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Creamy Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Soup

At the moment, Calgary is experiencing a record- breaking heat wave. I am sure the last thing on anyone's mind would be to cook up a big pot of hot soup! Well, my timing is impeccable as usual. I made this soup on what ended up being the hottest day of the year, but it was so insanely delicious it was worth it!  This was probably the best thing I have made all year!

I roast whole chickens quite often. I pour off all the pan drippings into a jar and keep the drippings in the freezer. The fat rises to the top, and the pan juices end up on the bottom. This stuff is like liquid gold!  Vegetables roasted in chicken fat has to be one of the best things ever. Seriously!

This recipe is a great way to use leftover roasted chicken. To save time, I roast the vegetables at the same time I roast the chicken. The next day, the soup comes together fairly quickly. Did I mention it's insanely delicious?  I shouldn't write about food before I have eaten breakfast. My stomach is growling so loudly, I am sure my neighbours can hear it!

Creamy Roasted Chicken and Vegetable Soup
servings: 4 - 6
2 cups roasted chicken, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 lb. mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
chopped thyme
2 Tbsp. chicken fat
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
4 oz. light cream cheese
1 cup of chicken drippings, fat skimmed off
2 cups milk
3 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 F. Heat two large baking sheets in the oven with 1 Tbsp. chicken fat on each one. Spread the sliced mushrooms on one in an even layer ( don't add salt until they are cooked). Spread the onion, carrot and celery in an even layer on the other one. Season with salt, pepper and thyme. Roast vegetables until golden brown and liquid has evaporated from mushrooms - about 35 minutes. Give the vegetables a stir once or twice during cooking.

In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for about a minute. Whisk in cream cheese, milk, chicken drippings and chicken stock. Add the cooked vegetables, roasted chicken, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring often.

Recipe Source: Beer. Butter. Bacon.

Tags: Soup, Chicken, Roasted Vegetables

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