Creamy White Bean Chili

If I were the kind of person who threw Super Bowl parties or, you know, owned a TV on which to watch the Super Bowl, I would make this chili. Maybe it wouldn’t be great on a chili-cheese dog or in Frito pie, but it’s hearty and spicy and rich.

In this recipe, the half of the beans and vegetables are pureed after cooking, giving the chili a bisque-like quality. The white beans, cream, and herbs offer richness, which is balanced by the zesty spiciness of the sausage. On second thought, maybe this would make an excellent alternative chili-cheese dog with a jalapeno-chicken sausage and Monterrey-Jack cheese.

Creamy White Bean Chili
Serves 6-8

To prepare the beans:
1 pound dried white beans
8 cups water
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary

To quick-soak the beans, place the dry beans in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover, and let stand for one hour. Drain.

Return the drained beans to the pot and add 8 cups of water along with the garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary. Simmer until the beans are tender, about 1 to 1½ hours. Drain, but reserve 2 cups of cooking liquid to use in the soup.

To cook the soup:
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
2 cups broth
2 cups bean cooking liquid
1 pound chorizo
¼ cup whipping cream

Saute the garlic, onion, carrot, and celery in olive oil until tender. Add thyme, beans, 2 cups of broth, and 2 cups of bean cooking liquid to pot. Simmer to combine flavors, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, crumble and cook the chorizo. Drain and set aside. Remove about half of the cooked beans and vegetables from the pot and set aside with the sausage.

Working in batches, puree the other half of the cooked beans and vegetables in a food processor. If you want a thicker soup, use a slotted spoon to remove the beans and vegetables from the cooking liquid. Whatever thickness you want, just be careful not to add too much liquid to the food processor at a time. The liquid tends to spray out of the lid. Most processors have a “liquid fill line,” but a good rule of thumb is to only fill the liquid to the top of the blade.

Combine the pureed mixture with the whole beans vegetables, sausage, and cream. Warm on the stove over a low heat.

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