Where soups are concerned, I think this one is my very favorite!
My sister-in-law, Christa, first introduced me to her version of this soup many years ago, which is very similar to the way I now make it.
Hearty and comforting, this soup is creamy and cheesy, a little bit thick- like a chowder- and filled with tender chunks of chicken and vegetables like carrots, celery, potatoes, corn, and onions.
Not only does it taste great on a chilly evening for dinner, it also warms up to make wonderful leftovers that taste just as good for lunch the next day.
- 12-14 chicken legs- which is 1 large pack. You want to end up with approximately 2 cups of chopped up chicken. (**you can also use chicken breasts, but I think the dark meat from the chicken legs gives you chicken that is more moist and flavorful in the soup. Chicken legs are also often a cheaper alternative to breasts.)
- 3 or 4 Carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 stalks Celery, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 or 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 3/4 c. frozen Corn
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1/2 c. flour
- 3 cups chicken stock- (preferably homemade)
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Start by rinsing the chicken. Place it in a large baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add just a little bit of water- about 1/3 cup. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 400 for 1 hour.
When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool just slightly so you can work with it. Remove the skins and discard (they should slide right off) and pull the chicken off the bone using a fork and sharp knife. Chop the chicken into the size you like. Set this aside.
While the chicken is cooking- you can wash, peel, dice, etc. the vegetables. Add all the veggies (except the corn) to a large saucepan. Cover with water. Add a little salt if you like and bring to a boil. Boil for approximately 8 minutes. Add the frozen corn. Return to a boil and cook for another 7 minutes or so. (for a total of 15 minutes cooking time for veggies). Drain and set aside.
In a large pot or large saute pan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until well combined. Pour in the stock, salt and pepper. Sir with a whisk to help break up the roux (flour/butter mixture). Add in the milk. Continue stirring frequently ,with whisk, on medium high heat until this thickens. Add in the cheese and stir until it’s all melted and creamy!
Add in the veggies, and chicken. Allow all this to get heated through at medium heat.
Taste for seasoning- add extra salt/pepper if needed.
Serve it up!
(hint: serve some crusty rolls or bread on the side and enjoy dipping in the soup!)