Don’t store those soup pots away yet. At least not for us in Colorado. This past Thursday, April 3, we woke up to nine inches of snow here in Highlands Ranch. It really was quite beautiful and full of water. Bob had his work cut out in the shoveling department and luckily I didn’t have any appointments until 9:30, so by the time I pulled out of the driveway, things were just a slushy inconvenience.
I took this photo of Queso as she monitored the storm from our bedroom window. She had a big job watching the kids walk to the bus and keeping an eye on that robin perched on the roof above. She finds both to be pesky front yard intruders. As I type, the snow has melted and our grass is getting greener by the minute.
This elegant soup is perfect for those days when we long for the warm sun, but Mother Nature has colder ideas in mind. Chunks of chicken breast and slices of mushrooms swim in a broth of half and half that’s been flavored with onion, celery, bay leaves, basil and lots of lemony goodness. The flakes of basil float on top and are accented by the color of chopped red peppers. It’s fresh and savory and perfect for this time of year.
- 2 T . olive oil
- 1 t . garlic chopped
- 2 C . onion chopped
- 2 C . celery chopped
- 2 leaves bay
- 2 T . dried basil
- 1/2 C . fresh lemon juice
- 2 T . Worcestershire sauce
- 8 C . chicken broth
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 pint container button mushrooms sliced
- 3 in boneless skinless chicken breasts cut bite sized pieces
- 3 T . butter
- 3 T . flour
- 2 C . half and half
- salt and pepper to taste
In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add celery and cook for about five more minutes and then add garlic, stirring until fragrant. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, basil, lemon juice and Worcestershire. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add bell pepper, mushrooms and chicken. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 3 - 4 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the hot soup mixture and whisk constantly to avoid lumps. Add this to the soup and stir until well blended. Stir in half and half and season with salt and pepper. Heat thoroughly but do not bring to a boil.
Basil Lemon Chicken Soup…It’s what’s for Dinner.