Friday, February 22, 2008

Chili's Grill & Bar Chicken Mushroom Soup

How often does it happen that my favorite item on a menu ends up being discontinued? Are my tastes that obscure? Am I so out of the mainstream? Obviously the menu makers liked it enough to put it on the menu, but then no one ordered it. Either they never tried it or the mushrooms scared them. Or they loved their other soup so much they never bothered to try anything else. (I am guilty of that sometimes too.) Either way, it was a sad day when they no longer featured this soup. But Happy Day: I found the recipe online and it makes the most glorious soup. Creamy, but not thick. Smooth, with a kick. As soon as I am done here I am shopping for the ingredients. It is raining right now and this soup is sounding so good I am itching for it.

1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) margarine
1/4 cup diced yellow onion (cut into 1/4-inch pieces)
1/4 cup diced carrots (cut into 1/4-inch pieces)
1/4 cup diced celery (cut into 1/4-inch pieces)
3 cups sliced mushrooms (about one 8-ounce package, cut into 1/8-inch slices)
1/2 cup flour
5 1/2 cups chicken broth
Pinch of dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3 cups half-and-half cream
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 pound diced cooked chicken

Melt margarine in large heavy pot. Add vegetables and saute until tender over medium-low heat. Slowly sift flour over vegetables and let cook briefly, stirring regularly. Do not let flour brown. Slowly add chicken broth to vegetable-flour mixture, stirring constantly. Add herbs, pepper sauce and parsley and stir well. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in half-and-half, lemon juice and chicken. Bring to simmer and cook 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Makes 3 quarts.

Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on January 9, 1999

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