It is soup season here in New England and homemade soup is often overlooked in favor of opening a can. I have opened many a can and will in the future I am sure, but this particular day I opted for an easy homemade version.
I used only a couple fresh items (celery, onion, chicken) and the rest came from the pantry and freezer. It started out as a thought of “chicken corn chowder” but when I discovered that I actually only had a 1/4 of a bag of frozen corn in the freezer, it quickly became “use up some of the other random frozen veggies in the freezer soup.”
I started by sauteing the cut up chicken pieces in butter. (The flavor is in the “brown!”) Next I sautéed the celery and onion in the pan. (classic technique) I used a can of cream of mushroom soup (everybody’s “favorite recipe-add-in!”) to give the soup a rich creaminess. The frozen veggie selection could really be anything you like that happens to be hanging around your freezer: peas, squash cubes, you name it! Some left over cooked rice at the end gave this soup a hearty nature.
1 1/2 cups +/- (3-4 small stalks) of celery ( I like to peel the strings first before dicing – it really makes a difference!)
1 1/2 cups +/- (1/2 medium) onion – diced
1 cup frozen corn (fresh or frozen)
1 cup chopped/sliced carrots (fresh or frozen)
1 cup lima beans (frozen or fresh if you can get your hands on them!)
1 can (10 oz) cream of mushroom soup (I happen to have a version with roasted garlic too – it made a nice difference)
2 cups low sodium chicken broth/stock (heated up)
1 lb chicken cut into bite size pieces – no bones or skin. (I used white meat but dark would be delicious)
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp dry sage
2-4 tablespoons butter to saute ( use oil if you like instead)
Salt and pepper to taste/season
Coat the chicken pieces in 1 tsp of the poultry seasoning and a pinch of salt and pepper. Brown the pieces with 2 tb of butter in a heavy bottom pot over med-high heat. Remove and set aside. Add more butter if pot is too dry and saute the onions and celery with another pinch of S/P until softened and golden. Add the chicken pieces back in. De-glaze the pan with the 2 cups of stock. Add in the can of soup*. Add the 2nd tsp of poultry seasoning and the dry sage. ( leave out the extra sage if you’re not a fan of a heavy sage-flavor.) Bring up to a low simmer. Add the corn, lima beans and carrots.** Let the soup simmer, partially covered, for 20-25 mins until chicken is fully cooked and tender. Add the cooked rice and warm through before serving. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper to taste. NOTE: I don’t add the rice till just before serving so the soup doesn’t get too gummy.
* use a gluten-free brand of soup if you want this dish to be completely GF.
** if using raw carrots add them in with the celery and onion in the saute to help get them started cooking and softening.
Makes approximately 4-6 bowls depending on how big your servings.