Hearty Italian flavors highlight this comforting chicken parmesan soup, with lots of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, melty fresh mozzarella cheese, and a good helping of pasta. Super easy, too – 30 minutes from stove to table.
This is the time of year when I start getting impatient for the cold weather to go away. We have brief stretches of warmth heading into March — 50°s, maybe 60°s if we’re lucky — just enough for the loony tunes, warm-blooded peeps around here to pull out their shorts and flip flops like we’re vacationing in the Bahamas. There was snow on ground last week heading into a warm snap, and I spied a surfer dude high-stepping it through a pile of slush at Kroger … in his open-toed Tevas.
Dude! You crazy!
Me, I’m wearing two long-sleeved layers topped by a sweat shirt, and a coat, and my mittens, with a scarf wrapped around my head like a babushka, and I only reluctantly left behind the fleece blanket (my blankie!) that is wrapped around my shoulders almost 24/7, because I didn’t want to get it Linus dirty in the slushy Kroger parking lot.
Hello, March. You crazy.
Hot soups are still not only welcome, but I like to ladle them into an XXL mug that I can just hold cupped in my hands for many, many warmth-giving minutes. Take a spoonful once in a while, then hands back on the bowl.
It’s Chicken Parmesan Soup Time!
My chicken parmesan soup is not really named after Chicken Parmigiana, the breaded chicken dish. It’s just called chicken parmesan soup because there’s chicken and lots of Parmigiano Reggiano. And for extra melty cheese love, the soup is topped with slices of fresh mozzarella. Which, okay, is like Chicken Parmigiana. But this is soup. Soup so filling, with bites of rotisserie chicken and pasta and herbs that sometimes I just have it with a side of buttered toast and nothing else. I love buttered toast. In the winter, toast is all the things of the world. Sprinkle a little more grated parm on top … #winwinwin.
Speaking of parm … did you read last week that there’s a disturbing amount of cellulose — wood pulp — in some brands of canned parmesan cheese? It’s supposed to be an anti-clumping agent, but some manufacturers use it as filler, up to 10% of the container. And following that, of course, the lawsuits of the outraged.
And so I guess we have Chicken Parmesan Wood Soup.
EEEEEEH! (<- buzzer sound)
No wood pulp in this soup, nosireeboberino — SoupAddict bought herself one of those fancy parmesan wedges, and not only used freshly grated, 100% Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in her chicken parmesan soup, but also put some of the rind in the soup while it cooked for extra savory flavor. Awesomeness!
Cheesy, fast and easy, wood-free, Chicken Parmesan Soup. Get it right here!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium white or yellow onion, small dice
- 1 rib celery, small dice
- 1 medium carrot, small dice
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups marinara
- 2" piece parmigiano reggiano cheese rind (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon Italian herb blend
- Salt and pepper
- 10 ounces dried pasta penne
- 2 cups cooked chicken (rotisserie is nice)
- Fresh mozzarella slices
- Grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- Minced flat leaf parsley
- Heat the olive oil in a 4 to 5 quart Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, until the oil shimmers. Add the onions, celery, and carrots, and saute until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and stir until fragrant (just a minute or two). Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook until its disappeared into the vegetables. Add the chicken broth, marinara, cheese rind (if using), bay leaf, and Italian seasoning, and stir until mixed well.
- Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover pot partially with a lid and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf and parm rind. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed.
- While the soup simmers, cook the pasta according to package directions in a medium pot of salted water.
- Drain the pasta and add to the soup, along with the cooked chicken.
- Give the soup a stir, then lay mozzarella slices over the top of the soup (optional: place the soup under the broiler and heat until the cheese bubbles - make sure you're using an oven safe pot).
- Sprinkle grated cheese and parsley over the soup, and serve.