Thursday, December 16, 2010

Panama Tex Chicken & Spinach Tortellini Soup

Michelle has been watching all this fun I've been having with The Foodie Spot blog (her idea for the name BTW), and decided to chime in with her own post.  She made this beautiful soup the other night on a whim.  Michelle dove into the fridge and pantry using what was on hand to create this dish.  She called it Panama Tex Chicken & Spinach Tortellini Soup.

Since this is Michelle's first post, I feel the need to make a brief intro.  Michelle is my little breast cancer survivor doll.  She stared death in the face and death ran with its tail tucked between its legs.  Michelle spent many years working at Somethin's Cookin' in Panama City, FL with her dear Hannelore.  She learned authentic German and European cooking from Hannelore.  Michelle brings great talent to the kitchen and I'm am the primary beneficiary of her many creative dishes.  May this post from Michelle be the first of many.

As Michelle, new hair do and all, sat at our PC writing in the blogger editor I learned some new things about the editor.  It is stupid and doesn't follow directions well.  By the time it was all over, our poor PC was curled up in the corner with its thumb stuck in its mouth.  Okay, perhaps I embellish a little bit.

With her little blogger helpers Cooper and Gus here is Michelle's Tex' Panhandle  Chicken and Spinach Tortellini Soup.  Have fun.  Michelle does with everything she takes a stab at.

The Line Up

2 Chicken Breast
1 Large Sweet Onion
1 Container small button mushrooms
3-4 Cloves Garlic
3-4 Stalks Celery
3-4 Whole Carrots
1 Bag Fresh Spinach
1 Bag Fresh Tri-Colored Tortellini's) approx. little over 1/2 bag used in recipe (use rest for something else)
4 TAB Butter (unsalted my favorite)
4 TAB Olive Oil
Salt (Kosher- Sea salt) / Pepper (Tellicherry)
Chef's Blend Seasoning
Chipotle Chile Pepper Seasoning
1 Can Campbell's  Golden Mushroom Soup
2  (32) Fluid ounces Chicken Broth (Kitchen Basic's Brand)
1 cup water (use Campbell's soup can)
Gruyere (grated) Cheese for garnish
Few Cilantro Springs for garnish

Trim off fat from chicken breast, pat dry, and set aside.  Sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, Chef's blend, and Chipotle Seasoning.  Let seasoning set.  Have a glass of wine and tell your guy to do something.

The Fixin Part

Preheat oven to 350'
Heat up a Dutch oven pot or stainless soup pot on med. high.  Add 2 TAB butter and 2 TAB olive oil.  Once butter and oil starts to melt, raise heat to a strong med. high.  Place chicken breast flat side down and brown for about 4 min. or so; don't touch the breast and let nicely brown markings appear.  Gently  flip to the other side and proceed as earlier. Remove from heat.  Add a little water to the yummy chard pieces in the pot.  Remove yummy's to a bowl.  Put chicken breast onto baking pan and bake for 10 min.

While chicken is baking,  dice onions coarsly, chop mushrooms into fine pieces, and cut celery stalks into small half moon slices.  Leave the skin on the carrots. Cut each carrot into 3 sections.  Each section should be cut in half, then chopped (vertically) into small coin like pieces.  Chop the garlic.

Wipe pot out with napkin. Heat pot with remainder of butter and olive oil on med. heat. Once oils are melted add onions.  Move heat slightly up and saute' mushroom pieces for about 3 min. (get them to start browning), then add onions and continue to saute'.  As they start to carmelize ( begin to brown on edges)  add garlic.  Continue to stir together and add a teaspoon salt ( prefer Kosher or Sea Salt) and some ground pepper (my favorite is Tellicherry Pepper).  Add celery and carrots.  Mix well and brown ( might need to adjust heat little).  Simmer now on low heat.

Take chicken breast and slice into cubes (not too big).

Rise heat on the onion, celery, and carrot mixture  back to med.high.  Add the left over yummy mixture to the pot, add chicken broth and stir.  Add 1 can of campbell's soup/ with one cup of water.  Blend all ingredients well.  Add chicken.  Simmer on med. heat ( do not boil; keep liquid hot).  Add  tortellin's. Then add fresh bag of spinach in batches and stir. 

Now just simmer, add more salt or pepper to taste and simmer on low until torellin's are cooked ( about 8 min.).  While simmering...

Prepare grated cheese and fresh cilantro sprigs to serve on top.

Topping suggestions:
Fresh Jalepeno slices (seeded)
Sour cream
Tortilla chips (crumbled)

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