Monday, November 17, 2014

Creamy {No-Cream} Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Pieces

It's been really cold in Iowa the last week. Really cold. And as of this past weekend, we now have some snow to add to the mix. Little early if you ask me, but since we can't control the weather, we make meals to match it! :)

This chicken pot pie soup is the perfect meal to make while watching the snow fall in front of the fireplace. Warm, comforting soup with lots a nutritious vegetables thrown in.

I first got the idea for this soup from this post on Pinterest. We don't keep milk on hand very often (just almond milk) so I couldn't follow this exact recipe, but I loved her idea of the pie crust on top! I wanted to create a version not using milk or cream to turn it into a recipe using only items I already had in our kitchen. Turning instead to flour as a thickener, I threw some ingredients together and ended up with my own delicious no-cream version of a pot pie soup.

I pulled some homegrown veggies (plus some Trader Joe's celery) out of the fridge to chop up before sauteing them in some butter.

I didn't have the best carrot harvest this year, but these little knubs worked perfectly to throw into a simmering soup. Plus, I have some giving friends that shared their garden goodies with me this summer, too!

This soup is very forgiving in that you can add almost any veggie  you have on hand into your soup. Potatoes, parsnips, peas, green beans, chard, a couple small beets, all pair great with the staple soup veggies, carrots, onions, and celery.

Once you have your veggies chopped, throw them into a pot with some melted butter to soften. After they've had a little time to cook, add some flour to make your thickener base.

A few more ingredients, some time on the stove to thicken and come together and you have the perfect bowl of warmth and comfort with lots of good-for-you-ingredients in this mix!

Take your soup to the next level by adding some pie crust pieces! This is my favorite part of chicken pot pie so it couldn't be left out! Just roll out your dough, cut in 1-2 inch strips and brown in the oven for a few minutes.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Pieces

1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cups kale, chopped and thick stems removed
1 cup celery
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup flour (I used whole wheat. I like the nuttiness and texture it adds)
3 chicken thighs, cooked in small crockpot and shredded
3/4 cup drippings and broth from chicken
5 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tbsp garlic powder (or fresh chopped garlic)
few tbsp fresh herbs such as thyme, basil, oregano (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pie crust, rolled out and sliced in 1-2 inch strips

1. Cook your chicken in a small crockpot on low for 6 hours the day before. Store the chicken in the fridge and save the broth and drippings that collected.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degree. Chop all veggies.
3. Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add chopped veggies and cook for about 10 minutes.
4. Add flour slowly, whisking the whole time to create a roux.
5. Slowly add the water and stir constantly. Also add the chicken, drippings, garlic powder, and bouillon cubes. Season with salt and pepper
6. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and keep at a simmer, cooking for about 30 minutes until veggies are tender and soup has thickened. Stir occasionally.
7. While the soup is simmering, roll out dough and cut into 1-2 inch strips and lay on a cookie sheet. Bake pie crust pie pieces for about 12 minutes or until golden.
8. Add herbs to the soup, if desired.
8. Ladle soup into bowls and top with pie crust pieces.

Note: Obviously, you don't have to cook your chicken in the crockpot like I did. But that helped cut down on hands-on time needed the night of. You could also poach your chicken and use that broth in place of the water and chicken bouillon.