Monday, October 31, 2011

Cream Cheese Chicken and Vegetable Soup

This recipe is creamy, hearty and comforting.  I love the idea of adding cream cheese to a soup.  I'll keep that idea in mind for chowders in the future.  I thought it required lots of salt and pepper but that's how I like my soup!  I did 3 potatoes and 2 huge chicken breasts and it was enough soup to split into two and freeze half.

2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup diced carrots (about 2 regular carrots or a handful of baby carrots)
3 cups chicken broth
2-3 potatoes, peeled and finely diced
1 cup milk (1% is my milk of choice)
4 tablespoons flour
1 (8 oz. package) regular or light cream cheese
2-3 (about 1 pound) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
salt and pepper (to taste)

DIRECTIONS:
In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Saute, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, until the veggies are slightly tender and the onions are translucent. Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. In a liquid measuring cup, vigorously whisk the flour and milk together until smooth. Whisk the mixture into the soup, stirring quickly, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until the soup begins to thicken slightly. Stir often to ensure the soup doesn’t burn. Soften the cream cheese in the microwave until it is very soft/melty. I usually place the unwrapped cream cheese on a plate and microwave it for one minute at 30% power. I like it really, really soft so it doesn’t leave lumps in the soup. Add the cream cheese to the soup in small tablespoon-size pieces. Let the pieces sit in the soup and warm through then whisk or stir the soup until the cream cheese melts and mixes in well. Add the cooked chicken and heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

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