Sometimes you hear a name and it just sounds good. Like music to the ears. Chicken Florentine is one of those names. Florentine relates to the city Florence in Italy and when referring to food it means the dish contains spinach (a bed of spinach). Chicken florentine is made with chicken breast laid over spinach then smothered in a creamy white wine garlic sauce. The inspiration for this soup.
A homey and hearty soup packed with fresh spinach, aromatics like carrot, garlic and roasted red pepper, tender pieces of white meat chicken and pipette pasta. Pipette pasta is shaped like a rounded tube, full of grooves to catch flavors and pinched on one end to trap the unsuspecting broth and goodies inside. It’s pure and uncomplicated comfort food, at its best, familiar and heart-warming.
For a vegetarian version omit chicken, use vegetable broth and double up on the pasta.
1. In a large soup pot saute onion, carrot and celery in enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan until tender. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add pepper, chicken, thyme and basil. Season well with salt and pepper. Cook stirring often until chicken is white on all sides.
2. Add chicken broth and simmer slowly for 20 minutes. Add spinach leaves and continue simmering for 10-15 minutes, taste and season broth if needed.
3. Meanwhile cook pasta in a separate pan according to package directions in plenty of salted water. Drain and return to pan, toss with a tablespoon of olive oil to prevent sticking.
4. Stir heavy cream into soup, simmer 5 minutes. Add pasta to bowls and spoon soup over top, stir together and serve with Parmesan cheese.
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