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Karin Calloway

Food columnist for The Augusta Chronicle.

Chicken Florentine soup great at home, job

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I remember the excitement of knowing I had a hot thermos of soup waiting for me in my lunchbox when I was in elementary school. As an adult, I still like to pack soup for a quick lunch at the office.

Chicken Florentine Soup  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Chicken Florentine Soup

This week’s chicken Flor­en­tine soup is a recent favorite and is a great way to get healthy greens into your daily menu.

The recipe starts with homemade or store-bought chicken broth. If using store-bought broth, I prefer the reduced-sodium variety.

I used frozen, chopped spinach when testing the recipe. Defrost it according to package directions and squeeze it to remove as much liquid as possible.

Using frozen spinach is the most economical, fuss-free way to prepare the soup; however, you can substitute six packed cups of chopped fresh spinach for the frozen.

The soup is flavored with a little curry powder, salt and white pepper. The final addition is optional: whipping cream to give the soup a little richness and creaminess. Grated Swiss or cheddar cheese can be stirred into individual bowls of soup.

You can ladle the soup into bowls for a quick weeknight meal, reheat it in the morning to pack into a thermos or reheat it in the microwave at the office.

The soup freezes well, so I like to freeze half of the recipe for future lunches.

Crusty bread is all you need to complete your meal.

CHICKEN FLORENTINE SOUP

6 cups homemade chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed of as much liquid as possible

2 cups cooked chicken breast meat, diced

½ teaspoon curry powder

¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

Salt, to taste

½ cup whipping cream, optional

1 cup shredded Swiss or cheddar cheese, optional, for serving

Pour stock into a Dutch oven and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low.

Remove ¼ cup of the hot stock and whisk together in a small bowl with the cornstarch.

Add to the simmering stock and simmer, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken.

Stir in the spinach, chicken and curry powder. Season to taste with salt and pepper (salt might not be needed if using store-bought stock).

Add the cream and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and top with a little of the shredded cheese, if using.

Makes 4-6 servings.


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