Creamy Lemon-Pesto Soup

Originally I was creating this recipe as a braised chicken dish, but the sauce wasn’t thickening like I wanted. So instead of throwing it out, I made it into a soup! And it turned out more delicious than I could have imagined!

The Dutch oven (or cocotte) has been around for over 300 years, and are the perfect kitchen pot for slow-simmered dishes like soups, stews, and braises when you want to create flavorful sauces and super-tender cuts of meat.

With straight, high walls and heavy tight-fitting lids these cast iron pots are designed to trap heat and moisture, creating the perfect stove-top (or oven) slow cooker effect.

Their heavy-walled sides and bottoms allow for greater heat conductivity and retention, ensuring food cooks evenly. And they can go from stove top to oven.

Now on to the recipe!

Creamy Lemon-Pesto Soup
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 bone-in chicken quarters, skinless
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 4 whole cloves garlic, skin removed and smashed
  • 3 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow), chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 egg yolks, optional
  • 1 cup heavy cream (or canned coconut milk)
  • 1-2 Tbsp of pesto from recipe: Italian Walnut Pesto Chicken
  • 1-3 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. To a wide/shallow Dutch oven, or a large skillet (enough so 4 chicken quarters can lay flat), melt butter and oil. Once hot, add chicken and garlic. Sear chicken 3 minutes on each side.
  2. Add enough broth so liquid level comes halfway up chicken (2-3 cups). Add lemon juice, zest, and seasonings.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer covered for 30-40 minutes, or until fully cooked. Remove chicken and pull meat off bones, cutting into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Strain cooking liquid and reserve.
  4. While chicken is cooking, sauté a mix of yellow, orange and red peppers, until nice and golden brown in places. Set aside.
  5. To a large stock pot, add reserved cooking liquid from chicken, chicken pieces, peppers, along with another 2-3 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
  6. If desired, slowly drizzle in 2 eggs yolks while whisking continuously - this will help thicken soup as well as add a rich creaminess to soup.
  7. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in cream (or canned coconut milk).
  8. Just before serving, stir in 1-2 Tbsp of Italian Walnut Pesto (to taste), garnish with parsley.

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