Chicken, Cabbage and Apple Stew

“You need to put this on your soup blog:” a good way to tell when a soup has hit the spot.

Another way to tell is when the pot of soup is literally scraped clean by the guests. I think we have a winner, folks.

You guys know that Google Reader is being retired July 1, right? Before Pinterest, I was “starring” things that I wanted to remember in Google Reader, so now that it’s going the way of the dinosaur, I’ve started a long process of going through old stars to see if there’s anything I want to save. This post from over a year ago was one of the first ones I came across.

I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter, except I only had one onion left and it turned out it was bad, so I sprinkled in some dried onion as I was browning the last of the chicken, and it turned out great. I kind of like the idea of minimizing the onion (though I’m usually a fan of adding onion to everything) so that the other, subtle, flavors could shine. And, I used a gluten-free flour mix instead of all-purpose flour. If you like slightly unique, but savory and satisfying flavors (and bacon!), I recommend you try this soup before the weather turns warm.

Chicken, Cabbage and Apple Stew
adapted from foodess.com

4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch strips
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 T dried, minced onion (or you can use 1 onion, chopped)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium green cabbage, finely sliced
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I used “pink lady”)
1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
4 cups chicken broth
3 T flour
1 c cream
2 T minced fresh sage, or a scant 1 T dry, rubbed sage
2 bay leaves
salt & pepper

In a large, lidded saucepan over medium-high heat, brown the bacon. Remove bacon from pot along with grease and add back in about 2 T bacon grease.

Brown the chicken in batches. As the last chicken is finishing browning, add the onion flakes and cook until they begin to brown.

Add in the rest of the chicken, the garlic, the celery root, cabbage, apples, chicken broth, sage and bay leaves. Reserve about 1/2 c. broth and whisk in the flour until smooth; stir into the soup. Cook at a simmer until the veggies are soft, at least 30 minutes. This soup can stand quite a bit of simmering (up to several hours) because all the veggies in it are pretty hearty. Add the cream and salt and pepper to taste.

I think this soup (like many soups) tastes better the next day. I can also attest that it freezes well because I left the pot sitting outside overnight in 15 degree temps (it froze solid) and it was the next day that the pot was scraped clean by family and friends.

Serve with bread and lots of butter.