What is chicken and mushroom soup?
Chicken and mushroom soup is a beloved comfort food that warms both the body and soul. This wholesome and creamy concoction brings together the earthy essence of chestnut mushrooms, tender chicken chunks, aromatic herbs, and a rich broth. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the history of this comforting dish, explore its health benefits, and guide you through a step-by-step recipe to make it from scratch. Get ready to embark on a culinary journey that will leave you with a steaming bowl of pure comfort.
Chicken and mushroom soup has a history rooted in hearty, nourishing meals prepared by families for generations. While it’s difficult to pinpoint its exact origin, variations of this dish can be found in cuisines around the world. Many cultures have cherished the combination of chicken and mushrooms for its taste and nutritional value. In Western cuisine, mushroom soup has been enjoyed for centuries, and the addition of chicken likely occurred as a way to make the soup heartier. Whether it’s a French-inspired cream of mushroom with chicken or an Asian-inspired broth with shiitake mushrooms and chicken, this soup has a place in global culinary traditions.
Why is chicken and mushroom soup so healthy?
- Protein-Rich: Chicken provides high-quality protein, essential for muscle growth, repair, and overall body function.
- Nutrient-Dense: Mushrooms are rich in vitamins and minerals like B-vitamins, selenium, and potassium, contributing to overall health.
- Immune Support: Mushrooms contain beta-glucans and antioxidants, potentially boosting the immune system and aiding in illness prevention.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Certain compounds in mushrooms may have anti-inflammatory properties, promoting better health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
- Balanced Meal: The combination of chicken and mushrooms offers a balanced meal, providing a variety of nutrients in one delicious dish.
- Low in Calories: Chicken and mushroom soup is often low in calories, making it suitable for weight management and calorie-conscious diets.
- Hydration: The soup’s liquid content helps keep you hydrated, especially important for overall well-being.
- Comforting and Soothing: Its warm, comforting nature can provide psychological comfort and reduce stress, contributing to mental health.
- Versatile Ingredients: You can customize the soup with additional vegetables, herbs, or spices to further enhance its nutritional value.
Do you have a diet restriction?
This chicken and mushroom soup recipe is:
- Dairy Free
- Gluten Free
- Nut Free
- Low Fat
- Syn Free
- Paleo Friendly
- Low GI
Begin by gathering and preparing all your ingredients. Slice the chestnut mushrooms, dice the onion and carrots, and cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks.
Step 2: Sauté onions and mushrooms
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and diced onion. Sauté them until the mushrooms have reduced in size and the onions are translucent, which should take about 5-7 minutes.
Now, add in the diced chicken breasts and carrots. Stir everything together and let them cook for a couple of minutes, allowing the chicken to lightly brown on the outside.
Sprinkle in the dried oregano, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the herbs become fragrant. This step infuses the mushrooms and onions with a delightful aroma.
Step 3: Add the stock
Carefully pour in both the chicken and vegetable stocks. The combination of these stocks adds depth of flavor to the soup. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Let the soup simmer uncovered so that the liquid reduces for 20-30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through, and the carrots are tender. This slow simmering allows all the flavours to meld together beautifully.
In a separate bowl, mix the milk and cornflour until well combined, creating a slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into the soup while stirring continuously. This will thicken the soup and give it a creamy texture. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes to heat through and thicken.
Ladle your chicken and mushroom soup into bowls and serve it piping hot. Pair it with some crusty bread for the ultimate comfort food experience.
Chicken and mushroom soup variations
While this recipe offers a classic and comforting chicken and mushroom soup, you can get creative and add your own twists. Consider incorporating spinach or kale for added greens, swapping chicken for tofu or tempeh for a vegetarian version, or experimenting with different mushroom varieties for unique flavors.
Q: Can I use fresh herbs instead of dried ones?
A: Absolutely! Fresh herbs can add a burst of vibrant flavour to your soup. Use about three times the amount of fresh herbs compared to dried.
Q: Can I freeze this soup for later?
A: Yes, you can freeze chicken and mushroom soup. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or freezer bags. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw it in the fridge overnight and gently warm it on the stove.
Q: What are some good side dishes to serve with this soup?
A: Alongside crusty bread, you can pair this soup with a simple green salad, a cheesy garlic toast, or a light pasta dish for a more substantial meal.
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