I've made this soup so many times over the years, but it never gets old. I tend to make it for potlucks and also when someone in the house has been under the weather. It's rich and gives a person a boost of calories when their appetite's been off. It's also especially comforting with a handful of small crackers to scoop up with the silky broth. I know we're all about Springtime and new greens and asparagus and pastel cakes and treats and all, but there will still be days when all you want is a hot bowl of comfort and a hunk of bread or a handful of crackers. Here's a soup that fills the need.
Cream of Chicken Soup
Serves: 4 – 6
4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped - 3/4 inch dice
1 large onion, chopped – ½ inch dice
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 c. sweet red pepper, chopped – ¼ inch dice
2 c. milk
4 c. chicken stock
½ tsp. dried tarragon or 2 sprigs of fresh (optional)
4 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. dried parsley
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
Making the Soup:
In a soup pot –
1. Scald the milk.
2. Add the chicken stock and the dried tarragon. Heat thoroughly, but do not boil.
3. Add the potatoes and cook them gently over low heat with the cover off the pot.
In a sauté pan –
1. Melt the butter and add the onions. Sauté until the onions are glistening and semi-translucent.
2. Add the sweet pepper and sauté for only a minute or two.
3. Add the flour and parsley and stir to make a roux.
4. Add one cup of stock to the roux and stir to make a smooth sauce.
5. Turn the sauce into the soup pot and stir to blend thoroughly.
6. Add the chicken and salt and pepper. Simmer the soup gently until the potatoes are tender.
Just before serving –
1. Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl.
2. Add one cup of the hot soup stock to the eggs, whisking to combine.
3. Turn the egg mix back into the soup, turn off the heat, and stir in to incorporate.
4. Turn the soup into a tureen and serve immediately OR remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until serving time. If the soup is left on the heat, the eggs will curdle … that’s a no-no!
5. Reheat gently over simmering heat and watch carefully.