When the weather starts to get cold I always think of certain types of comfort food. Who doesn’t crave the smell of a pot roast cooking away in the oven, or some hearty chili with cheese and onions or a tureen of hot soup?
I don’t tend to make soup a lot during the Spring and Summer but once Fall arrives soup becomes one of the main things on my mind. And making home made soup is so much better for you. Have you ever read the ingredients on a can of store bought soup? Next time pay attention to the amount of sodium in canned soup. It’s off the charts! And we all could use a little less salt in our lives to keep ourselves on a healthier track.
The beauty of home made soup is you can throw a myriad of goodies into it like carrots, spinach, peas, potatoes, squash, etc., the sky’s the limit. Soups are also easy to make and very satisfying, especially during the cold weather months.
This soup is so delicious I think you’ll make it several times. Serve it with a salad and warm crusty bread and you’ll have one heck of a great meal.
So lets talk Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup…
Lesson Learned 1 – I love Better Than Bouillon: Many recipes call for adding bouillon cubes or granules to enhance the flavor of a soup. I’ve found that Better Than Bouillon is a great substitute and gives the soup more depth of flavor compared to the cubes or granules. I highly recommend using it but if you don’t have it substitute a couple of cubes or a tablespoon of granules and that will add some additional flavor. But you will definitely notice the difference in flavor if you use Better Than Bouillon.
Lesson Learned 2 – Soups are primo for substitutions: I used spinach in this recipe but you can also use kale. Personally I’m not a big fan of kale but it’ll work well in this soup. If you substitute any of the vegetables make sure they have a uniform cook time. If you add something like butternut squash or potatoes you might have to cut them into very small pieces or else cook them separately until somewhat tender and then add them to the other vegetables. You can also substitute shredded carrots for the carrot coins or you could even add some broccoli or peas. If you add frozen peas add them at the end when you add the browned chicken. That way they’ll cook properly. Have fun and experiment with this soup!
Lesson Learned 3 – For additional depth of flavor use equal parts chicken broth and stock: I found that by using both in equal parts it gives a better flavor to the soup than just by using one or the other. That is not to say you can’t use just one of them, but I noticed a definite difference in the richness of the soup when combining both. If you only want to use one, I would opt for chicken broth. I find chicken stock too strong to use on its own. And keep in mind it may just be my personal taste. But try combining both sometime and see if you don’t notice a difference.
I know you’ll love this soup. Try it and let me know what you think…
Creamy Chicken Tortellini Soup...
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 Tbs. butter, divided
2 medium carrots, cut into 1/4 inch coins
1 medium sized onion, chopped
2 small celery ribs, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbs. flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
2 Tbs. Roasted Chicken Better Than Bouillon
1 package (10 oz.) three cheese tortellini
1 cup half and half
2 cups fresh spinach
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional
Season cubed chicken with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven brown the chicken in 2 Tbs. of butter. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. Add the remaining butter to the pan and sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until crisp tender. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute.
Whisk in the flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Add the chicken broth, stock, bouillon, water and tortellini. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for approximately 8 minutes.
Add the half and half, spinach and cooked chicken. Cook on low heat until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat, ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Serve with a salad and warm crusty bread.