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Dinner’s Ready: Mitzi Schafer’s White Bean Chicken Soup

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Dinner's Ready- GPP DEC. 2023

The cold weather has already been creeping in along the Gulf Coast for a month or so now, but December officially ushers in the first day of Winter for 2023.

“In Oklahoma we have four completely different seasons,” shares Mitzi Schafer, now a resident of Gulf Breeze. “I always loved the changing of the seasons. When it would start to turn colder I would always look forward to making soups.”

It is no surprise that for our Dinner’s Ready feature, Mitzi decided to share her favorite soup with us — White Bean Chicken Soup.

“This easy recipe is a one pot wonder; simply throw everything right in,” Mitzi said. “We always make big batches of this soup and freeze it to enjoy at a different time. This soup is always the first thing I think of on rainy or colder days.”
Mitzi grew up making this soup with her mother. She shared that she learned her way around the kitchen because of her mom, who was always hosting large, family gatherings.

“The kitchen is where I truly loved spending time with family and now enjoy cooking with my kids. My son Brycen (18) has really picked up cooking and has become really good. He strives to cook at home for a healthier lifestyle with his workout routines. He is always sending us pictures of all the meals he cooks at his apartment for his roommates at college,” Mitzi shared.

Mitzi and her husband Jared have been married for 20 years and also have a daughter, Brynleigh (8). Even though her husband is retired from his Air Force career and their oldest is away at school in Tallahassee, the family stays really busy. Jared continues to serve our country as an Air Force civilian for the Department of Defense and Mitzi is a high school tennis coach and is often officiating tennis matches.

When she isn’t in the kitchen or working, you can find Mitzi volunteering in many different facets or watching Brynleigh shine in her extracurriculars — dance, cheer and tennis. She truly just loves to be with her family and spending time with those she loves.

“I do the majority of cooking at home,” Mitzi said. “However, my husband has been cooking more often with my recent officiating schedules or when I am gone. He does an amazing job stepping in when I am not home traveling for work.”

White Bean Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 chicken breasts or bone in chicken alternative **see notes
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black p
    epper (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 16 oz celery stalks (or one package), finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans Great Northern Beans drained
  • 2 (10-ounce) cans diced tomatoes and chopped green chilies (such as Rotel)
  • 8 cups chicken stock or chicken broth
    Garnishes: Shredded Cheese, avocado slices, jalapeños if you like the spice, sour cream

Directions:

  1. Pour extra-virgin olive oil in bottom of slow cooker or pot.
  2. Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in the bottom of the slow cooker or pot. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, and oregano.
  3. Top evenly with the onion, celery, garlic, great northern beans, diced tomatoes and green chiles. Pour over the chicken broth.
  4. Cover and cook in slow cooker on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 7-8 hours until the chicken is cooked through. On stove top cover, let it simmer over medium heat until the chicken is cooked completely and ready to shred.
  5. Remove the cooked chicken from the slow cooker or pot and place it on a cutting board. Shred the chicken, using two forks or meat claws and return it to the pot.
  6. Season to taste with salt and with freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  7. Ladle into bowls hot, add desired garnishes and enjoy!

Gabriele has been married to her husband Daniel for 17 years. Together they have three incredible children – two boys, ages 16 and nine, and a sweet girl who will be two in August. Gabriele is a full-time Sales Director for Mary Kay Cosmetics. When she isn’t spending time with family or building her business, she supports her husband who is the Lead Pastor and Planter of Forward Church in Gulf Shores.

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