With Christmas and its weeks of baked sweets and succulent, heavy meat dishes and carb-y sides behind us, we’re forging ahead with vegetables and lighter meals on the mind. I treasured that glorious month of not giving a flying flip what I ate or drank, indulging on the sweetest and savoriest dishes of the season with negative regrets. But come December 26, my belly full of Christmas Eve Chinese food and Christmas Day tenderloin and delicious dark gravy with potatoes was begging for a respite.
Although I see post after post boasting the newest cleanses and kale-based smoothies that’ll flush out alllll the toxins, that’s not really how we roll in our home. If I’m going to loathe what I’m putting in my body, I’m going to loathe life itself (dramatic, but true). So we welcomed the new year with a gentle ease into healthier, lighter meals. Chicken pot pie isn’t the ideal direction to run, but when cooked into a brothy soup form with cup after cup of vegetables simmered slowly, it’ll do juuuuuust fine.
Soup is my general go-to for a light, filling, soul-warming meal. This chicken pot pie soup is chock-full of vegetables… The ones leftover from Christmas and lurking in the back of my refrigerator, and the ones resting peacefully in the confines of the freezer. Embrace that cleansing, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink method. It’s one of the most cathartic experiences in the world.
I went full-blown domestic and purposed an entire rotisserie chicken to this soup, shredding the meat for the final product and using the carcass to simmer into a stock for a few hours. I wanted a more clear, broth-heavy soup, not quite reminiscent of the creamy and dense chicken pot pie I know and love, but still brimming with the same flavors and veggies. In the end, I did add a bit of whole milk to give the base just a hint of creaminess, but it’s completely optional.
Soul-warming homemade biscuits make for a delicious topping and dipping vessel. They’re simple, flaky, and abundantly buttery, although they will call to you from the kitchen counter, begging to be eaten with or without soup…
We’ll be nibbling on this throughout the coming chilly months, if not for its flavor then for its simplicity and cost-savviness. Chicken, broth, and any and all vegetables you can scrounge. We may not use a plate for months, living instead off of the insides of warm bowls and inviting soup spoons.
- For the Soup:
- 3 cups cooked shredded chicken (about 4 breasts or most of a rotisserie)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup green beans, sniped in half
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 1 Russet potato, peeled and diced
- ¼ scant cup flour
- 7 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup whole milk (optional)
- For the Biscuits:
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup butter, cold and cubed into ½"
- ¾ cup buttermilk, cold
- In a heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the onion and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent. Add the carrots and potato chunks and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Add the flour to the vegetables in the pot and stir to coat, letting cook for about 3 more minutes. Add the chicken stock while whisking, stirring out any lumps. Add the whole milk (optional - will just make the base a little more creamy instead of solely brothy).
- Add the peas, corn, green beans, and chicken. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
- To make the biscuits, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cute in the cubes of butter until pieces no bigger than peas remain. Make a little well in the bowl, and add the chilled buttermilk. Stir with a large spoon until the mixture comes together. Knead once or twice in the bowl.
- Lay the dough on a lightly floured surface and gently roll out into a ¾" rectangle (don't over-roll - as that will make tough biscuits). Fold the rectangle into thirds, like a letter, then roll out gently again. Repeat this process 2 or 3 more times (this creates flaky layers in the biscuits).
- Roll out into a ¾" rectangle again, and cut out biscuits using a biscuit cutter or the mouth of a drinking glass. Place close together on a baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart from each other. Bake in an oven heated at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, or until golden. Serve with warm soup.