Friday, April 8, 2016

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Spring has arrived in the pacific northwest! With the flowers growing taller, I'm ready to pack away the casseroles and pot roasts of winter and serve up something a little lighter. But it's not quite salad season yet; even when the sun is shining, the evenings have a little chill.

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup is the perfect dinnertime solution to my spring fever. Full of chicken and veggies, it fills you up without feeling too heavy. And just a drizzle of half and half adds creamy indulgence. Make a double batch so you can warm some up for lunch the next day.

Let's get cooking!

P.S. Think that bread in the photo looks delicious? It is. Check out my Even Better Irish Soda Bread post for the recipe!

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup
Adapted from Damn Delicious
Serves 4-6

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 pound chicken breast, cut into 1" cubes
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
5 carrots, chopped into soup-sized pieces
2 ribs celery, chopped into soup-sized pieces
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped into soup-sized pieces (I like the onion pieces smaller.)
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup flour
3 - 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup half & half
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and cook for about 3 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate.

Add butter to now-empty pot. Once butter is melted, add onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute until vegetables are beginning to soften, about 8 minutes.

Stir in thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly stir in 3 cups of broth, scraping the bottom of the pot to incorporate any browned bits. Add bay leaf and return chicken to the pot. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until slightly thickened, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in another 1 cup broth if you want your soup more liquid-y. Stir in half and half and cook for another minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley if desired.

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