Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tuscan Chicken Soup



I would like to know who made up spring cleaning. Whoever you are, I would like to eat you.

Not because it would give me any pleasure to do so. I have no taste for cannibalism. But I would do it because you deserve it. 


Somehow though, no matter how much I fight it, I give in to spring cleaning every year. I just get into this unbidden frenzy of starting projects and doing a bunch of stressful things.

For instance, when we got home from Florida I burst into my room  and cried, "What two-year-old lives in this flowery pink wasteland??"

Well, I guess I'll just totally remodel it. No biggie. 



But why, oh why did I ever step into the paint store? Why did painting my walls seem so important at the time? Surely bright green walls and pink blankets are not so horrid. Not as horrid as the blisters on my fingers from that accursed paintbrush.

And in addition to those horrors, we also volunteered to do a dinner at our church. It turned out pretty good other than the part where I warmed up my beautiful soup in a stupidly thin pot and the bottom got scorched.

But no more complaining. I will once again live vicariously through you as you make this soup in a nice, big, heavy-bottomed pot and serve it to your friends as the world chants your name.


Creamy Tuscan Chicken Soup

10 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic
1 cup chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup flour
5 1/2 cups half and half
2 cups milk
1/2 cup white cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, chopped well
1 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped (about one small jar)
4 cups chicken, cooked and chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2 pound pasta, cooked and drained (I used small shells)
1 bunch of fresh basil, chopped well


Combine the butter, onion, garlic, and red bell pepper in a large pot. Cook over medium-high heat for about five minutes or until tender. Add the flour and cook till golden, whisking occasionally. Whisk in the half and half, milk, wine, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 10-20 minutes until thickened. Whisk in the parmesan and stir in the artichokes, tomatoes, chicken, pasta, and basil.


 

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