I feel as though I’ve phoned it in for Christmas this year. I didn’t get as many decorations up as I’d like, I didn’t get as many cookies made as I should have, and I haven’t finished my shopping yet. I blame the Hallmark channel and all those damn Christmas movies – I’ve logged more hours than I care to admit.
Even though I haven’t crossed everything off my Christmas to-do list, I will say that I have done a great job of embracing cozy this year – big sweaters, mugs of hot coffee, piles of blankets, mulled wine with friends, and fluffy slippers.
Soup is another one of my favorite ways to embrace the cozy spirit of the year. It warms my belly, calms my shivers and feeds a crowd too, which is great this time of year. This version is creamy without being too rich. The lemon adds an interesting layer of flavor and some much needed brightness on a gray winter day.
Whether you’re planning a fancy holiday meal or watching a movie, soup always works.
Patrick, my better half and my most honest food critic, likes this soup which is a good indication of deliciousness. I hope you’ll give it a try, especially if you have leftover turkey from a holiday dinner. Or go meatless and sub mushrooms for the chicken and veggie broth for the chicken broth. Whether you are planning a fancy holiday meal or watching a movie, soup always works.
Broth vs. Stock? Both are slowly simmered to extract flavor however, broth is mainly made from meat and veggies where as stock includes the bones which impart additional rich flavor and color.
A few cook’s notes:
- Make sure the milk is room temp or slightly warmed before adding it to the roux. This will prevent clumps from forming.
- Don’t use skim or 1% milk. Use whole, or 2% at the very least
- Either chicken or turkey meat work in this recipe. Use your holiday leftovers or a rotisserie chicken for a quick short cut.
- Chicken or turkey stock/broth will work.
- Make it vegetarian by using mushrooms in place of the meat and use vegetable broth in place of chicken broth.
- I’m not sure if it freezes well, I haven’t had enough left over to test it ;)
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 of a large onion or 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- About 1 1/2 cups chopped chicken or turkey. I used 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs here. Use leftover holiday turkey if you have it or mushrooms for a vegetarian version.
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper (mix together)
- 3/4 cup long grain white rice
- 5 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- The juice of 1 lemon
- 2 cups milk, room temp
- 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth (turkey & veggie broth also work)
- A dutch oven or other large pot
- a small sauce pan to cook the rice
- a whisk
- In a small pan, cook the rice according to the package directions. I usually use the 2:1 ratio – I added 1 1/2 cups water to the 3/4 cup rice.
- Place the dutch oven over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- If you are using left-over meat, skip to step #5. If not, add the chicken and season with half of the garlic/salt/pepper mix.
- Cook the chicken through, remove from the pan and set aside
- Add the green pepper, onion, and carrot to the pot. Season with the rest of the garlic/salt/pepper mix.
- Cook for about 8 minutes, until slightly tender. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Turn the heat to medium low and add the rest of the olive oil and all of the butter.Cook until the butter is melted.
- Using a whisk, add the flour and continue to whisk until the roux is smooth. Let it bubble/boil for about 30 seconds.
- Continue whisking and slowly add the milk. Keep whisking! It will be thick but don’t worry.
- Next, slowly add the chicken broth and keep whisking! Bring the soup base to a simmer.
- Add the chicken and veggies back in and allow the soup to slowly simmer for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add the rice and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice
- Check for seasoning and add s/p as needed.