“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living. For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish. ” Louis P DeGouy , The Soup Book, 1949
Several years ago when I was under the weather, a kind neighbor delivered a steaming pot of the most delicious “chicken soup”. This soup was a revelation, totally unexpected in flavor and I often remember how it nurtured me back to health. It had bright lemony overtones, barely cooked, crunchy sugar snaps peas and al dente penne pasta in a creamy base. Definately not the chicken soup I grew up with. I’ve tried to recreate the recipe here.
Every culture has its own tradition of soup and archaeologists have traced soup-making back to 20,000 years BC. It is the perfect communal meal, ideal for sharing. There is a meditative quality to the chopping of the ingredients while the anticipation of enjoying the dish builds as the seductive aroma fills the home during the long simmering. It is a dish that evokes home like no other.
This soup is satisfying as a meal on its own and it is a perfect late winter transitional dish with its spring-like ingredients: sugar snap peas, lemony highlights and fresh parsley. Whatever your tradition of soup is, try a new variation of “chicken soup” and experience a burst of springtime flavor and color. Who knows? It could become a new family favorite.
CREAMY LEMON PASTA CHICKEN SOUP
6 Main-Course or 12 Starter Servings
3 T butter
1 c sliced celery
1 c shredded carrots
1 c sliced mushrooms
1 diced yellow onion
3 T flour
6 c chicken stock
1 1/2 c light cream
1/4 c packed, chopped Italian parsley
1 1/2 c uncooked chicken breast meat, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1 c penne pasta, cooked al dente
1 c sugar snap peas, cut in half, diagonally
juice of 2 lemons
salt and pepper
Add flour and stir thoroughly for about 2 minutes. Gradually add chicken stock, stirring constantly, and heat through, about 5 minutes. Add cream and parsley and simmer for 5 minutes. Add chicken and simmer another 5 minutes. (Soup can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated until ready to use.) Add cooked pasta and sugar snap peas and simmer another 2 minutes. Finish with lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste.
“Soup is the song of the hearth…and the home” Louis P DeGouy, The Soup Book, 1949
Virgin and Child with Milk Soup, Gerard David, c1510