Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cottage Garden's Cheesy Chicken Asparagus Soup

What's not to like? Cheese, chicken, potatoes and asparagus! This was by far one of the most requested soups at our restaurant. It's creamy, cheesy and so delish. It has a taste like no other. This soup will be an instant hit! Hope you enjoy!

Cooks Notes:
I buy many off brand items, but a good brand of asparagus is worth it in this case. Most off brands are woody, stringy and tough when it comes to asparagus. Spears work best. After all, asparagus is the star of this recipe!

3 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, washed
2 tablespoons chicken flavor bullion or 1 can chicken broth
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, diced or chopped
1 pound Velveeta or store brand processed cheese, cubed
3 cans asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces (IMPORTANT! Reserve liquid from asparagus cans and add with asparagus.)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup flour
1 quart half and half , divided

Fill a large soup pot with 3 quarts water. Add chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder,and bouillon or chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 1 hour. Remove chicken from pot and chop into pieces. Sit aside. It's time to add the cubed potatoes and onion. Continue to cook until potatoes are fork tender. Return chopped chicken to pot, add cubed cheese and cook, stirring as needed until cheese is melted. Add asparagus, the asparagus liquid, 2 cups of half and half and stir. Turn down heat to low so soup doesn't stick or burn while you're making the roux.
In a small saucepan, heat butter. Gradually whisk in flour to form a paste, or roux. Then, gradually whisk in the remaining half and half and continue to stir until mixture is smooth and pasty. If you should need additional liquid for the roux, add a little warm water. Add roux to the soup and stir to incorporate well. Continue to cook, soup will become thicker.
Add shredded cheese and adjust seasoning if you need to.
Soup is ready to serve.