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Author Notes: Make this for guests, the fresh bright color alone will wow them.... The soup is great alone, or it makes more of a meal if you add the chicken dumplings.....A dry Reisling would be perfect with this! —Jinnie22
- 1 cup each of diced baby carrots, haricots vert, yellow squash, baby carrots or any other vegetable you fancy
- 1 cup frozen Bird's Eye peas, or fresh spring ones if you can get them
- 8 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 leeks, rinsed and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup dried pasta of your choice, I use ditalini
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch tarragon, stems removed
- 1 bunch basil, large stems removed
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- In a large, heavy bottomed pot, Melt the butter and add the leeks and the garlic. Saute until softened, about 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently so the leeks don't color.
- Add the chicken stock, pasta, and carrots and simmer for 5 minutes, then add the rest of the vegetables apart from the peas, and simmer for 2-3 more minutes. Add the peas a few minutes before serving.
- While the soup is simmering, in a blender pulse the cream with the basil and the tarragon until light and frothy. Don't overblend or you will make butter! (this isn't a disaster, still add it to the soup if that happens, it will taste the same)
- Season the soup with salt and pepper, and add juice from the lemon to taste. Add a dollop of the basil tarragon cream just before serving.
- 3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 slices of stale white bread, or 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup finely grated Romano cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch scallions, white and light green parts finely minced
- In a food processor, pulse the bread into fine bread crumbs. Add the scallions, chicken, salt, a good grind of black pepper, and egg, and blend until you see no pieces larger than a pea.
- Add the cheese and cream and pulse until you have a smooth-ish puree, it doesn't need to be perfectly smooth, but together.
- If you are adding to your minestrone, the time to add it is with the pasta and carrots. Use two spoons to form teaspoon-sized oval shaped dumplings and drop them into the soup. It helps if you dip the spoons into cold water as you work.
- The dumplings should simmer in the soup for at least 10 minutes. when they are done they are puffed up and have a springy,bread-like consistency at the center.