I have a file of soup recipes I'd been waiting to try once the dreadful summer we had last year had passed. Last week we finally had some freezing weather (back to 70 degrees today.....are we ever going to get winter weather that will stick around longer than a weekend?!!!!) and I got to pull one of them out to try.
Oh! this one is so good!!! Silky and creamy with a deep chicken flavor. I used reduced-fat cream cheese and it came out perfectly, actually much better than using half-and-half or cream. I won't be saving this one just for cold weather.
CREAM CHEESE CHICKEN and VEGETABLE SOUP (4 servings)
2 Tbsp butter
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup diced carrots (about 2 regular carrots or a handful of baby carrots)
3 cups chicken broth see note below
3-4 smallish red or Yukon gold potatoes (I like to leave the peels on)
1 cup milk
4 Tbsp flour
1 (8 oz package) regular or light cream cheese
about 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced (I used a rotisserie chicken and just added enough meat until it suited my tastes)
In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Saute, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, until the veggies are slightly tender and the onions are translucent. Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.
In a liquid measuring cup, vigorously whisk the flour and milk together until smooth. Whisk the mixture into the soup, stirring quickly, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until the soup begins to thicken slightly. Stir often to ensure the soup doesn't burn.
Soften the cream cheese in the microwave until it is soft and melty (microwave for about 1 minutes at 30% power to avoid having cream cheese lumps). Add the cream cheese to the soup in small tablespoon-size pieces. Let the pieces sit in the soup and warm through then whisk or stir the soup until the cream cheese melts. Add the cooked chicken and heat through. Season with S&P. Serve.
Recipe source: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/cream-cheese-chicken-and-vegetable-soup/
NOTE: When a recipe calls for chicken stock/broth, I use a broth mix made by Knorr. I first found this mix when I worked at a restaurant in Minnesota. The owner would use this to make soup. Personally, I found this product to produce a really clean flavor. And, of course, you can add as much or as little as you like to get the flavor you like.
Thing is, it's not easy to find. After I quit the restaurant, I couldn't find it anywhere. Then I just happened across it at a big Asian market in Minneapolis. We were going to be moving and I asked if they could ship more to me when I ran out. They did. So for several years, that was my source.
Since then, I have found it at an Asian market here in Chattanooga and I can find it (sporadically) at my local Aldi's. It comes in a 35.2 oz tin and stays good until the very bottom. This tastes different than the Knorr chicken bouillon cubes you can find in the local supermarket soup aisle. It's nice to have an easy go-to for chicken stock/broth that are required in so many recipes I use. Photo below: