Rainy days are perfect for soup. It was supposed to rain today so I planned on soup for dinner. Of course, the rain skirted around us but it was overcast and, therefore, still soup weather. Besides, I had my heart set on it.
It being Saturday, I was feeling a bit daring. I wanted something different and was willing to experiment since I had the time. For some reason Chicken Cordon Bleu came to mind.
I had some left over chicken from dinner a couple of nights ago and there was some ham in the freezer. I love Chicken Cordon Bleu but it is pretty labor intensive. I do make a casserole that is much easier but what could be easier than a casserole? Soup, of course.
I wanted to make a cream soup that tasted like the Cordon Bleu sauce. I think I nailed it.
The first thing I do when I cook, especially when I am experimenting is to gather all the ingredients I think I will be using. Or, maybe all the things I want to use up out of the fridge or cupboard! This way, I can think of what goes together and what proportions to use. It also makes the actual cooking process easier and quicker if you have everything out and measured beforehand. (Why do you think it is so easy for the TV cooks to prepare dishes? Huh, bet you didn’t think of that!) Anyway………
I started with a roux which is a basic starting point for cream sauces and soups. Since I was aiming for rich and savory, I started with bacon. I fried 3 slices of bacon in my large soup pot. Once it was crispy, I removed it with a slotted spoon to keep the bacon drippings. It should be about 2 tablespoons.
I added 2 tablespoons of butter with the drippings and ¼ cup of flour. You will need to constantly whisk this as you are cooking to keep it from burning. Let it cook for 1-2 minutes until it is a beautiful golden color. Isn’t that pretty?
Add the chicken broth and continue to whisk until smooth. We don’t want a lumpy soup!
Now, add the milk, cream, mustard, worcestershire sauce, and season with pepper. Bring to a low boil to thicken. Trust me on the mustard and worcestershire sauce. It adds just a little kick of flavor. It is not overpowering.
Add the cream cheese and swiss cheese. Stir until completely melted. If this isn’t enough to make you swoon, I don’t know what will.
Finally, add the ham and chicken and cook 5-10 minutes on low heat until heated through. At this time, taste to see if there is enough salt. The ham will add salt to the soup so it is best not to add any additional salt until after the ham has been added so you can taste it.
This soup was a big hit with the hubs and my son. My son had a bowl at home and then took a container to his fiancee’s house for later!
It’s thick, it’s creamy, its savory, it’s the bomb! The hardest part is dicing the chicken and ham. If you don’t have any left over chicken, pick up a rotisserie chicken for convenience.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup
3 slices bacon
2 tblsp butter
¼ cup flour
1 ½ cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp worstershire sauce
1 pkg cream cheese – 8 oz
2 c shredded swiss cheese
2 c diced cooked chicken
2 c diced cooked ham
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot or dutch oven, fry 3-4 strips of bacon over medium high heat until crispy. Remove from pan with slotted spoon. There should be about 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings in the pan. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and melt with the bacon drippings. When butter is melted, add ¼ cup of flour and whisk until incorporated. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the roux is light golden.
Add the chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Add mustard, worcestershire sauce, cream, and milk, whisking until all is fully incorporated. Bring to a low boil while stirring. Add cream cheese and swiss cheese and whisk until all is melted. If the soup seems too thick at this point, you can add either chicken broth or milk, a 1/4 cup at a time until desired thickness is reached. Add ham and chicken and pepper. Reduce heat and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes. At this point, taste to see if any salt is needed and add, as needed.
Garnish with crumbled bacon and chives.