The cold wind seems to cut right into my bones. There is a low gray ceiling of clouds, and it would be easy to give in to depression at this time of year. I find I need a big pot of comforting, silky soup! This recipe uses frozen ravioli for convenience. You could use any other frozen pasta with a filling. Try putting the vegetables and stock with the chicken in your crockpot, and you will return to find a home filled with the delicious scent of rich chicken soup.
To prepare this, make sure you clean the leek well before you put it in the pot. I like to cut the leek into slices and soak it overnight in a bowl of cold water. Toss away the coarse, dark part of the leek, as it is too tough and fibrous to use.
I used a package of soft herbed cheese to finish the soup, and it added to the richness I wanted. You could substitute cream cheese if you don’t have the herbed kind. If you prefer a non-dairy soup, just leave this out. Your soup will be delicious.
Silky Chicken Soup
4 chicken thighs
1 leek, sliced and washed
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 yellow onion, diced
2-3 quarts water or chicken broth
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp thyme
1 16 oz package frozen mushroom ravioli
1 8oz package soft herbed cheese, cubed
Put the vegetables, chicken and seasonings with the broth or water in a stock pot or crock pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 90 minutes on the stove or 6-8 hours on low in the crockpot. Remove the chicken, debone and remove the skin. Cut into bite-sized pieces, and return the meat to the pot. Bring the soup back to boiling. Put in as many of the ravioli as you will serve. Boil according to package instructions. (Use the remainder of the pasta when you serve leftover soup. Cooking it all at once and rewarming could result in soggy pasta.) When the ravioli is ready, turn the heat off. Stir in herbed cheese until melted. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Serve with a salad and bread.