04 February 2011

Chipotle Chicken and Butter Bean Soup

Sometimes the lines and squares of life are altered. Mother Nature takes over and tells us, in her own subtle way, that we are insignificant. We are wise if we turn away from the highway's center line and become mindful of the line of the sun's shadow in the forest, the twirl of the birdfeeder in the breeze, the maze of branches clicking against the sky. We can moan about this season ... or we can marvel at its beauty and power. Sometimes it's a good thing to realize there are powers well beyond our petty claim.

Because everyone needs a soup that will warm the cockles of  the heart after braving a cold blustery day or dark rainy night - because there are never enough chicken soup recipes - because I had a bag of frozen chicken meat in my freezer and various cans of stuff in my pantry - because Silent Bob was on the roof shoveling a whole lotta snow off the dormers - because it was comin' on lunchtime - just because.

Chipotle Chicken Soup with Butter Beans


1 large onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small sweet red pepper, small dice
1/2 small can chipotle peppers and their sauce
3 c. cooked chicken meat, bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. hot chili sauce or Tabasco sauce
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
6 c. chicken stock
1 bottle pale ale or lager beer
salt and pepper, to taste

Making the  Soup:

1. Sauté the onions and garlic in the bottom of a stock pot with the olive oil.
2. When the garlic begins to brown a bit, add the sweet red pepper and continue sauté for a minute or two.
3. Add the chipotle peppers and their sauce, chicken, and fresh herbs and spices, stirring to coat the chicken with the juices.
4. Add the chicken stock, potatoes, and butter beans and bring the soup to a simmer.
5. When the potatoes are tender, pour in the beer and stir to incorporate everything.
6. Cover, turn off the heat and let the soup's ingredients meld for a while.
7. Gently re-heat and serve with tortilla chips and any garnishes you prefer (sour cream, avocado bits, chopped chilled tomatoes, black olives, Manchego cheese bits).

Note: There is a whole lotta spicy heat in chipotle chilis and in the hot chili sauce that goes into this soup, so plan accordingly. You can always add more, but ... just sayin'. Enjoy and keep warm and safe!


  1. ahhh... now that looks like a good, warming, hearty soup. I love butterbeans but so rarely use them, they're so creamy... I may just buy some this weekend!... be safe in the snow x

  2. Is that a Theo Haviland plate on the bottom? Just wondering as it reminds me of some dishes I inherited from my grandmother which she bought at auction - probably before I was born.

  3. @ Kay - It is a Haviland plate ... one of two that I found in a consignment shop for a dollar a piece. I used that plate once before for a post on broccoli and cranberry salad. Your sharp eye caught it that time too!

  4. I just love soup and I bet my husband would like this one. He's always us for chipotle peppers! We are snowed in over in my neck of the woods and I made a pot of vegetable soup with pasta stirred in for our lunch. Enjoy your weekend!

  5. In this kind of weather soup is the only thing that warms your bones. This soup looks yummy. I have never had butter beans before. We use to call wax yellow beans butter beans.

  6. I adore the smoky heat of chipotle. Fantastic soup with the chicken and the creamy butter beans.

    Have a good weekend!


  7. Now that's a bowl of soup! It looks like comfort in a bowl! I can't say that I've ever used butter beans before, but I really want to snag some up from the grocery this weekend!

  8. Looks like the perfect soup for a cold CT day!

  9. sounds so delicious ..what is the serving for this recipe and how long does it take?

    1. Hi Anon, This soup (if you have the chicken already cooked) take no more than a half hour to make ... it should sit covered and off the heat for a bit to let the spices and flavours develop, so make it when you have some time to let it sit (early in the morning for lunch) or before you start a project so that it can be ready when you're done with whatever - laundry, a long walk, a couple hours out shopping or at work.

      The recipe makes 6 servings.


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