Last week in a hunger for savory warmth, I roasted a chicken, but knowing the snow was coming, I pulled the remaining meat and stored it for making what may just be the finest use of leftover roast (or rotisserie) chicken. Frequently in the summer with the leftovers of roast chicken a lighter version of this soup can be found in my kitchen, but waking to snow and freezing cold, the heartier, creamier version is called for.
I woke in mood to do little but read, tend and create, and as these first weeks of the new year are thus far deeply productive, I caved to my relaxation whim. Aside from keeping a warm fire going in the stove and tending the already started early cool season vegetable seedlings now taking up better than a third of the dining room table, there was no real must in the air.
And after some wandering in the cold quiet woods, a bit of reading and mild tending of business, I found myself in the kitchen to create. Outside the smell of crisp smoke tendriled down from the chimney, the fresh biting scent of snow hung from the branches and inside, the warm intoxicating aroma of chicken broth filled the air. There are few places as warm and comforting as a wintertime kitchen.
Hard-pressed to think of a better way to relax would be understating the situation and those are the days worth all the efforts between.
CREAMY CHICKEN TORTELLINI SOUP
Perfect served up with a nice crusty bread, this soup is simple, creamy, and delicious, a perfect use for left over roast chicken. It can be made with freshly cooked, shredded chicken just as easily.
4 carrots, sliced
2 leeks, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 onion, quartered and thinly sliced
8oz cheese tortellini
2 cups shredded roast or rotisserie chicken
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
¼ tsp dried thyme
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
Salt & Pepper
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté carrots, leeks, celery and onion until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté an additional minute. Pour in broth, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, and add salt and pepper to taste. Add tortellini and cook about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, over a med heat melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour whisking constantly for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and continuing to whisk constantly, slowly pour in the milk. Return to heat and pour in cream. Heat to a boil, whisking constantly to remove any lumps. Pour milk roux into soup and add chicken. Cook for 3-5 minutes more until tortellini and chicken are cooked through. Adjust salt and pepper to taste, remove bay leaves, and serve immediately. Approximately 6 servings.