{Creamy Chicken and Vegetable Soup}

As soon as I start feeling fall in the air, I start craving warm comforting dishes, and begin my search for new soups to try. I recently made this one, and it was very tasty and hearty. It’s got a pretty thick consistency similar to clam chowder. I made breadsticks to go along with it, but this would be absolutely perfect in a bread bowl!

2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup diced carrots (about 2 regular carrots or a handful of baby carrots)
3 cups chicken broth
2-3 potatoes, peeled and finely diced (I like to leave the peels on red potatoes, if using them)
1 cup milk (1% is my milk of choice)
4 tablespoons flour
1 (8 oz. package) regular or light cream cheese
2-3 (about 1 pound) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp salt (more if needed)
1/4 tsp black pepper
In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots.  Cut the chicken in bite sized chunks and add to the veggie mix. Saute, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, until the veggies are slightly tender and the onions are translucent. Add the chicken broth and potatoes. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, and the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. In a liquid measuring cup, vigorously whisk the flour and milk together until smooth. Whisk the mixture into the soup, stirring quickly, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until the soup begins to thicken slightly. Stir often to ensure the soup doesn’t burn. Soften the cream cheese in the microwave until it is very soft/melty. I usually place the unwrapped cream cheese on a plate and microwave it for one minute. Add the cream cheese to the soup in small tablespoon-size pieces. Let the pieces sit in the soup and warm through then whisk or stir the soup until the cream cheese melts and mixes in well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

*Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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