This flavorful chili is also a lesson in how to make creamy soups without dairy. You will be amazed by how easy it is! Here, we use cashew cream for creaminess and pureed beans to thicken the chili while the corn and zucchini keep the meal nice and light. This is one of my most loved childhood meals. I hope it becomes one of your family favorites too!
- 1 jalapeño
- ½ white or yellow onion
- 12 oz (340 g) prepared vegan chicken strips (see Fresh Tip! for substitutions)
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil or 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) vegetarian chicken broth
- 1 (4-oz [113-g]) can green chilis, drained
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp (4 g) cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp cayenne
- 2 small zucchini
- 2 (14-oz [400-g]) cans white beans, drained, rinsed and divided
- 3 cups (720 ml) vegan chicken broth, divided
- ½ cup (68 g) fresh or frozen corn
- ¼ cup (40 g) raw cashews, soaked for 6+ hours or boiled for 10 minutes
- 1½ tsp (7 ml) lime juice
- 1 cup (120 g) shredded vegan mozzarella or Cheddar
- 2 avocados, diced 1⁄4 cup (4 g) cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup (60 ml) vegan sour cream or cashew cream (page 93)
- 10 oz (283 g) tortilla chips 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Slice the jalapeño in half width-wise. Deseed then mince half of it. Thinly slice the other half and set aside for garnish. Dice the onion and the vegan chicken. Preheat a pan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the oil, onion, green chilis and minced jalapeño. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onion is softened.
- Add the vegan chicken, garlic, cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and cayenne. Mix well and cook until the chicken is slightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Slice the zucchini into 1⁄4-inch (6-mm) half moons, then add them to the pan. Mix well and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Set aside 1 cup (262 g) of beans and 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) of broth. Add the remaining beans, broth and corn to the pot. Mix well and bring to a simmer. Simmer for8 to 10 minutes until the zucchini is softened. Meanwhile, in a high-speed blender, blend the reserved beans, broth and cashews on high until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Stir the mixture into the soup to thicken. Add the lime juice. Taste and adjust the spices, if desired.
- Simmer for another 5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle, then ladle the chili into serving bowls. Top with shredded cheese, avocado, cilantro, reserved sliced jalapeños and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips and lime wedges.
For a whole-food, plant-based version, swap the vegan chicken for a can of chickpeas or extra corn, zucchini and white beans. Use vegetable broth in place of vegan chicken broth if needed.