It's Christmas time here and "Baby, It's Cold Outside". So if you have no place to go, make some soup and "Let it Snow". Yes, I have been listening to too many Christmas songs while I cook in the kitchen.
Soup is one of my favorite parts of winter. Well to tell you the truth, I can eat a big bowl of soup even in the middle of a scorching hot summer. But when it's cold and miserable outside... Soup Rules!
I like to buy a big bag of broccoli florets from Costco almost every week. Broccoli doesn't last too long in the fridge so I'm always finding ways to use it up. This soup was a winning idea because I used one pound of broccoli and the kids couldn't tell and asked for second helpings.
I also decided to poach some chicken breast to start the process. Poaching the chicken breast first really gives a nice texture to the chicken. It also gave me some great stock to combine with box stock. I love being able to stretch a buck.
The final touches are sliced American cheese and some milk to make this soup nice and creamy. Yes, I said sliced American cheese. Hey, there are places for fancy cheese, but if you want a easy and quick melting cheese... it's the best.
So, if you are experiencing some chill in the air... grab a bowl and ladle up some soup today. You will be warm from the inside out in no time.
2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breast poached (see instructions below how to poach)
1 lb broccoli florets (divided)
1 medium onion chopped
2-3 red and yellow sweet peppers (can substitute 1 small red bell pepper chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
salt and black pepper to taste
red chili powder or red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
4 cups strained poaching liquid (substitute chicken stock if you don't have 4 cups remaining)
4 cups chicken stock
7-8 slices American cheese
11/2 cups milk or half and half
Directions with Step by Step Photos:
Step 1: Poach chicken breast. To poach place chicken breast with water (1 inch above chicken), some sliced onion, salt and black pepper. Bring water to a boil then lower to medium heat and simmer until chicken is fully cooked through and tender. Remove chicken and cut into large chunks/cubes when cool enough to handle. Strain poaching liquid for soup.
Step 2: Chop onion, peppers and 1 cup of the broccoli and set aside.
Step 3: In a large soup pot place the remaining broccoli with the strained poaching liquid and chicken stock. Season with thyme, poultry seasoning, red chili powder, black pepper and garlic powder.
Step 4: When broccoli is tender puree until creamy.
Step 5: Then add the chopped broccoli, onion and peppers into the creamed broccoli soup.
Step 6:Simmer Until broccoli, onion and peppers become tender. Then add the cubed chicken, sliced American cheese.
Step 7: Finally add 11/2 cup milk and simmer on low for 2-3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve hot. Enjoy.
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