This fall has just been so beautiful! We’ve had a nice warm spell with the days being in the upper 70’s and even topped 80º+ one day, yet the nights have been comforter grabbing chilly and down in the forties!
I remember when I was a little girl, my grandma saying that in order for the leaves to turn brilliant colors, you had to have warm sunny days and chilly nights. I think that she was right! 😉 Grandmas always know best! 🙂
The leaves are turning brilliant colors and just getting started! I don’t know when they are supposed to peak, but every day it just gets prettier and prettier!
Though I’m sad, sadder than usual for some strange unknown reason, to see summer go, these beautiful days have have really helped to ease me into the changing of the seasons greatly! I’m just not ready for this chilly weather coming!
With the mornings so cold on the feet, I was really longing for a nice, steaming hot pot of soup.
And LOADED with meats and vegetables!
I had some wonderful apple-chicken sausages and a nice head of fresh broccoli in the freezer that were just begging to be put to good use, so who was I to ignore them?
Though I’m not usually very fond of using many processed foods, I actually like Velveeta’s Sharp Cheddar cheese. And hey, it melts extremely well without being greasy. Tons of wonderful things were going to be going into this pot, so a little bit of naughtiness didn’t seem like such a life ending thing. 😉
I didn’t bat a single eyelash.
I wanted to make a HUGE pot, because even though it’s just the hubs and I, we can really go through a large stock pot of soup in nothing flat! And this being the first pot of the year, I knew I had to just go for it and make a big one!
So I did a triple meat pot! Yep. In addition to the sausages, boneless skinless chicken breasts made the cut along with some diced Canadian bacon!
Oh yes. This was going to be GOOD. 😉
My hubby requested potatoes, of which I had some nice red ones in the pantry to add, and I wanted some onion, mushrooms and celery in there for extra flavor! I would’ve added some carrots, too, but I didn’t happen to have any that day.
So you can just add whatever veggies you like such as some green beans, lima beans, peas or even some turnips in addition to, or in place of, any that you don’t particularly care for.
The meats are up to you, too. Always make things according to what you and your household enjoys! Add regular bacon, spicy ground sausage and turkey if you prefer!
I honestly like the sharp cheddar version of Velveeta, but if you absolutely refuse and hate it, of course you can add your own favorite cheddar cheese. I love cheddar, too, but I really enjoy a high grade of it, and the high grades are the ones that always seem to separate when heated.
Let’s be real.
This is soup.
I’m not grating my expensive cheddar into a pot when Velveeta works just fine. 😉
If you’d like to give it a little kick, add some pepperjack or a little bit of asiago for an extra punch of flavor! Soups are so much fun to play around with, and there’s always plenty of room to fix them if you mess them up a little.
Just be careful to not go overboard on something you’re not completely sure of and you’ll be just fine.
Also plan on spending awhile in the kitchen for this one.
This isn’t a “quickie 5 ingredient 15 minutes to the table rush job” that tastes like you just don’t really care or hate to cook.
Great soups, to me anyways, take time.
Enjoy what you’re doing, wear your comfy clothes, put on some fun music,
pour yourself a glass of wine and just enjoy.
Believe me, the love you put into this will show. 😉
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, (can use bone-in)
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 (12 oz.) pkg. apple chicken sausage links, sliced at an angle, (I used Johnsonville)
- 3½ cups chicken broth
- 3 regular red potatoes, unpeeled and cubed bite-sized
- 1 large head fresh broccoli, cut into small bite-sized pieces, (mostly just the florets, can add some of the stem)
- 2 Tbl. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
- 1 tsp. dried basil leaves, crushed
- 4 Tbl. butter
- ½ large onion, as desired, chopped medium
- 1 rib celery, sliced
- ¼ tsp. coarse ground black pepper
- 1 (8 oz.) container fresh sliced mushrooms, snap in half lengthwise
- 3 oz. sliced Canadian bacon, cut up, (half of a 6 oz. pkg.)
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup flour
- 12 oz. Sharp Cheddar Velveeta, cubed
- ½ tsp. spicy brown mustard
- ¼ tsp. each salt and coarse ground black pepper
- 2 Tbl. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbl. COLD water
- Place chicken breasts into a small stock pot and add water to cover, add bay leaf, place on lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add sausage slices, return heat to high and bring back to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes with lid off. Remove chicken and sausage to a bowl, cover. Strain chicken/sausage broth into a heat-proof measuring pitcher reserving broth.
- In rinsed out pot, (or another stock pot if you have two), add 3½ cups boxed chicken broth and 2 cups reserved chicken/sausage broth.
- Add potatoes, broccoli, chicken base, and basil. Bring to a boil, reduce to a nice simmer, and cook until mostly tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and tilt lid to vent.
- In large frying pan, melt butter, add onions and celery, sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add mushrooms, bacon and garlic, sauté another 5 minutes over medium low. Add to pot when tender.
- Add sausage and tear chicken into pieces adding to pot.
- Add 1 more cup reserved broth, and 2 cups heavy cream whisked with ⅓ cup flour.
- Add Sharp Cheddar Velveeta and spicy brown mustard.
- Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, and bring just to a low simmer until slightly thickened.
- Season to taste with salt and more pepper. (I added ¼ tsp. each for our taste.)
- In small glass, mix 2 Tbl. cornstarch well with 2 Tbl. cold water. Stir into pot and simmer 1 minute longer, remove from heat. Cool slightly. Stir before serving.
- Garnish with fresh cracked or coarse ground black pepper if desired.