A stew to warm you up on a cold day

Published 2:49 pm Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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Benjamin Thorpe has 18 years of experience as a chef. He grew up in Oregon and moved to Albert Lea from Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has only lived in Albert Lea since early October and began working as a chef at Wedgewood Cove toward the end of that month. He enjoys the experience of feeding people and loves being part of the pleasure food gives. When he’s not putting hours into creating dishes, he’s spending time with his four children and helping his wife out around the house.

The recipe is his own rendition of a New Mexico classic.

Benjamin Thorpe


New Mexico Green Chile Stew


1/2 cup olive oil or sunflower oil

2 pounds cubed raw chicken thigh or breast meat

1-quart hot hatch green chilies. Fresh or frozen are preferred over canned (the spice level of the soup can be adjusted by using mild chilis or fresh poblano peppers which are much milder.)

4 15.5-ounce cans of white great northern or cannellini beans, drained

1 bunch fresh cilantro trimmed and washed, chop two thirds of the bunch and retain the rest to garlic before serving

1 red onion, peeled and minced

2 ounces fresh squeezed lime juice

4 small green or yellow summer squash, thinly sliced

6 cloves garlic minced

2 teaspoons black pepper

3 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoons ground coriander

1 quart chicken stock

Salt to taste



Place medium-sized stock pot or high-sided pan with lid over medium high heat.

Begin by adding oil to the pot, along with black pepper, spices and red onion. Be careful not to scorch the onion or spices. Warm spices and onion until the onion becomes translucent and begins to brown slightly. Add garlic and cook additional 1 minute before adding the chicken. Continue to sauté the chicken with the onion and spice until brown edges form and chicken is nearly cooked through but not done. Add squash and chilies. Bring up to simmer and then add beans, chicken stock, lime juice and chopped cilantro. Bring to a full simmer. Taste your soup and adjust salt according to your taste. Place lid on pot and cook an additional 20 minutes on low heat. Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes before serving. This is a great hearty stew that will warm you from the inside out on a cold day. Plate into bowls and garnish with sour cream, fresh limes, cilantro and corn chips. Enjoy this gift from New Mexico with friends and family.