Sunday Dinner: The Soup Is On

Granny, Pop and Charli

Sunday dinner is a sacred event in our house.  My in-laws come over just about every Sunday night for dinner. You may remember my mother-in-law from the Cupcakes and Cousins post. She was the “frosting eating Granny.”

I can’t wait to hear my kids relive Sunday night dinner stories when they get older. Like the one when we held the first Sunday dinner on our new dining room table with our new dining room chairs that are covered with white cloth.

Can you feel your anxiety rising with the possibility of knowing where this story is going?

After dinner, we played a game of Apples to Apples. If you’ve never played this game and you have kids, purchase this game. It’s a hilarious card matching game that is quick and easy to play. Maybe one day you’ll get the story behind why I call my father-in-law “TSA Pat Down.”

The White Cloth Covered Chair

Anyway, in all the excitement, a freshly poured glass of red wine was knocked over. Wine splashed across the table and all over the new dining room chairs covered in white cloth.

We can’t have anything nice.

The ironic part, the kids are not allowed to eat on the chairs. They have a wooden bench to sit on while they eat. Yet, what ends up with wine all over it? The white cloth covered chairs the adults are allowed to sit on.

After many Google searches, a steam cleaner,  a salt rub, and more steam cleaning, the stain is barely noticeable. Crisis averted!

My in-laws are good sports and have endured many of my dinner creations. Some of them have been amazing, some forgettable, and maybe an epic fail or two. Like the shrimp curry soup I made that was a touch to hot for the tender footed folk. Not to mention any names but there may be someone in the family who thinks a green pepper is spicy.

Adding a Cup of Cream to the Soup

Last Sunday dinner was soup night. I love chicken pot pie so why not chicken pot pie soup. Instead of using pie crust, I served the soup topped with the puff pastry I have in the freezer.

 

 

Don’t you all have puff pastry in the freezer?  It freezes well and there is nothing more indulgently luscious as home made puff pastry. Check out the “Puff Puff Pastry My Friends” post for the recipe.

Are you ready for the recipe?

CHICKEN POT PIE SOUP:

Serves 8 -10

1/2 stick of butter

1/2 cup of flour

8-10 cups of chicken broth or poaching liquid*

1/2 cup of white wine or dry vermouth**

2 carrots, chopped

2-3 celery sticks, chopped

1 onion, chopped

8 ounce package of baby bella mushrooms, sliced

2 medium sized gold or red potatoes, cleaned and cut into small pieces

2 cups of frozen mixed veggies***

1 1/2 pounds of cooked chicken breast, shredded then chopped

1 cup of heavy cream

salt and pepper, to taste

6-8 teaspoons of chicken bouillon****

1 tablespoon of french thyme

1 tablespoon of rosemary

1/2 tablespoon of sage

*To poach the chicken for this soup, cover 1 1/2 pounds of raw chicken with water. Add some aromatics like: onion, celery leaves, bay leaf, pepper corn and salt. Simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes. You can use poaching liquid in your soup. Just strain the liquid in a separate bowl, shred the chicken and set aside until ready to use.

In a dutch oven, melt the butter and add the onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms and potatoes. Saute’ veggies for ten minutes or until soft.

 

 

 

Sprinkle in the thyme, sage, and rosemary and cook for another minute.

Add the flour and stir for about 2 minutes. Whisk in the wine or vermouth and cook for another 1 minute.

 

**I normally don’t have white wine around the house but I do have dry vermouth.  Dry vermouth is a good replacement for white wine and has a longer shelf life after opening.

Whisk in the chicken broth and add the frozen vegetables and chicken bouillon. Let the soup come to a boil then simmer until potatoes are soft.

 

Dump in the chicken and the cream. Bring the soup just to a boil. Salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

***I add the bag of frozen veggies to fill up the soup with some more goodness. I love chunky soup.

****You may have to use less or more chicken bouillon. It depends on your use of broth vs. poaching liquid. After about 4 teaspoons of bouillon, take a taste. Adjust the flavor based on your preference.

Ladle the soup into soup bowls and top with a baked puff pastry square.

Keep Reading for the how to prepare the puff pastry.

PLAN AHEAD: This soup and the chicken can be made up to 2-3 days in advance. Just reheat and bring to a boil before serving. This soup also freezes well. Thaw in the refrigerator over night and proceed with reheating to a boil.

PUFF PASTRY TOPS:

1/2 puff pastry recipe, “Puff Puff Pastry My Friends”

If your home made puff pastry is in the freezer, thaw a sheet of pastry in the refrigerator over night. If you are using store bought puff pastry, follow directions on the package for thawing and baking.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Roll out the pastry to about 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut the pastry into circles the size of your soup bowls or just cut into squares roughly the same size as the bowls. I like cutting squares, less waste, even though the trimmings can be baked and eaten too.

Place each round or square on to the baking sheet. Brush the tops with an egg wash and bake for about 15 minutes. An egg wash is simply a beaten egg used to give pastries a delicious glow.

 

Top each soup with a puff pastry. Serve the soup with a fresh salad and home made vinaigrette.

 

SPINACH AND STRAWBERRY SALAD WITH HONEY DIJON VINAIGRETTE:

Serves 4

1 bag of baby spinach

8 strawberries, sliced

1/3 cup of feta cheese

2 tablespoons of red onion, diced

4 tablespoons of walnuts or pecans or almonds, toasted

3 tablespoons of dijon mustard

3 tablespoons of honey

3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

1/3 cup of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Mix together the first 5 ingredients in a large serving bowl and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to emulsify the dressing.

Emulsion is taking two liquids that can’t be completely blended and mixing them together. Slowly whisking in the oil will help prevent the dressing from separating.

Dress your salad with the desired amount of vinaigrette.

PLAN AHEAD: The salad dressing can be made up to a week in advance. The salad is best prepared the day of your meal.

Bon Appetite!

Dinner is served!

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