Thick and Rich Mushroom & Chicken Soup

IMG_2123 Deep Freeze 2015! As we settle into another below-freezing week here in the ‘Natti, it’s time to make some soup.

And while I love soup; I particularly love soup as a meal. This riff on a Hungarian Mushroom Soup is full of fragrant onions, savory mushrooms, big bites of gently sautéed chicken and deliciously carby pasta. Proteins, Carbs, Vegetables, Umami favor;  this soup has it all. One pot, one bowl, one gigantic glass of wine; and dinner is served.

Thick and Rich Chicken & Mushroom Soup
Servings: 8-10 (1-cup servings) Time: 1 hour

1 tbs butter (I implore you, Kerrygold is fantastic)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 (8 oz) container button mushrooms, cleaned and diced
1/4 c. wine (red or white) or chicken broth
2 tbs flour
1/2 lb  chicken (about 2 breasts or 3 boneless thighs), cleaned and diced
1 oz (about 6 or 7) dried wild mushrooms, broken up & reconstituted, reserve broth
6 c. chicken broth
2 heaping tbs dried dill (or 1/4c. fresh dill, minced)
4 oz small shaped pasta (or long pasta broken into 1″ bits)
1/2c. half & half
1 tsp smoked paprika
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
Sea salt & pepper to taste

In a large deep stockpot, melt butter. Add garlic, onion and button mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Once vegetables have some color and are starting to stick (about 5 minutes), deglaze the pan with wine or chicken stock. Creating space in the center of the pan, add chicken. allow to cook on one side, flip over. Don’t worry about cooking it 100%; it will continue to cook in the soup.

Once vegetables and chicken are starting to stick, sprinkle with flour. Toss to coat vegetables and chicken. Add wild mushrooms and mushroom liquid, stirring to combine well. Add chicken broth and bring soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add dill and pasta and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Slowly stir in half and half (so it doesn’t curdle; if it does, it’s completely edible, just not as pretty). Sprinkle in paprika and cayenne if using, allow to simmer for 10 minutes.  Taste here. Add salt & pepper to taste. This needs nothing for serving; but a little freshly shaved Parmesan or aged Gouda would put it over the top. Makes 8 cups.

IMG_2126
Re-heating tip: As with any pasta-based soup, add a little chicken broth when re-heating to loosen up the soup again.

IMG_2132This soup came together in no time at all; but will fill your house with the most amazing aroma that will have you hanging around the kitchen drinking wine, waiting for it to be done.

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