About 10 years ago, I had my first bowl of white bean chili in Pennsylvania. Looking at it, I couldn’t fathom how this creamy light soup could possibly be chili. Chili as I knew it was 2 cans of kidney beans, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, ground beef and a seasoning packet. It was the anti chili but it was very very good. Admittedly, I avoided white bean chili for the next few years out of fear of disappointment. Nobody could touch Aunt Cheryl’s white bean chili in my book. Recently, we’ve had a cold snap in Texas and I found myself craving it.
I went into the grocery store and they just happened to be serving it in the cafe. This was also very good but very different from Aunt Cheryl’s. It had potatoes and tomatoes in it. There was a firey warmth to this chili and I knew I would have to sort this out in my kitchen. I had to make it myself.
I began to google. Paula Deen just happened to have a white bean chili with collard greens. I had been hearing good things about collard greens lately and decided to give it a try. I substituted the canned chilis for a poblano pepper and while it was good, it wasn’t Aunt Cheryl good. Then I found this recipe. This white bean chili is easily the bizzarro world version of my red. Now, I don’t typically use corn or diced chili peppers in my red chili. The rest however, was dead on. I like a good hearty chili and this one delivers.
Since Will and I are still rocking the P90x, I thought this would be a great game day recipe to keep us out of trouble. I will say that prior to making white bean chili, I could not imagine having a bowl without cheese or sour cream. Fo us, this recipe really didn’t need anything else but it’s your kitchen, so do what you like. Let me know what you think!