Not Your Mother’s Chicken Soup: Creamy Lemon Pasta Chicken Soup

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“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living.  For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish. ”  Louis P DeGouy , The Soup Book, 1949

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Every culture has its own tradition of soup and archaeologists have traced soup-making back to 20,000 years BC.  It is the perfect communal meal, ideal for sharing.  There is a meditative quality to the chopping of the ingredients while the anticipation of enjoying the dish builds as the seductive aroma fills the home during the long simmering.  It is a dish that evokes home like no other.

This soup has bright citrus notes, crunchy sugar snap peas, big chunks of chicken breast and sliced mushrooms in a creamy base.  It is satisfying as a meal on its own and it is a lovely cold weather transitional dish with its spring-like ingredients: sugar snap peas, lemony highlights and  fresh parsley.  Whatever your tradition of soup is, try a new variation of “chicken soup” and experience a burst of springtime flavor and color.  Who knows?  It could become a new family favorite.

CREAMY LEMON PASTA CHICKEN SOUP

6 Main-Course or 12 Starter Servings

3 T butter

1 c sliced celery

1 c shredded carrots

1 c sliced mushrooms

1 diced yellow onion

3 T flour

6 c chicken stock

1 1/2 c light cream

1/4 c packed, chopped Italian parsley

1 1/2 c uncooked chicken breast meat, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

1 c penne pasta, cooked al dente

1 c sugar snap peas, cut in half, diagonally

juice of 2 lemons

salt and pepper

Melt butter in a soup pot.  Add celery, carrots, mushrooms and onions and cook over low heat until onion is translucent.

Add flour and stir thoroughly for about 2 minutes.  Gradually add chicken stock, stirring constantly, and heat through, about 5 minutes.  Add cream and parsley and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add chicken and simmer another 5 minutes.  (Soup can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated until ready to use.) Add cooked pasta and sugar snap peas and simmer another 2 minutes.  Finish with lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste.

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“Soup is the song of the hearth…and the home”  Louis P DeGouy, The Soup Book, 1949

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Virgin and Child with Milk Soup, Gerard David, c1510