One of our New Year’s Resolutions was to not only cook more, but to cook more food we’ve never tried or made before.
Monday was a cold one (-11) and soup on a cold winter day is the epitome of comfort. So, we took to our Pinterest boards to find one to cook for supper.
After some back and forth, some hemming and hawing, and a terrible amount of indecisiveness, Max finally made the decision for us; creamy chicken and mushroom soup.
Theres just something inherently comforting about coming home and sitting around the family table sharing stories and a bowl of hot steamy delicious soup.
We planned to use this recipe, but we ran into a few issues at Dominion; due to poor weather conditions, their shelves were bare, and they were lacking a few of the key ingredients. If you’ve ever cooked with Max you would know that this didn’t necessarily constitute a problem, because to her a recipe is nothing more than a guideline. She quickly went into improvisation mode and bought ground chicken breast and whipping cream instead of chicken thighs and cooking cream. Then, as she perused the aisles light shone out of the heavens and she saw it; glorious maple bacon.
Then, she looked at her phone, saw the time and rushed her ass home to start cooking.
What you need:
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 package of ground chicken breasts
– rock salt and pepper
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 pkg of fresh button mushrooms, thinly sliced
– 1 onion, diced
– 1 bag of shredded carrots
– 2 stalks celery, diced
– 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
– 4 cups chicken stock
– 1/2 cup of whipping cream ( or cooking cream)
– 1 tsp dried rosemary
– shredded cheese (optional)
– 1/4 pack of maple bacon
How to make it
– Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Season the ground chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to the stockpot and cook until it is cooked through, about 2-3 minutes; set aside.
– Add mushrooms and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, and until the onions begin to caramelize.
– In a separate pan fry the bacon. You want it crispy enough to chop up, but not so crispy that it isn’t tender. Its a fine line, we know.
– Add bacon to the stockpot and let the flavours marry.
– Add garlic, carrots and celery to the stockpot. Cook, stir occasionally until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
– Add in chicken stock stir and simmer, about 4-5 minutes.
– Stir in whipping cream until heated through, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
– Add some rosemary and thyme. Continue to simmer
– Add barley and wild rice.
– This is where it gets tricky friends….taste it.
– Taste it again. Does it taste good? Ours was a little bland. So we added more pepper.
– Still bland. More pepper
– It really wasn’t doing the trick. So we added some garlic and onion powder.
– Not quite there. We added a pinch or three of cayenne.
– Eventually, enough is enough. .
– Serve immediately, garnished with parsley and rosemary, if desired. We opted for lots and lots of shredded cheddar cheese.
The Thought Process
The idea for this meal was to take a simple recipe and create more depth of flavour by adding more ingredients. (Clearly this was Max’s idea, not Kat’s)
Maple bacon was used to add a hint of sweetness.
Max used thinly sliced mushrooms. However, in retrospect she probably should have chopped them up a little because while it looked beautiful in the pictures it was a little cumbersome to eat.
We chose to add rice to make the soup a little more filling. Because we don’t know about you, but we’re almost always hungry 30 mins after a bowl.
We used wild rice, because it just kind of seemed like that what should be used in a mushroom soup. But, it was kind of tough to eat. It didn’t really get soft like white rice would have. Perhaps we didn’t boil it long enough, or maybe thats just how it is?
Cheese was added, because even by the time we gave up adding spices, the soup just tasted like it was missing “something”. And you can never go wrong with cheese.
T.K. and J.W. really enjoyed it (they had seconds), Kat and Max, not so much. In fact, we’d be quite okay never eating it or attempting to make it ever again. Perhaps we’re just not creamy soup kind of people.
Putting our personal food preferences aside; If you are looking for a bowl of soup that warms you up inside and out, filling and hearty, and makes leftovers for the next day then give this recipe a try (with a few of your own personal touches and tweaks of course and share your wins with us we would love to hear from you).
Don’t worry, just because this one wasn’t a complete win, we won’t let one little fumble stop us from marching on. We have sooo many other things that we want to take a swing at.
Do you have any recipes for comfort food that we should try?
Cheers, Maxine & Kathryn