Cheesy Chicken Pierogi Soup
 
 
Author:
Serves: 8 - 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large whole stewing chicken (5 - 5½ lbs.), innards removed and inside rinsed with cold water
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 4 Tbl. (1/2 a stick) butter
  • 1 medium or large onion, chopped (as much/little as you like)
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups reserved broth (pour rest into second pot)
  • 1 Tbl. Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
  • 4 medium to large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ to ¾ inch cubes
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 3 Tbl. cornstarch
  • 16 oz. Velveeta, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 (10 oz) box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • ½ of a 24 oz. bag frozen Reame's Homestyle Egg Noodles, cooked and drained
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ tsp. regular black pepper (or to taste)
  • salt to taste (I added a ½ tsp.)
  • *garnish bowls with spoonfuls of sour cream & chopped crispy peppered bacon (a half of a strip per serving)
Instructions
  1. In medium stock pot, add whole chicken, 12 cups water (or enough to cover), and 1 large bay leaf, (plus 2 large carrots, 2 ribs celery and 1 onion, quartered, if you have some but not necessary), bring to a simmer, and simmer for 1½ - 2 hours with lid tilted. (Until very tender and legs fall away easily.) *I like to skim off the foam when the chicken is first starting cook.) Carefully remove with tongs, letting excess liquid from cavity drain away into pot, and place chicken into a large bowl and cover loosely until cool enough to handle. Strain broth of bay leaf, and bones that have fallen away, (and veggies if using), with a large, fine mesh strainer, into large stock pot. (*This will be used for the soup, and the extra to help cook the noodles in.) Discard bay leaf and veggies.
  2. To the smaller pot (that you just cooked the chicken in), add butter and onions, and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Remove 6 cups broth from the large pot and add back to smaller pot that you just sautéed in. (*Leave the excess broth in the large pot to add flavor to the noodles later. *You can reserve 2 cups if you'd like. In case your soup comes out too thick for you personally, you can use it to thin it a bit to how you like it.)
  3. Continue adding to the small pot, the potatoes and chicken base, and bring to a low boil, covered, until potatoes are done. About 8 - 10 minutes. Check for tenderness.
  4. Add 1½ cups of the heavy cream, Velveeta, white cheddar, pulled chicken, fresh parsley, chopped and thawed frozen spinach that has been drained and squeezed dry. Heat to a simmer, add ½ cup of the heavy cream mixed with 3 Tbl. cornstarch plus 1 tablespoon cold water, simmer until thickened, just a few minutes, gently stirring occasionally. Add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside.
  5. In the second large pot with excess broth, add 3 - 4 quarts water. Heat to a rolling boil , add 1 Tb. salt, add noodles and cook according to package directions. (20 minutes at a rolling boil.) Drain well, add to small pot. Gently fold in to mix evenly.
  6. Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish each with a small spoon of sour cream, and chopped crispy peppered bacon.
  7. *Don't thin the soup the next day though it will seem too thick. It will thin out and get creamy again when reheated. Reheat in microwave at 50%, stirring occasionally.
  8. Only add some of the 2 cups reserved broth if you prefer a thinner soup. Otherwise freeze the reserved two cups chicken broth for a later use.
Recipe by Wildflour's Cottage Kitchen at http://wildflourskitchen.com/2017/10/07/cheesy-chicken-pierogi-soup-bacon-spinach/