It looks like a bowl of brown, with white beans and turkey or chicken bobbing in the broth. But the depth of flavor in this White Chili belies the appearance of the simple dish.

It’s comfort in a bowl, perfect for the week between Christmas and New Year’s when you may still have guests to feed but everyone has had their fill of fancier holiday food.

Since I moved to Louisiana, my longtime staple White Chili has come to include celery and a bit more heat, usually a fresh jalapeno. Like other types of chili, you can offer a variety of condiments so each diner can customize their bowl. Sour cream, avocado, cilantro, shredded cheese, finely diced tomato, salsa, tortilla chips and lime wedges are all good toppers. 

You might want to save this recipe for a Super Bowl party. It’s fun to offer a chili variety, such as white, red and vegetarian, all of which can be made ahead or in the slow cooker.

Judy Walker's Roux Believer: Recipes for White Chili, Margie's Oyster Soup, Oven Beef Stew

Another good main-dish idea for this in-between week is oyster soup.

Fresh oysters curling gently in a milky broth with lots of pepper is a bowl of goodness fit for the angels in heaven. The “Margie” of Margie’s Oyster Soup was Marie Margarite Huet Rizzuto, mother-in-law to the late great chef Warren Leruth. This is her recipe, which was included in a booklet he privately published for the 20th anniversary of his restaurant, LeRuth’s, in 1983.

Another idea: Oven Beef Stew. Just assemble and bake it all afternoon at 250 degrees. It’s thickened with tapioca and flavored with, among other things, red wine and a homemade or purchased seasoning mix. The recipe has been a longtime favorite of readers.


Send “the best” recipes and correspondence to Judy Walker at JudyWalkerCooks@gmail.com with “Roux Believer” in the subject line. Please include a phone number. 


Send "the best" recipes and correspondence to Judy Walker at JudyWalkerCooks@gmail.com with “Roux Believer” in the subject line. Please include a phone number.