Movie trucks, production assistants and traffic hold-ups are a regular sight in “Hollywood North”. In our ‘hood, production shoots are pretty much a monthly occurance as apparently, this small neighbourhood is a movie location scout’s dream. Almost every week there is a movie or television show shooting right outside our apartment. A few weeks ago, we received a notice that the show “Supernatural” was going to be filmed outside our door…and this past week, it was the tv show “Men in Trees”. For my New Year’s Resolution, I gave up cable, so I couldn’t even watch these shows if I wanted to. But when I met with friends for a bit of league bowling, I was told that on last week’s episode of Supernatural (a hunky sausage-fest ghostbusting show), my neighbourhood, tiny grocer and street were featured prominently. Oh well, I never watched that show anyway, but it still would have been nice to see!
Now, back to regularly scheduled programming. Trust me, there is nothing spooky or supernatural about this creamy chicken and vegetable soup. It is brimming with flavour, warmth and history plus has the power to slay through any gray day this northwest weather has to offer. Even if your grandmother never made you soup like this before, you can feel tradition in every slurp. Creamy but not heavy since it’s made with milk rather than cream, each spoonful carries a bright tang with the addition of lemon juice. It’s like a chicken pot pie in soup form and there is nothing wrong with that. This soup is a perfect meal for this grey, damp month. When it comes to Februarys and soup, I agree with Molly, they go hand in hand.
creamy chicken & vegetable soup
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 c button mushrooms, sliced
1 c celery, chopped on the diagonal
1 c carrots, sliced into coins
1 t dried thyme
3 T flour
6 c chicken stock
1 cup short cut whole wheat pasta
1 1/2 c milk
1 c cooked chicken, diced
1/2 c frozen peas
salt & pepper to taste
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1. Melt butter in a large pot. Add in onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery, thyme and carrots and saute until wilty. Add flour and mix well, cooking for about 3 minutes. Add in chicken stock and pasta and cover. Stir occasionally to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
2. When pasta is tender, add milk, chicken and peas. Stir gently and simmer for another 5 minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper and mix in lemon juice. Serve.