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Author Notes: I haven't looked at many recipes I have from my mom in a number of years until this week. It's been fun to revisit them all, but one thing I noticed was how much my eating (and cooking) habits have changed over the years. This wonderful, filling soup is a good example as it incorporates a fair amount of cream, but it is one of my favorite recipes from my mom that I've cooked the most through the years. It, for me, epitomizes comfort food and is guaranteed to make you feel better if you have a cold, or if you're just feeling sad. Many years ago when I was living in Boston, neighbors in my complex would knock on my door when they smelled it cooking! One kind of unusual thing about the soup is that it incorporates rinsed, finely chopped sauerkraut to add a little more bulk to the soup. Even if you dislike sauerkraut, I encourage you to include it as you won't notice the taste since it should be well rinsed. My dad hated sauerkraut, and my mom made me promise never to tell him this favorite soup of his included that much hated vegetable. (I never did.) I find if the sauerkraut is omitted, the soup loses some critical bulk and seems too liquidy. This soup is filling enough that it can be accompanied by a salad and some bread from last week's contest and you have a meal. I'm sure it's just as tasty without all that cream, but I confess I've never tried it that way. —TheWimpyVegetarian
- 1 small chicken, around 3 lbs
- 9 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
- 1 1/2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
- 3/4 cup finely chopped carrot
- 6 chicken bouillion cubes
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups sauerkraut, well rinsed and finely chopped
- salt, to taste
- white pepper, to taste
- Combine chicken and water in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked (about 45 minutes to 1 hour). Remove chicken and set aside until cool enough to handle.
- Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the broth created by cooking the chicken in the water. Add the celery, onion, carrots, and bouillion cubes to the remaining broth and simmer until the vegetables are tender (about 12 minutes).
- Reduce heat to low. Stir in creams.
- Separately, make a roux with the butter and flour by first melting the butter over a medium-low heat. Whisk the four into the butter until it forms a smooth paste. Cook for 3-4 minutes and gradually whisk in the reserved broth. Add this thickened broth to the soup.
- Remove the skin from the chicken and shred the chicken using your fingers. Put it all into the soup. Bring soup back to a simmer.
- Add the minced, rinsed sauerkraut to the soup, season to taste with salt and white pepper and serve. Note: Once the sauerkraut is added, be sure not to bring the soup all the way to a boil as it may curdle.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Best Recipe or Technique Your Mother Taught You