Saturday, August 20, 2011

Imagining Winter

Pimento Cheese Soup
I came home for lunch yesterday, but before I left to head back to my office, I pondered on dinner.  Hmmm...still summer (boy is it ever).  I should just grill something on the patio in celebration of Friday.  So I went to my freezer and rumbled around until I found a package of chicken thighs, my favorite fowl part.  Chicken thighs have always been the best to me.  Since I was a little kid, I've always asked for the crispy fried or smokey grilled thigh portion.  I recognized, even as a child, where all the flavor and juiciness was found.  

When I got home they were nicely thawed and ready for the grill.  I stepped outside to check the temp and just couldn't bear another minute of its brutality. So I got out my favorite pot, a lime green Staub beauty suitable in size for soup making, closed the curtains and pretended it was cool outside.

I love keeping a well-stocked pantry, but lets face it, sometimes you just have to use what you have unless you hop in the ride and go shopping.  Not a chance on Friday.  Luckily however, I found everything I needed for my new soup inspiration.

Pimento Cheese Soup with Chicken and Orecchiette

4 or 5 chicken thighs
1/2 box chicken stock
1 medium onion
1 stalk celery
1 sweet banana pepper
1-1/2 cups orecchiette (little ears pasta)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (yes I did use it)
Grated Havarti cheese (or your choice)
1 small jar pimento
Black pepper
1 to 2 cups white wine
Snipped chives

Place the skinned, bone-in thighs into the pot and add the chicken stock with enough water to cover the thighs well.  Simmer covered until the thighs are done, about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, chop the onion, celery and banana pepper.  When the thighs are done, remove to a platter to cool and add the veggies to the bubbling stock.  Cook until soft.  Add the orecchiette and cook until al dente.  

Remove the chicken from the bone and chop into bite sized pieces then add to the pot.  Add the cream of mushroom soup and stir to blend.  Swirl in the cheese.

Note: You may add as much cheese as you like.  I added a bit at the time to get it just right.  

Pour in the jar of pimento but do not drain.  Stir well and adjust the salt content, add the black pepper and pour in the white wine just before serving.  

Note: Make sure the stock of the soup is a bit, well, soupy.  Add more water or white wine if you must thin it to correct the consistency.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with snipped fresh chives.  Serve with crusty French bread and a glass of chilled white wine and pretend its Winter.
Creamy and delicious!

I'm thinking this is going to be a great pot of soup for a gathering of folks to watch football.  I'll definitely make this again.  Next time maybe it really will be cool out.


  1. Looks delicious! I'll keep it in mind for fall get-togethers... thankfully not too far in the future :)

  2. It was really good. I'm wishin' for Autumn too...early w/b so nice.

  3. yummy!!! this looks & sounds amazing!! :) My column in next week's paper will be about blogging & you and both your blogs are mentioned!! hope you have more readers/viewers next week!! :) let me know! thanks so much for the help with my blog!!! ttyl

  4. Morgan, thanks so much! I'm looking forward to your article. See you Thursday...