Curried Cream of Chicken Soup

comments: 73


The first three cookbooks I ever owned were The Silver Palate Cookbook, The Moosewood Cookbook, and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. Remember those? My copies are so ragged and stained now. I've had them since about 1990 or so — around the time I moved off-campus and had my first real kitchen. All three of them are illustrated with the most delightful black-and-white drawings, and the Moosewood ones are handwritten. I really, really love that simple line art. I wonder if there are any cookbooks being published right now that have illustrations and type design like that. All of the cookbooks I've bought or been given recently are so gorgeously photographed and amazing and I love them. But it's funny how the little drawings in these older cookbooks still inspire me just as much as the pretty pictures in my new books. Makes me want to draw something with a fine-tipped black marker.

Every few weeks I've been roasting four bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (like Ina taught me). I shred the meat and freeze it in separate portions, then make stock from the bones to freeze, as well. I have become someone who has homemade stock in the freezer now. And shredded chicken, ready to go. This has been a really welcome addition to the pantry (the frozen pantry) on nights when I couldn't be less inspired to cook. It's also kind of nice when you when you're somewhere in between: craving something, but feeling lazy. The original recipe for the Silver Palate curried cream of chicken soup has you cooking a whole chicken, waiting for it to cool, etc. This is my version of that, which relies on freezer-pantry stock and shredded chicken. It gave me time to bake another loaf of the no-knead bread.

Curried Cream of Chicken Soup

4 tablespoons butter
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons yellow curry powder
5 cups chicken stock
1 handful of parsley, chopped
1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
1 cup (or so) of shredded chicken
1 cup of frozen peas
1 cup half-and-half

Melt the butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, carrots, and curry powder and cook over low heat, covered, until vegetables are tender. Add the stock, parsley, and rice. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, and cover; simmer until rice is thoroughly cooked, about 30 minutes. Pour the soup through a strainer and be sure to save the stock. Put the solids back into the soup pot, add 1 cup of the stock, and puree everything together with a hand-blender. (If you don't have one you can run it all through the food processor in batches.) Add the remaining stock to the puree along with the shredded chicken and peas and heat everything through. Add half-and-half, heat through again, and season with salt and pepper.

We're having a corgi play-date and Andy's making Edwardo's stuffed pizza tonight. I just asked him if he would do a blog post about the pizza and he said yes!!!


it is raining as hard in NW Washington this morning as I have ever seen it rain (and I've lived here all my life. so this recipe sounds like the perfect reminder of warm sunny exotic locales. and we have all the ingredients except peas...

i always wish i had stuff ready to go...note to self....
yay an Andy blog!!

coup is good...corgi playdate is even please.

yumm you had me at cream

Can't wait for the pizza post--have missed good stuffed pizza since leaving Chicago!

That looks so good it makes me want to eat chicken soup really bad (real chicken soup - I've been a vegetarian for years).

What do the corgis get to feast on?

I too have those cookbooks and just love them! Thanks for reminding me to get those out and cook from them again. I love Ina's way of cooking chicken breasts like that. I'm going to copy you on freezing the shredded chicken and stock. What a great idea!

Hi Alicia

Alice C suggested I look at your site, glad I did, chicken soup recipe will be great for the weekend. I must read more of your blogs.


Sue T

Great soup...thanks. I can't wait to hear from Andy. His last post still makes me smile when I think of it.

yummmmmm! can I come over and eat? :)


Oh soups sounds good right now with all the snow we are getting. I'm kinda over the snow.

My kids are thanking Andy for inspiring the thought of pizza tonight.

I try to keep things like homemade stock available in the fridge, but for some reason it seems harder to make a vegetable stock than a meat stock. It has to be a mental thing, because it doesn't make any sense!

Dear Alicia,

I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking this... but I think you should write your own cookbook and illustrate it. I would buy it! :-)

I promise to use it so much it will get all food-stained like my old Fanny Farmer cookbook.

Teresa from Corbett OR

Those were my first three cookbooks too! Followed by the Silver Palette New Basics. I credit those first three with really teaching me how to cook and appreciate good food. Mine are also very stained and tattered, but I can't bear to replace them, the newer additions have photographs, which just seems wrong.
And I can attest to the deliciousness of that curried cream of chicken soup. I had forgotten all about it, I must make it again soon! Oh thank you for reminding me!

Yum. The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins was my first cookbook and the one that I made Chicken Kiev out of for my husband when we were dating. I think he married me because of that!!! He ate two helpings! It has great black & white illustrations... very well done, which appealed to me way back then.

my first ever no-knead bread is rising as i type this. hope the fact that i'm risking the recipe with 6 month past its exp. date yeast won't cause the whole thing to be a bust. :-)

i too will wait with great anticipation for the pizza post, especially anything andy can do to shed some light on the crust, for which all former Chicagoans lust once they move away and cannot find a reasonable facsimile ANYWHERE.

I feel like the biggest bonehead in the WORLD for not thinking of the frozen shredded chicken thing. You have just changed my life.

oh this all sounds so good! I am a big fan of extras stored in the freezer, as well as go-to meal components! Every few months I make a lasagna and a big pot of soup, and freeze nearly all of both in dinner-sized portions for the two of us. I also cook beans in the crockpot and freeze them in batches of about 2 cups each. It can make meals so much faster when I get to that 'I REALLY don't want to make dinner tonight but have no excuse not too...' feeling. And YAY ANDY POST is a-comin'! W00t!!!

Melissa L. says: January 21, 2011 at 12:29 PM

MOOSEWOOD SAMOSAS! Yay! Wow, that takes me back to my early married days (yeah, I am as old as dirt).

You would love the Bakery Lane Soup Bowl Cookbook, especially if you can find an original copy with all the little woodcut illustrations. Thankfully, it's been reissued and the recipes are just wonderful.

OMG that soup sounds delicious.

I just made this soup for dinner tonight. As I was reading your post this afternoon, I realized we had everything we needed already in the kitchen to make it. It's delicious! How perfect to find a recipe with stuff we have on hand - because we're a bit snowed-in today over here in New Hampshire!

Okey dokey. First I find you are a kindred spirit, then I come here on day two and you post a recipe for one of my favourite things using my freezer method. I'm signing up here.

Too bad it's the height of summer here but that recipe is going on my list for cooler days.

Ina is so great, isn't she?

Friends of mine have a whole set of cookbooks by James Barber, which have wonderful (and funny) hand-drawn cartoons illustrating each recipe. I have no idea if the books are still in print, although Amazon has one called "One Pot Wonders" which looks right. He used to have a cooking show called "Urban Peasant" which was also excellent.

Wow, this looks like something I will love. I, too, can't seem to get enough curry :)

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at