Don’t let the sunny picture fool you…well ok I’m not even going to go there. Living in California sure its fun in the sun. But when my favorite time of year comes, FALL, I am saddened that the weather is not cool enough to reflect that. I love making soup and bread and warm you up goodies, but when the temperature reaches 80 in November, well sometimes it just isn’t that easy to get my family to eat hot soup! Luckily in between these warm days are a few hit or miss cool and even rainy ones. Leaving me to explore the world of Fall cooking.
Today I made a creamy, warm, stick to your ribs with a hearty healthy kick soup. This soup is almost too hearty to have a second bowl…I did say ALMOST! Filled with vegetables for great nutrition and a little creaminess to round it out, you will surely want to accompany it with a carb filled side! For me I have been making this Focaccia Bread that is just delicious and pairs perfectly with any soup or is fabulous on its own. Take a weekend, get your ingredients together you will want to make both of these delights this weekend!
- 8 c. Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
- 2 Stalks Celery, thinly sliced
- 1 Red Onion, diced
- 1/2 c. Carrots, I used the shredded ones
- 1 head of broccoli, washed and cut up in small pieces (reserve 1/2 of the florets)
- 1 bunch of Asparagus, washed and trimmed; reserve the stems
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. Dried Oregano
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
- 3/4 c. Cream of Chicken Soup (could substitute in heavy cream, I just had this left over so I wanted to use it)
- 1/4 c. 2% Milk
- 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese (optional)
- Kosher Salt, to taste
- 1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Pepper
- 3 cooked Chicken Breasts, diced
In a large stockpot, drizzle olive oil on the bottom and add your diced chicken. Season with salt/pepper and cook until browned and cooked through.
Remove from pot and add 1 tbs of olive oil, add; carrots, celery, onion, broccoli, stems of your asparagus and saute for 5 minutes.
*NOTE* Using the stems to the asparagus:
- Cut the very bottoms off, discard and do not use
- Bend the bottom of one the asparagus spears until it snaps, this will be your guide for cutting the rest of the bunch
- Cut the remaining spears and cut the stems into 1/2″ dices, add these to your stockpot.
Add flour and saute for 2 minutes to get the flour taste out of it.
Add chicken broth slowly stirring as you add to avoid clumps. Once all broth is incorporated, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to just at a boil for about 20 minutes, or until all veggies are super soft.
Remove from heat and using an immersion blender (these things ROCK!) start blending until you get the desired consistency you like.
Return pot to stove and reduce heat to low. Add rice stir to combine.
Take a microwave safe bowl and add your milk and cream of chicken soup and combine. Add cheese if using.
Add this to your stockpot along with your reserved chicken and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
While simmering place your asparagus spears & broccoli florets in a microwave safe bowl and add about 2 tbs water. Cover with Saran wrap and cook for 1 minute. Immediately add to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
When soup is finished garnish with a few of your steamed broccoli florets and asparagus spears.