Nathan got his braces on this week. (I’d show you the awesome picture he took of himself with the things that hold your mouth open, but I promised I wouldn’t show it to anyone.) He’s pretty miserable and has been living on milkshakes. (Which, come to think of it, is a decent way to suffer through misery.) I wanted to make something for dinner that would be soft but also, you know, more nutritious than cream, sugar, ice cream, whipped cream, and marishino cherries.
I’m not sure what I came up with—creamy chicken soup—really was healthier than ice cream, but it was pretty delicious.
So I started making dinner at a normal time. Then Kaleb needed some help, as he had a friend from school over and they made an enormous mess with popcorn. Got that cleaned up, went back to cooking, then his friend’s mom—whom I’d never met—came to get him, so I stopped cooking and talked to her for awhile. Cooked for two more minutes and then Jake needed a ride to work. Once I got home from that, Kendell was just getting home from work, which you’d think would make things easier, but he decided to balance the checkbook so I kept having to stop cooking to answer checkbook questions. Then Kaleb decided he wanted to go to scouts early so I had to arrange that with my neighbor.
I kept getting interrupted so often that I had to push dinner back to after scouts. Kendell and I left for the cub scouts meeting with the soup simmering very gently and the breadsticks ready to put in the oven the second we got home.
You know...home from the scouts meeting. The blue and gold banquet. Where they feed you dinner.
The irony in all of this was that Nathan ended up going to a friend’s house anyway.
So we ate dinner (pulled pork sandwiches) at the scout meeting and kept the soup for tonight. Actually...we ate it for lunch. The bread sticks weren’t awesome because I left them in the fridge for so long. But the soup was still delicious!
Creamy Chicken Soup
Cook four chicken breasts in one can of chicken broth, with a roughly-diced onion, some garlic, pepper, poultry seasoning, and a dash of nutmeg in the broth. When it’s finished, take the breasts out of the broth and let them cool, but keep the broth.
In the pan you are making the soup in, make a roux:
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
5 T flour
Melt the butter, then add the olive oil. Keep the pan on low. Sprinkle the flour into the oils, then stir till the flour into it, creating a smooth paste.
Measure out a total of five cups of a milk and cream mixture (whatever you think your arteries can handle; I do 3 cups skim milk and 2 cups cream). Let sit so it starts to lose its chill.
2 stalks celery
2 (more!) T butter
2 T olive oil
While they are sauteing, peel and finally dice two potatoes.
Remember the broth you cooked the chicken in? It’s been sitting for awhile now, and the icky foamy floaty stuff has settled to the bottom. Use a slotted spoon to get the onions out of the broth. Scoop them into the blender and put as much of the broth as you can get—without the icky foamy floaty stuff. Blend until smooth. Whisk that into the roux in your soup pan. Turn the heat back on, to medium low, and stir this until smooth. Then add:
2 cans chicken broth
Stir in the onions, carrots, and celery. Bring to a boil. While that happens, sprinkle the potatoes pretty well with white pepper, then saute them, then add to the broth/veggie mix. While the potatoes cook, shred the chicken.
Once the potatoes are soft-ish (so, like, not soft enough to mash, but no longer crunchy), pour in the milk/cream mixture. Season with
3-ish tsp of garlic, or three crushed garlic cloves, or 1 tsp garlic powder
2 T chicken base
3 tsp poultry seasoning
plenty of fresh black pepper
Bring back to a gentle boil (if you boil it too hard, it will probably get all curdle-y and icky). Taste and then adjust the seasonings—quite often I put in a little more chicken base, which is perfectly salty to me. (I don’t like a lot of salt.)
Serve with some grated cheddar, Parmesan, Monterey jack, or Muenster sprinkled on top.
And trust me: It’s even better the next day!