Well, Autumn is upon us. Here in Michigan today, it was dark, rainy and cold. What a PERFECT time to make a hearty soup for dinner! And, it’s a great way to clean out your fridge from any leftovers from dinners past.
Tonight I made Cream of Chicken & Rice Soup using leftover chicken breasts and vegetables I had used this week for previous dinners. This soup is extremely simple, and inexpensive. It starts with a simple bechamel sauce. I remember when I first learned how to make this, from my girlfriend Naida, it sounded VERY fancy-schmancy…. and difficult. But trust me, it is one of the easiest things to make. And if you are a newbie to cooking from scratch, for very little effort you can really impress yourself and your family. haha
I feed a BIG family of 6… Me, my Husband and 4 growing boys. They can eat…. a lot! So, I am going to give you a simple version to feed 4…. but if you have a growing family like mine, just go ahead and DOUBLE this recipe. 😀
- 4 TBS butter
- 4 TBS all-purpose flour
- 4 cups milk
- 4 tbs chicken bouillon.paste OR 8 chicken bouillon cubes
- 1 lb chicken breasts or leftover chicken, cubed up or shredded
- vegetables..... I usually empty my fridge of all leftover vegetables from previous dinners which for me usually include green beans, carrots, cubed boiled potatoes, sweet baby peas and corn. The amount here is optional and up to you.
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbs sweet basil
- 1 Tbs parsley
- 1 tsp granulated onion
- 1 cup cooked rice (I used leftover rice but make fresh if you need to... or omit it altogether)
- In a larger saucepan or pot, over medium heat melt butter.
- Add your flour to melted butter and whisk continuously to cook flour for 30 seconds.
- Slowly add milk into your pot.
- Whisk together well.
- Add chicken bouillon or paste.
- Bring to a boil. This will thicken your cream sauce.
- Now add your spices.
- Whisk well and taste. Adjust your spices according to your liking.
- Now, add your cooked chicken meat and vegetables.
- Add cooked rice.
- Stir well and bring back to a boil and simmer on low for about 15-20 minutes.
- Serve with a good crusty bread roll or buttermilk biscuits and enjoy!
- If you want your cream soup a bit thicker.... add 3 Tbs of corn starch to 1 cup of water and add it to your soup and return to a boil. This is a great little trick that works wonderfully without giving your soup lumps!