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Chicken velvet soup

April 6, 2011

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Serves 6

2 pounds cut-up, bone-in chicken pieces
1 small onion, quartered
6 cups water
Salt and white pepper, to taste
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 lemon, cut into fine julienne strips
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1. In a soup pot, combine the chicken, onion, and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Skim the surface to remove the foam. Add salt and pepper. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer, skimming occasionally, for 1 hour.

2. Remove the chicken from the pot. Strain the broth into a bowl.

3. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and cut it into 1/2-inch pieces (you should have 2 cups of meat). Measure 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Save the remaining broth for another dish.

4. In the soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth, followed by the milk and cream. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

5. Add the chicken and continue cooking, stirring often, for 2 minutes or until the chicken is heated through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like, or more chicken broth, if necessary, to thin the soup.

6. Ladle into bowls and garnish with lemon and rosemary.

Clara Silverstein. Adapted from L.S. Ayres Tea Room.