Creamy Chicken and Casarecce Noodle Soup


I'll be the first to admit that there's nothing more convenient that opening a can of soup and warming it up on the stovetop, especially when you're not feeling well.  But one of my most favorite types of soup to cook is chicken noodle.  I posted my "Lolly's Cure What Ails You" chicken noodle soup years ago and it continues to be a blog reader favorite.

But today I changed things up a little with the recipe, and much to our surprise, we think this version is even BETTER.

As always with soup recipes, you can a little more of this or a lot more of that and the seasoning amounts are usually forgiving.  This is the perfect time to use a rotisserie chicken for convenience.  I had two chicken thighs and a chicken breast in the freezer and didn't want to take time to thaw them for this pot of soup, so into the Instant Pot they went.  I added four cups of chicken stock and the frozen chicken.  I pressure cooked on high for 16 minutes and then let the pressure naturally release.  After it cooled a bit, it was easy to shred.  If you cook your chicken this way, count the quart of chicken stock you used here in your total for the whole recipe because you can strain it after cooking the chicken and add to the soup pot.

While the chicken cooked, I prepped and began cooking the veggies on the stove top.  Instead of long pasta noodles, I had a box of Casarecce pasta in the pantry.  These are short strips of pasta which are rolled over onto themselves.  They originated in Sicily and were a delightful change from ordinary spaghetti noodles.

1 T. olive oil
1 T. unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 heaping teaspoon garlic
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 t. poultry seasoning
3 quarts chicken stock
3 - 4 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 cups frozen green peas
12 oz. box Casarecce pasta
8 oz. heavy whipping cream
chopped fresh parsley for garnish

In a 5 - 6 quart Dutch oven, warm the olive oil and butter over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 - 8 minutes until they begin to soften.  Add garlic, salt, black pepper, and poultry seasoning and stir into the vegetables and cook for another minute or so.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a gentle simmer.  Stir in chicken and lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer.  Stir occasionally and cook for 15 - 20 minutes until carrots are fork tender.  

Add green peas and pasta and stir well to keep pasta from sticking or settling to the bottom of the Dutch oven.  Let cook until pasta is al dente, 8 - 10 minutes or so.  

Slowly stir in whipping cream and let heat through.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper if needed.  Ladle into warmed bowls and top with a little fresh parsley if desired.


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