Cream of Chicken Soup with Hemp Hearts and Pumpkin Seeds

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Temperatures are in the low single digits, and that only means soup season is upon us. And it's been a looooonnnggg time that I have made cream of chicken soup. There's something very comforting in chicken soup. I don't know what it is. Maybe the mere mention of chicken soup is enough to drive colds and aches away. And with half the population in this house under the weather, it is definitely time for chicken soup!

Really into starting my soups with mirepoix (onion, carrots and celery mix) and this one is no exception. Okay, I just made it a tad more tedious for you, but the blog is called 'Fueling with Flavour' and the more the merrier.

What's with all that stuff on top? All optional, of course. I fashioned my own croutons in the last minute. Cut up some seeded bread and flash toasted them in my panini press (aka George Foreman ... I love this appliance!), rummaged through my add-ons and grabbed hemp hearts and pumpkin seeds, and thought ... Why not? Texture ... texture ... texture ... You're going to have silky smooth soup (thanks to the immersion blender) punctuated by chicken cubes, croutons going from crisp to soft, and pumpkin seeds providing a nice lively crunch. Aah ...

Surely you don't need to wait until someone at home catches a cold before you decide to make this ;)

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3/4 cup flour
4 cups milk
4 cups chicken broth
Bouquet garni (optional)
1 tbsp dried thyme
4 cups chicken breast meat, chopped
1/4 cup sherry or white wine
Salt and Pepper

To serve:
Fresh parsley
Pumpkin seeds and hemp hearts

1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy bottomed pan, then add the onion, celery and carrots.
2. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they have softened.
3. Sprinkle the flour and work it into the aromatics as best you can, thinning it with a bit of reserved broth if needed. Just keep stirring.
4. In about a minute or so after the flour has been cooked through, add the milk and broth, a cup at a time, stirring continuously so as to eliminate any lumps.
5. At this point, if you prefer your soup on the smooth side, use your immersion blender to your desired consistency.
6. Bouquet garni, thyme, and chopped chicken in right now.
7. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes
8. Stir in the sherry, and season with salt and pepper.
9. Top with croutons, pumpkin seeds, and fresh parsley to serve.

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