Saturday, February 26, 2011

Spicy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

Soup - By Debra Mayhew

We had another cold and rainy Friday this week, which was calling out for a warm and spicy soup.  My mom had given me this book several years ago when cleaning out her cookbooks.  It was one of those bargain books you see marked down to $5.99 at the store, but it's got quite a few good recipes which are all easy to follow.  This Spicy Chicken and Mushroom Soup is one of my favorites.  It's pretty quick to make and smells so wonderful as it's cooking, thanks to the garam masala and nutmeg


6 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmet
8 oz skinless, boneless chicken
1 medium leek, sliced
generous 1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup whole corn kernels
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup light cream
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon crushed dried chilies, to garnish (optional)
(serves 4)

1.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.  Lower heat slightly and add garlic and garam masala.  Lower heat even more and add black peppercorns, salt, and nutmeg.

I used a few tablespoons olive oil instead of butter in an attempt to be a bit healthier.  I also used a full teaspoon of garlic and almost 2 cups of mushrooms, simply because I love garlic and mushrooms.  And I used frozen corn since it was already in my freezer.  Your kitchen will start to smell so heavenly when the spices start heating up.

2.  Cut chicken into thin strips and add to pan with leek, mushrooms, and corn kernels.  Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly, until chicken is cooked through.

3.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Transfer 3/4 of mixture into a food processor or blender.  Add water and process for about 1 minute.

I don't have a food processor and my blender is shoved way into the back of the cupboard.  So I used one of my favorite wedding gifts, my immersion blender, blending the soup in the pot and being careful not to splatter it all over the kitchen.

4.  Pour resulting puree back into the pot with the rest of the mixture and bring to boil over medium heat.  Lower heat and stir in cream.

5.  Add fresh cilantro.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Serve with red chilies if desired.

I did not garnish with chiles, but I did serve it with a big piece of crusty Three Cheese Semolina Bread from La Brea Bakery.  Sooo good!  Creamy and spicy but with chunks of chicken and veggies.  Perfect for a day that looked like this...

Have a happy, and warm, weekend!

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