First things first – Happy New Year dear reader! I hope 2014 is full of good health, much happiness, amazing adventures, and of course, great food! I’m sure a little extra cash wouldn’t hurt either 🙂
So happy it’s January, because it’s the longest, coldest, darkest, most never ending month of the year, only to be followed by February which is … Oh yeah, more of the same. There is nothing so wonderful as typing on my computer while wearing fingerless gloves! Said no one EVER. Thank heavens for whomever (or is it whoever) invented soup, because it’s the one thing that keeps me warm all winter long. This one’s my/our very favorite soup of all time, so I’m excited to share it with you.
I’ve been making this recipe forever. It’s adapted from somewhere, but I honestly forget where. I love the addition of cilantro and red pepper, kind of a non-spicy southwestern twist. Save time by using a rotisserie chicken if you like, and peeled and cut squash. And make sure you add the red pepper, scallions and cilantro at the very end – it’s so good when you get that little bit of crunch!
Not to be bossy, but...One more important thing… I use half and half instead of heavy cream, but you can’t boil half and half (it curdles). You have to add it at the very end after the soup is hot. So if you want half of this soup for leftovers, put half into a container, before you add the half and half and then add it after you heat your portion. Hope that makes sense – too many halves! You could always use heavy cream and not worry about this step, but it has lots more fat, and I don’t think this soup needs it.
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 medium onions diced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 9 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 3/4 pounds peeled seeded butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 34 ounce bag frozen corn
- 1 cup half and half or heavy cream if preferred - see my note
- 3 cups cooked chicken breast shredded
- 1 bunch scallions chopped
- 2 medium red bell peppers seeded and diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro minced
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.
- In a large stockpot, sauté the onions in the oil until soft. Add flour and cook for 2 more minutes. Add broth, and bring to a boil to thicken slightly.
- Add squash, potatoes and thyme and return to a boil.
- Reduce heat, and let simmer 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
- Remove soup from the stove and puree with an immersion blender, or in a regular blender.
- Return creamed soup to the stove, and add corn and chicken.
- Simmer 10-15 minutes, or until corn is tender.
- Add red peppers and scallions, and continue to simmer until slightly softened.
- Finally, add cilantro and half and half, and heat through. Do not bring to a hard boil, because half and half may separate.
- Season with 2 teaspoons salt (or more to taste), pepper and additional thyme if necessary.
This makes 12 servings, so if you won't eat it all at once, consider removing half of the soup to another container before your add the half and half. Add only half of the half and half to the pot, and the remainder after your leftover soup is reheated. It will curdle if you reheat the soup to a boil!
Do you live where it’s cold and dark forever? How do you deal with it? 🙂 Stay warm and …