Chicken and white bean chili verde-inspired soup

If you’re a student, your best food friend should be the half roast chickens you can buy over the deli counter at the grocery store. They cost $5.99 and can be tossed into just about anything. They’re also a steaming plastic container of temptation. After my chicken almost exploded in my bicycle’s saddlebag, I took it out, cradled it in my arms, dropped it on the kitchen counter…and attacked.

I don’t eat meat very often (too cheap, too lazy), so this chicken is like a tiny, pre-prepared miracle.

I start cutting the chicken…then, my behaviour transforms into that of a five-year-old while picking strawberries: “cut one piece of chicken, eat the other, cut, eat, repeat.” My half chicken dinner rapidly turns into a third-of-a-chicken dinner. The dark meat that melts off the bones is just so fatty and warm and delicious…

But enough of my half chicken love affair. Lets not embarrass ourselves, shall we?

My soup, complete with a beautiful yard sale-purchased platter that I forgot I owned and strawberry iced tea

This soup was earlier this week in very non-soup-friendly weather. We’ve had a warm streak in Ottawa, meaning that I’ve been biking around in my little short shorts and lying on the roof until I almost fall asleep. When the temperature is 20 degrees +, soup isn’t normally first on people’s lists of things to make. BUT THIS WAS ACTUALLY A GOOD SUMMER/SPRING soup and it turned out really, really well. The fresh ingredients meant that the flavours were still crisp and lively enough to be refreshing, even in the balmiest of freak weather days.

And, as Ottawa temperatures go back to being more seasonal this week, I implore you to make this. No excuse.

Ah yes, and I’m still continuing with Operation Clear Cupboard in preparation for my end-of-April move. This meal used up: one can of white beans and one box of chicken stock.

Recipe: Chicken and white bean chili verde-inspired soup
Adapted from Sage Recipes
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 onion, diced
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced (leave the seeds in if you like it spicier)
–  1/4 tsp ground coriander
– 1/4 tsp ground cumin
– 1/2 tsp dried oregano
– 3 cups chicken stock
– 1 half chicken cut up into bite-size pieces (As previously mentioned, I ate quite a large amount of this beforehand…)
– 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
– Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
– Freshly chopped cilantro (for garnish)
– Thinly sliced radishes (for garnish)
– Avocado slices (for garnish)

In a medium-sized soup pot or non-stick skillet with high edges, heat oil over medium-heat. Add onions and cook until softened, but not brown, about three minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño. Add in the coriander, cumin, and oregano. Cook until vegetables are softened, about another 3 minutes. Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low, simmer for 30 minutes.

Add in the chicken and beans. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until chicken and beans are heated through. Generously season with salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with radishes, cilantro leaves, and avocado.

Makes three servings.

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