Saturday, March 20, 2010

Souper Saturday!

Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor. After giving us temps into the 60's last week, for a teasing unseasonably warm spell, on the first day of Spring, she gives us snow, and a 30 degree drop in temps!

What better way to ride it out than with a good book, and a bowl of warm soup.  I'm reading Laura Child's latest Tea Shop cozy mystery, The Teaberry Strangler (I love the whole series!), and I made a soup pot full of Chicken Pot Pie Soup to warm me up while watching the flakes fall.

Here is the recipe to enjoy with your own favorite book!

2 Tblsp. Olive Oil
2 Leeks, washed, trimmed & chopped*  See below!
1 Large Onion, chopped
2 Celery Stalks, diced
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/3 Cup Flour
8 Cups Chicken Stock, divided
1 Envelope Chicken Bouillon Powder, low sodium
2 Medium Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 Medium Potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
1 lb. Small White Button Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
10 Ounces Pearl Onions, peeled
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Corn
1 Cup Frozen Peas
1 Cup Frozen Cut Green Beans
2 Large Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into thin cubes
1 Teasp. Salt
1/2 Teasp. Dried Tarragon
1/2 Teasp. Seasoned Pepper
1 Cup Heavy Cream

Dumplings:
3/4 Cup Flour
3/4 Teasp. Baking Powder
1/2 Teasp. Salt
Pinch Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tblsp. Butter, chilled
1 Large Egg
3 Tblsp. Milk
1 Tblsp. Freshly Chopped Parsley

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks, onion, celery, and garlic.  Cook for about 7 minutes or until just soft.  Stir in flour; cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, taking care not to brown the flour.

Remove from heat and gradually stir in 6 cups chicken stock, and chicken bouillon powder.  Add carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, pearl onions, corn, peas, green beans, chicken, salt, tarragon and pepper.

Return stockpot to medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until veggies and chicken are tender.

Meanwhile, in a shallow saucepan, over medium-high heat, bring remaining 2 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of water to a boil.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.  With a pastry blender, cut butter into flour until it resembles coarse meal. 

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk and parsley; stir into flour mixture until a soft dough forms.

Using a greased spoon, gently place rounded teaspoons of dough into simmering broth.  Cook for about 7 minutes or until well-risen and cooked through.

Stir heavy cream into chicken soup, and adjust thickness of soup by adding remaining cooking liquid from the dumplings.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.  Add cooked dumplings to soup and return to almost boiling, over medium heat. Serve immediately.

Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley over soup bowls.

Enjoy!

* Leeks should always be thorougly rinsed between the layers to remove all of the sand and grit that is trapped there when the plant grows.  See all of the darkness in this cross section?  That is sand! 

After cutting off the tops, I usually slice them lengthwise, and separate the layers just enough under running water to clean them, then the layers all fan nicely back into place, so that I can lay the flat side on my cutting board, and slice them.

3 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, that sounds so good!!!! Sorry about the snow, it's cloudy today in California if that helps - I don't know where spring went!

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  2. Yum!! Are there leftovers??

    I think Old Man Winter had to try & get the last word in. We had 70s on Friday & then 30s & snow on Saturday. More forecast for today.

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  3. Oh Suzie, 30 degrees and snow? Oh I so feel for you! It was gorgeous Friday and Saturday, then bam wind and rain. It is supposed to get in the upper 40's tonight. The soup looks so yummy! Wishing you a wonderful week and some sunshine too!

    (((HUGS)))

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