Where I live, some of the most brutal winter weather arrives in late January and February. Knowing what's in store has me always thinking of comfort food this time of year. Soups and stews that have simmered for hours. Warm baked bread fresh from the oven. And, of course, chili brimming with the flavors of the season.
This chicken chili is chock full of winter vegetables like carrot, onion, celery root, butternut squash, and kale. It gets it's heat from fire roasted green chiles, but feel free to substitute or enhance the heat with your favorite spicy options. Anything from crushed red pepper to diced jalapeños and more will work. This version is relatively mild, especially if you add the half and half to it. I usually skip it and go heavy with hot sauce at the table. If you want to use other beans, go for it. I like the lighter colored northern beans for this dish as they allow the carrot, squash, and kale to take center stage. Also, when it comes to garnishing, feel free to tweak or even go overboard. A recent snow day had my family enjoying this chili with the equivalent of nachos tossed on top. No regrets!
If you want to serve this chili with cornbread or the like for sopping up the bottom of the bowl, go for it. Otherwise, pour a beer or cider that makes your heart sing and dig in. This is the epitome of comfort food and savoring it is where it's at!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- ½ cup diced celery root
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup chopped fire roasted green chiles
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 14 ounce great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 cups of chopped, cooked chicken - I used rotisserie chicken
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- ½ cup half and half - optional, omit for dairy free
- 2 cups chopped kale
- Diced avocado and chopped green onion - for garnish
- Hot sauce - for serving
In the pot of your Instant Pot, add the olive oil, carrot, onion, and celery root. Sauté on the sauté setting for approximately 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables become soft. Add the garlic; sauté for an another minute.
Add the fire roasted green chiles, butternut squash, great northern beans, chopped chicken, and chicken both; stir well. Place the lid on the Instant Pot in the sealing position and set it to cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure and removing the lid.
Add the half and half and the kale; stir. Let the soup warm for an additional 5 minutes, or until everything is heated through. Serve warm with diced avocado and chopped green onion as garnishes and a drizzle or three of hot sauce.
- Yields: 4-6 servings
- Preparation Time: 40 minutes