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Author Notes: This is a rainy day comfort soup that I improvised from leftovers and typical pantry items. I considered calling this "Optimist Soup," because the day I came up with the recipe I was feeling rather pessimistic about the barren appearance of my pantry. The spark of creativity that clearly descended upon me from the heavens :) taught me that gratitude and optimism are always more worthwhile than a grumbling spirit. This is a two-part recipe, so read ahead! —fridgehunter
Serves 4 with plenty left over
The Soupy Part
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1/2 pound chicken breast, cooked and cubed
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- salt and pepper
- In a stock pot, heat the EVOO to medium-high and sautee onions, garlic, and carrot until onions are soft (3-5 minutes).
- Add all other ingredients, bring to a boil and cook until pasta is a little firmer than al dente. Turn heat to low.
The Cheesy Part
- 4 tablespoons butter (half a stick)
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- In a separate saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour at medium heat until silky smooth.
- Add milk and stir until flour mixture dissolves.
- Add cheese and turn up the heat slightly. Stir frequently until cheese is melted and sauce has thickened.
- Pour cheese mixture into soup, turn heat up slightly and combine. When soup and sauce are thoroughly mixed and soup is at a desired thickness, remove from heat and serve.