for too long it can rust. A day or two in the fridge is fine, just keep the rim dry and always dry it well after you wash it. I love my Le Creuset dutch oven because it’s beautiful and they last for decades, but you can find other great brands and options at any home store or on Amazon, too. The technical term for a pot like this is an enameled cast iron dutch oven.

This is definitely restaurant-worthy soup, and it’s actually pretty simple to make! Roasting your own poblano pepper adds a ton of flavor that you just can’t get out of a dried spice. Poaching the chicken directly in the soup also helps make this dish really manageable to make. Just be sure to always poach at a low simmer and never a boil. Boiled chicken never tastes great and becomes really tough. Gently poached chicken shreds really well and will maintain a nice texture.

To make this recipe vegan, just simply leave out the chicken and skip that step. It’s still delicious and full of flavor if you prefer it that way.

Healthy Chicken Poblano Chili Soup

Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves 8+

Ingredients

  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder of your choice
  • 1 quart organic chicken stock (veggie stock if making the vegan version)
  • 2 cups purified water
  • 2 15 ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, more or less to taste

Garnish

  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • fresh organic corn

Recipe: Roast the poblano pepper either over the flame on your gas burner or under the broiler, turning every few minutes until it charred all the way around, about 5 minutes total. Place the hot charred pepper in a glass bowl and cover the bowl (plastic wrap works great) to trap the steam for at least 15 minutes but up to 1 day ahead. Once steamed, peel the charred skin off and discard. Remove and discard the stem and seeds.

Heat two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute 3-4 minutes until soft. Reduce the heat and add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, a large pinch of sea salt and a small pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Cook the garlic and spices with the onions for 2-3 minutes, then add the stock, water and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer.

Once at a low simmer, add the chicken breasts to the pot to gently poach them. Always poach at a low simmer to prevent the meat from becoming tough. Check at 30 minutes. Once they are cooked through remove them from the pot and shred with two forks. Set aside until after the poblano is puréed.

Add the roasted poblano to the blender with 3 large ladles full of the soup mixture (stock, beans, onions, spices but none of the chicken). Leave at least half of the beans in the pot to leave them whole. Purée the poblano with the beans and soup mixture to create a thick and creamy base. Add the shredded chicken and puréed mixture back into the pot and stir. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary .

Garnish with fresh avocado and cilantro. Fresh organic corn is great in this dish too if you can find it.

You can find more soups and chilis in my Recipe Archive, too.

Cheers!

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