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Soup is my passion. 



A Cooking Adventure with Thom

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 Chicken Soup

Richmond Times Dispatch - February 28, 2007 issue
 Servings: 6



When you are sniffly, sneezy and otherwise sickly, the last thing you want is to spend two days making chicken soup.  Yet somehow canned soup never feels as therapeutic as homemade.  Here is a faster method to get the homemade chicken soup we desire.  Browning the chicken created browned caramelized bits in the pan and then sautéing some garlic and onions’, and then deglazing the pan intensely flavors the soup.  Dredging the chicken with flour before browning creates a roux to flavor and thicken the soup.  There is no potatoes in the soup because they cloud the soup and absorb too much of the liquid.  It is important that all the vegetables be cut into bite size portions.  Staggering the addition of the vegetables to the soup accounts for the different cooking times.  Cooking the pasta in the soup releases the starch which also helps thicken the soup but I don't cook the pasta in the soup because it absorbs all the liquid.  I recommend cooking the pasta separately, al dente, and add to the soup just before serving.



½  ounce package dried Crimini or Portobello mushrooms
½  cup all-purpose flour

1¼  pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

2   tablespoons butter

1   tablespoon olive oil

1   large yellow onion, diced

3   large cloves garlic, minced

¼   teaspoon thyme

¼   teaspoon basil

¼   teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

1   quart low-sodium chicken broth

1   cup water

¾  cup frozen peas

2   carrots, cut into thin rounds

1   cup small pasta (such as elbows or shells

2   celery ribs, chopped

½  cup chopped fresh parsley

     juice of  ½  lemon

     salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking Method

Place the mushrooms in a medium bowl and fill with hot water to cover.  Set aside to reconstitute.


Place the flour in a shallow bowl.


Cut each chicken thigh in two pieces.  Dredge each piece of chicken through the flour to lightly coat on all sides.  Set aside.


In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, combine the butter and olive oil.  When the fat begins to sizzle, add the chicken and cook, turning as needed, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 to 7 minutes.


Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.   Reduce heat to medium and add the onion, garlic, thyme, basil and rosemary.  Sauté until onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes.


Increase heat to high and add broth and water.  Bring the broth to a simmer.


Meanwhile, cut the meat into bite-size pieces.  Drain the mushrooms and squeeze any liquid from them.


When broth is simmering, lower heat to medium-high and add the meat, mushrooms, peas and carrots.  Return to a simmer and cook until the carrots are tender, about 5 minutes.


Add the celery and cook until just tender, about another 5 minutes.  Before serving bring the soup to a boil and add the lemon juice, parsley and pasta, then season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and serve.

819 Mountshire Terrace, Chester, Virginia 23836 Phone: (804) 530-1183