Friday, February 17, 2012

Comfort Soup

Okay, I can admit that the picture of this soup doesn't look super appetizing. But it does taste good and feels wonderfully comforting going down. So if you are in the mood for some creamy comfort soup, give this one a try, Hey, and there weren't any disasters with this one. Win! FYI: I left out the fennel seeds and parsley. Also, I found it easier to pick up some already cooked chicken from the rotisserie section at Whole Foods and just take the skin off and chop it up.

Cream of Chicken and Fennel Soup
Makes 4 servings
Source: Sunday Soup


2 medium fennel bulbs
4 cups chicken stock 

1 cup water
1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, diced
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups light cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 cup fresh snow peas
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped


1. Cut off stalks from fennel (if attached) and reserve feathery tops for garnish. Halve bulbs lengthwise; cut out and discard tough cores. Chop enough fennel to yield 1 1/2 cups.

2. Bring 4 cups of chicken stock to a simmer in a large pot set over medium-high heat. Add fennel and carrots, and cook until vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife, about 12 minutes.

3. Drain the fennel and carrots, setting aside about 1 1/2 cups of stock. Put the fennel, carrots and diced chicken in a bowl and set aside.

4. Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or less. Gradually whisk in cream and reserved stock. Whisk until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon, for 4 minutes or longer. Stir in lemon juice, fennel seeds and salt. Stir in chicken, fennel and carrots. If the soup is too thick, thin it with additional stock as needed. The soup can be prepared to this point a day ahead; cool, cover and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat.

5. When ready to serve the soup, trim and discard ends from snow peas. Cut the snow peas on the diagonal into thirds. Add them to the soup and cook just until tender, about 2 minutes. Taste soup and season with salt, as needed.

6. To serve, ladle soup into 4 soup bowls. Garnish each with a sprig of fennel or the parsley.

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