As fall fades away and the dark creeps into the early evening hours, we find ourselves bundling up with winter blankets near the warmth of our fireplace. This is, without a doubt, soup weather. Soup is a food that literally warms you from the inside out, and that’s always a welcome treat in the winter. Since the cool weather is really just beginning here, I’m sure this soup will become a staple on our menu well into the new year.
While this classic chicken noodle soup is one of my favorites this time of year, I thought it would be fun to change things up a bit and give a new chicken soup a try. I’m so glad I did. This creamy soup is rich and comforting, thanks to a healthy (or unhealthy, depending on your perspective) dose of brie and half and half. Don’t fret, though, because there’s also a good bit of spinach in this soup, which totally makes up for the amount of dairy goodness in it (hah, if only). Served with a slice of crusty bread, this is a stick-to-your-ribs kind of meal that’s perfect for chilly weather.
- YIELD: 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
3 cups raw spinach, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2½ cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
8 ounces brie cheese, chopped into small pieces
½ cup half and half
Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and pepper and cook for about 6 minutes, or until they start to soften. Stir in the spinach and garlic. Add the butter and, once it’s melted, whisk in the flour to create a roux. Continue whisking for about a minute, just until the roux comes together.
Add the chicken, broth and milk to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the brie and stir until it has melted completely, about 5 minutes. Stir in the half and half. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once the soup is boiling, decrease heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes.