We see leftover poultry in your future. Chilly weather too.
So why not take them both on with this warming soup? Add some roast cauliflower to the mix and you’ll increase the comfort quotient even more.
Who knew you’d be giving thanks for leftovers?
Recipe: Chicken and Roast Cauliflower Soup
If you don’t have leftover poultry on hand, you can pick up a supermarket rotisserie chicken and use that. And if you don’t have leftover roast cauliflower? You can roast some at high heat in about 30 minutes – or just simmer raw cauliflower in the soup (see Notes for both variations).
Prep time for this soup is about 10 to 15 minutes (assuming you use leftovers). Cooking time adds another 25 minutes.
This recipe makes about 4 main-course servings, or at least 6 first-course servings.
Leftovers keep for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container. Or you can freeze them for up to 2 months.
- ~½ large head of roast cauliflower (or an entire small head; can use leftover roast cauliflower or roast some for this soup)
- ~10 ounces leftover chicken or turkey (about 2 cups)
- 1 medium onion
- 2 to 3 carrots
- 1 to 2 ribs celery
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or other cooking oil
- salt to taste (about 1 teaspoon kosher salt for us; see Notes)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or other herb of choice; see Notes)
- 6 cups chicken stock (see Notes)
- ~1 cup frozen green peas
- If using leftover roast cauliflower, cut it into bite-size chunks and set aside. (If you need to roast the cauliflower, or prefer to simmer it in the soup, see Notes).
- Cut the leftover chicken or turkey into bite-size chunks and set aside.
- Peel the onion and cut it into dice of ½ inch or so. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the carrots. Peel them, then cut off their tips. Cut the carrots into dice of about ¼ inch, or into thin rounds. Set aside.
- Wash and dry the celery, then remove the strings. Cut the tips off the celery, then cut it into diagonal slices of about ¼ inch (or into dice of about ¼ inch). Set aside.
- Place a 4-quart saucepan or soup pot over medium stovetop heat. When the cooking pot is hot, add the cooking oil. When the oil is heated (it’ll shimmer; about 15 seconds), add the chopped onion, carrots, and celery. Season to taste with salt. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the dried thyme. Stir to combine. Then add the chicken stock and the chicken pieces. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then cook for about 3 minutes to combine the flavors.
- Add the roast cauliflower. Cook for 10 minutes (longer if you want the cauliflower to become extra tender). Then add the frozen green peas and cook for another 3 minutes, or until the peas are done to your liking. Taste the soup and add seasoning if necessary.
- Ladle into serving bowls and enjoy.
- To roast cauliflower, you can follow the instructions on our Roast Cauliflower post: Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Wash and dry the cauliflower, core it, separate it into florets, then cut the florets into bite-size chunks. Toss the cauliflower pieces with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, then spread them out in a foil- or parchment-lined sheet pan. Sprinkle on salt and black pepper to taste, then roast the cauliflower for 25 minutes. While the cauliflower is roasting, proceed with the rest of the soup recipe.
- If you don’t have leftover roast cauliflower on hand and don’t want to roast it just for this soup, you can cut raw cauliflower into florets and cook it in the soup. Add the cauliflower pieces when you add the chicken in Step 7, then cook until the cauliflower is tender (about 20 minutes) before adding the peas (Step 8).
- This soup tastes good when made with raw cauliflower, but it won’t have the depth of flavor that roast cauliflower provides. Roast cauliflower also looks particularly nice in this dish.
- We like to use dried thyme in this soup (though if you have fresh thyme on hand, that would work even better). But any herb of choice will probably taste good in this dish. You could also add some chopped fresh parsley right at the end of cooking.
- If you want a brothier soup, you can increase the amount of chicken stock to 8 cups.
- BTW, instead of using chicken stock, you can substitute stock base mixed with water. If you go this route, just add water to the cooking pot, then stir in the appropriate amount of chicken stock base (or turkey stock base if you’re using leftover turkey instead of chicken in this dish).
- Stock/soup bases often have very good flavor (though you may have to experiment with brands to find one you like). They do tend to be rather salty, however.
- Speaking of salt: We use kosher salt in cooking. It’s less salty by volume than regular table salt (the crystals are larger and more irregular, so they pack a measure less tightly). If using table salt, start with about half the amount we suggest. But always salt to your taste, not ours.
“Perfect soup to light up a dreary day,” said Mrs Kitchen Riffs. “It’s floret-scent!”
“Glad I didn’t chicken out on making this,” I said. “Though I winged it with the recipe.”
“A comedi-hen you’re not,” said Mrs K R. “But you did hatch a nice recipe.”
Good thing. Otherwise Mrs K R might use fowl language.
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