This Chicken Florentine Soup is inspired by the classic chicken dish by incorporating spinach, onions, mushrooms and carrots in a white wine creamy broth. (Jump directly to the recipe.)
This post was sponsored by Safeway. I was compensated for this post and for developing the recipe. However, all opinions below are completely my own.
Forgive me for being dramatic but today was the beginning of the end. The end of Summer that is. You probably are laughing at me as it’s late October, but here in San Francisco, in California, the weather stays warmer longer. In fact, just last Monday, when I went on a farm tour of Earthbound Farms, I found myself stripping down from the sweater and down jacket I had brought as we met early in the cold brisk morning, to the thin button-up shirt I had on underneath the sweater by noon. But today, today was the day I turned on my heat. It’s the beginning of the end.
We were actually lucky to fit in our tour of Earthbound Farms before it got too cold though. It was one of the last weeks of harvest here in Northern and Central California, before they started move their production more south where it’s warmer. The trip was organized by Safeway and included an in-depth history of the farm, the largest producer of organic salads in the US. The owners, Drew and Myra Goodman started it on a 2.5 acre land in Carmel Valley and were the first company to produce pre-washed, packaged salad greens, initially driving them to local grocery stores in San Francisco, delivered in ziplock bags in the mid-80s. When they dropped off the first delivery in the morning, the manager of the store told them that they didn’t think it would sell, but to put them in the produce section. He called them several hours later telling them to bring more, as he had sold out by lunch time!
During our farm tour, where we watched workers harvest baby lettuce and broccoli, we got a chance to ask questions about organic farming practices. I’ve always been a big proponent of organic farming and have always thought that organic food tasted better. It turns out that it’s not just a psychological thing! Conventionally grown food is often grown faster, with synthetically derived fertilizers and pesticides. The fertilizers can cause quicker growth which leads to better yields. But with quicker growth, comes a different cell structure in the produce and less flavor. Organic may take longer to grow with less yield (thus the higher cost) but there is more flavor in every bite. I’m all about the flavor so it only makes sense I gravitate toward organic.
Along with our trip to the farm, we went to Earthbound Farm’s Farm Stand where I teamed up with Lisa of Healthy Nibble and Bits and Sarah of Snixy Kitchen to harvest herbs and vegetables in their garden to use in our lunch salad. Technically it WASN’T a salad competition, but honestly, our salad was the best (sorry other bloggers!). La Tourangelle and Foster Farms were also there, providing specialty oils and natural chicken for the lunch and it inspired me to get home and get cracking on a recipe using all their ingredients.
And inspiration hit me when I started to wear sweaters around the apartment. I honestly don’t make soup enough in our home but with cooler weather, I found myself gravitating toward a warm, rich, comforting bowl of soup. Chicken Florentine is a classic chicken dish that is served over a bed of spinach with a white wine sauce. A soup version was exactly what I was craving this Fall evening. Perhaps I should look at this change of weather more as the beginning of soup season then the end of summer. I guess I can live with that.
You can get all the ingredients, including Foster Farms chicken, La Tourangelle oils and Earthbound Farms baby spinach from your local Safeway store. And if you haven’t had a chance, you can also get the ingredients delivered for free, with $20 off on your 1st online order when you spend $75 or more. Enter the promo code: SAVE20 at the online checkout. Offer valid through 12/31/18.
Chicken Florentine Soup
- 6 cups chicken broth low or no sodium
- 1 1/2 pounds Foster Farms boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets
- 2 tablespoon La Tourangelle Avocado Oil
- 1 large onion peeled and chopped
- 1 large carrot peeled and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms cleaned and sliced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 8 ounces small shaped pasta like orzo, ditalini, fregula, or acini de pepe
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 5 ounces Earthbound Farms Baby Spinach
- Salt and pepper to taste
- La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil (optional but recommended)
- Place the chicken broth and thighs in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cover. Poach the thighs for 8 minutes, then turn off heat. Remove thighs from stock and put on cutting board to cool.
- While the chicken broth is coming to a boil and the thighs cook, place the avocado oil in a large stock pot and add the onion, carrot and garlic. Cook on medium high, stirring frequently, until the onions start to soften slightly and get translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms start to soften and look shiny, about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the white wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
- Once the thighs are done cooking and have cooled enough to handle, cut them into 1/2-inch chunks then set aside.
- Add the chicken stock and increase heat to bring to boil again. Once boiling, add the pasta, and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes before the recommended time for al dente on the pasta package.
- Add the chopped chicken and cream to the soup, then cook until the pasta is done. Remove from heat, stir in the spinach (the residual heat will wilt the greens). Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, drizzle a little walnut oil over the soup and serve immediately.