Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chunky Cream of Chicken Soup

Soups are fantastic for those cold winter nights and accessible to older babies and toddlers! Even if they’re not ready to spoon the soup themselves, just strain the liquid and you’re left with a colorful assortment of delicious finger foods.

My focus today isn’t on a specific ingredient, but a time-saving strategy. This soup has a longer prep time with all the chopping necessary but an easy way to save time here (and with countless other recipes!) is to use frozen ingredients. Set aside a few hours (or even a day) to prep then freeze a load of ingredients for future use. This includes:
1.      Cooking chicken breasts then slicing/cubing
2.      Cubing raw chicken breasts
3.      Dicing bell peppers & onions
4.      Steaming/blanching diced carrots or broccoli & cauliflower florets
Leftover stocks can be frozen and cream can also be frozen in the form you intend to use it after defrosting. That means if you freeze liquid cream you can use it for soups and sauces but not to whip for a dessert (in that case, whip ahead of time then freeze!).
We originally began with Rachael Ray’s recipe for Chicken Mug Pie. We have tweaked the recipe several times and although most of the ingredients have stayed the same, we prefer a chunkier soup so we decreased the liquid and increased the veggies!



Chunky Cream of Chicken Soup
Ingredients:

  • 1 tube jumbo bake-off butter biscuits
  • Sweet paprika, for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast pieces, diced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 1 pint half-and-half or cream
  • 1 pint chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn

Directions:
Preheat oven according to package directions and arrange biscuits on cookie sheet. Sprinkle biscuits with a little paprika and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
In a medium pot over medium to medium high heat, cook chicken in butter 2 minutes then add veggies and season with salt and pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook 5 minutes more, add flour cook another minute. Add potatoes, then whisk in half-and-half or cream and chicken stock. Add nutmeg. Bring soup to a boil by raising heat, then turn heat back to simmer and cook soup another 10 minutes. Add corn while the soup simmers. Adjust seasonings. Add peas. Stir in to warm them through a minute.
Ladle soup into bowls or mugs. Top with biscuits (torn up or whole) or enjoy them on the side!

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