Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Drizzly Day Dinner

Quick Chicken Soup

The temperatures here have been cooler and today it rained. Gray skies and soup seem to go together. Sounded like a supper plan to me.

Our cows in the pasture.

I pulled a quart of chicken stew from the freezer. Our church sells it a few times a year to raise money for missions. I love having it in the freezer, ready to thaw. This was our last quart. It will be a few weeks before they make more. Kind of hated to use that last quart yet.

Then I remembered a chicken soup recipe from years and years ago.  It came from my secretary (Judy, if you are reading this, thank you for the recipe!) and I made it a good many times back then. But like many good recipes, it was set aside as I tried new recipes and then it was almost forgotten. I put the church stew back in the freezer and decided to try this soup recipe again. 

The soup recipe was in "the book." All the recipes in it are good ones. My mother gave me a blank book one year for Christmas. The red plaid cover looked Christmasy, I guess. I started keeping my favorite recipes here, along with notes about where I found the recipe or who gave it to me. I also included menus and listed guests that I had entertained. And thanks to my very first secretary, I dated everything. Soon after I started my first job as a home economist, Vennie told me to always put a date on everything I did. She told me, "It won't seem important now, but later you'll be glad you did." That's been good advice over the years.

My red plaid book is falling apart now. But, oh what memories are in there. For many years I told my daughters that if the house caught on fire, someone needed to grab the red plaid book on the way out. I still think it would be high on my list of things to rescue.

So how did the quick chicken soup compare to the church's chicken stew? It was almost as good. (Okay, Mommy--this is close to the church recipe. Now you can have chicken stew way out where you live! But you'll need to double the recipe for your household.) I'm glad I remembered this recipe. The original has been tweaked a little to suit me now—less salt, less butter.

QUICK CHICKEN SOUP (or STEW, if you wish)

2-1/2 cups Swanson's low-sodium chicken broth
3 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
3 medium onions, peeled & diced
2 (4.5-oz) cans Swanson's chicken, drained 
1 (8-oz) can whole kernel corn  (I used 1/2 or so of cup frozen corn)
2-3 tablespoons butter
salt & pepper to taste

Put broth, potatoes, and onions in a pan and cook 20 minutes, or until vegetables are done. Mash with potato masher. Add chicken, corn and butter and cook uncovered, until thickened. (I cooked it about 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally.) Add salt, pepper and milk until desired consistency is reached. (We like ours thick, like stew.) Heat to boiling and remove from heat immediately.

If you refrigerate and reheat later (like I did last night), be careful not to scorch it as you reheat. Keep a watch on it and stir. 

Recipe Notes:

Yes, it is "quick" compared to starting the soup with raw chicken. It really is quick to put together and then it can pretty much simmer unattended while you do other things in the kitchen. I still wouldn't wander far away.

The original recipe called for 1 can Campbell's condensed chicken broth, plus 1 can of water. It also used 1/2 stick butter. I just couldn't do it.

If the thought of canned chicken bothers you, you could use a cup of cooked, diced chicken. I usually have some in my freezer, so it would still qualify as a quick recipe. But you might be surprised that the canned chicken is good in this recipe. It's awfully easy to take a couple of cans off the shelf and just add it to the soup.

When you add the milk, do it a little at a time. You can't "un-add" the milk. We like ours thick, more like a stew. But add more milk if you want it soup-like.

We like ours with saltine crackers and sweet pickles on the side. 


  1. Hi Mimi, I'm thinking maybe I could make this in crock pot, just cutting a boned chicken breast (raw) into chunks and when the meats cooked and potatoes are soft, mash and then add milk. Sounds good and hearty plus easy. My Mom left an old recipe book with her handwritten favorites in the end pages. I was going through some stuff yesterday and found it, adding my own note to it so my kids know who it belonged to originally. You're right about notes and dates - it's fun to look back.

    1. Let me know how that works out. I had never thought about using a crock pot. Always good to have more than one way to do it!


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