Chicken Pasta Soup

This is the soup I made for my family on Monday evening. It is from a new cookbook that I picked up at the book fair, called Keeping Good Company . This cookbook is full of down to earth, non-gourmet, wholesome family foods. I chose the Chicken Pasta Soup because, as many of you know, I am the Soup Nazi of Bismarck, and I am constantly searching for a new soup to tweak. This is a nice change from my classic chicken noodle and I am impressed by the volume of vegetables I could sneak in. This is not a quick and easy soup. It took me well over an hour to prepare. It is also not low fat,  but if you ever saw the boys in bathing suits you would see that I am not needing to restrict their fat intake any time soon. I did redeem it somewhat by using whole wheat penne as the pasta…and not one of them noticed the switcheroo! So, without further ado:

Chicken Pasta Soup
6-8 Chicken breast tenders (I used 20 ounces of fancy free range vegetarian fed chicken thighs that I got on major sale)
1/2 tsp. seasoned salt
4 T. Olive Oil
1/2 cup butter (divided in half)
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced thin, crosswise
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup flour
2 (14 oz) cans chicken broth
ground red pepper to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp dried basil
2 cups half and half (I was out so I used whole milk)
4 oz sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup sugar snap peas (I was out, and used frozen peas instead)
1 T. sugar
6-8  oz. Penne Pasta
Sprinkle chicken with seasoned salt. Saute in olive oil over medium heat for about six minutes per side or until done. Remove chicken and set aside to cool.
In the same pan , melt 1/4 cup butter. Over medium heat cook onion, celery and carrot until limp. Add flour, stirring until smooth.
Gradually add chicken broth, stirring constantly. Turn heat to low. 
Slice chicken into thin strips, add to broth along with red and black pepper and basil. Slowly add half and half, stir and heat through.
Melt remaining butter in a large, shallow bowl int he microwave. Combine mushrooms, peas and sugar and cook on high for three minutes, stirring once, midway. Fold this into soup mixture on the stove and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain well and add immediately to soup.
 A complete meal when served with hot, crusty bread.
Serves 10-12 ( if all of your family and friends eat recommended serving sizes…feeds 6 Thompsons with some left-over).
This soup also created a kitchen full of dishes to wash…a sign of a good recipe for sure…I gave the boys the night off and I tackled the kitchen, which was made more pleasant now that I have an iPod and an adapter to hook it to my undercounter radio.
The Rev. and I think that it tastes like chicken pot pie and next time I will make it with crusty biscuits to float on top.
This meal redeemed me from a few weeks of yuck, sprinkled with fast food…even good cooks lose their Mojo sometimes!
Enjoy! And let me know if you try this recipe!
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Written by Dakotapam
I'm a Lutheran pastor's wife and mom to six kids, including young adult sons down to 8-year old twin daughters. My life is sometimes normal, and sometimes crazy; but through it all, I know that I am blessed! Some people say that I have my hands full, I prefer to call it living life with both hands full, and I love it!