Sunday, December 11, 2011

Chicken Florentine Soup

It's Sunday in December and nothing is better on a dark winter day than a hot bowl of soup and homemade rolls. There are some soups that are old favorites and always delicious, but I wanted to try something different today--which turned out to be amazing and possibly a new favorite!

It's called Chicken Florentine Soup. I've looked and looked to see where I got the recipe and can't find the source. I googled it and came up with a hundred recipes different than the one I used. But I'm going to stick to the recipe that I have because it turned out so well. In fact, I tripled it, so that we'd have leftovers and some to share. Glad I did that because it was an instant hit with the kids!

Chicken Florentine Soup

3/4 cup pasta shells--set aside

4 cups fresh spinach

1 fresh spring rosemary

½ c red peppers--finely sliced

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp pepper

3 tsp chicken bouillon

¾ cup Alfredo sauce--prepare from package or use jarred

3 T Pesto

3 cups water

2 cups cooked/cubed chicken

I started by using a store bought package of Alfredo sauce and preparing it according to the directions on the back--in a large pot. It called for a couple of tablespoons of butter and 3/4 cup of milk. It makes into a thick and flavorful sauce--which becomes your base. To that I added all the ingredients above, except the pasta, and brought it to a low, rumbling boil. Because I was in the process of making dough for the rolls, I just let it roll on a low simmer for over an hour. In a small pan, I boiled the pasta till al dente and added them to the soup about 15-20 minutes before I served it. The noodles finished cooking in the soup broth; which gave them a more finished flavored.

I know that you are supposed to serve this with grated Parmesan and a smattering of pine nuts on top--but we didn't get that far because of the numerous growling tummies...but that's the plan if you have the time. I think that a real crusty bread or garlic toast would be exceptional with this soup as well. I teamed it with homemade dinner rolls...which are delicious all by themselves!

I LOVED the hearty flavors from the pesto and the Alfredo concoction. The fresh sprig of Rosemary is a MUST when you make this recipe too! I know that some things are pretty forgiving--but follow the ingredients here because it creates the whole flavorful experience. So worth it in the end!!!!!