Cream of Chicken Soup

Actually Cream of Rotisserie Chicken Soup,

Cream of Leftover Turkey Soup

Are You Getting This?!

I struck a long-term deal with my brother Jim, whose family does not eat dark meat from poultry. So every Thanksgiving I receive a turkey carcass and a bag of dark meat. As payback, I create a big batch of soup to share. Over these years I love making classic turkey noodle soup, but this year I wanted to return to my memories of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup. There is almost enough turkey or chicken to scavenge on the carcass, so you get many dishes and bowls of poultry out of one bird! Check out my recipe for Chicken Marsala [or Turkey Marsala] for what to do with the other leftover meat.

“Cream” is actually from a roux—a mixture of fat and flour—which gives it body and lusciousness.

Had some fresh dill

INGREDIENTS: Any white “meat” from land or sea will make a great creamy version

  • butter – 1/2 cup
  • flour – 1/2 cup
  • onion – 2 cups, yellow or white, 1 large, sliced*
  • celery – 1 cup, 2 ribs, sliced*
  • carrot – 2 cups, 3 medium, sliced*
  • herbs – fresh parsley, thyme, and bay leaves, 3 each, tied into a bundle
  • stock – 7 cups, chicken or miso^
  • sherry – 1/4 cup, marsala, or madeira
  • salt – 2 tsp
  • pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • turmeric – 1/2 tsp, optional, for color
  • nutmeg – fresh, 1/8 tsp
  • poultry – 3 cups, diced or shredded
  • MSGª – 1 tsp [optional], explantation below


  • cooked rice or noodles
  • parsley – for garnish


*I prefer to slice soup veggies rather than dice for a more elegant and a different look-feel.

^I prefer not buying factory made stocks. Since I had the carcass, or if you have a rotisserie chicken carcass, it’s easy to make your own. In a stock pot submerge the carcass in water along with an onion, some celery, and carrots, and a TBS of cider vinegar; then slowly bring up to just a simmer; don’t boil. Simmer for a few hours and then let the pot cool. Pick off the carcass meat and chop and strain off the cooked items to produce a stock. This freezes well, too.

^If I don’t have a carcass I sometimes use a light miso instead of bouillon or store bought prepared stocks. It’s quite easy and delicious in its own right. One teaspoon of miso per cup of water. Avoid the dark miso for this soup.

ªMSG goes through a lot of debate. This recipe is not going to entertain those issues. I am surprised how much flavor a tsp provides. Like all ingredients in a well-stocked pantry, I use a little bit of traditional ingredients and decide if it works. MSG, aka “Accent,” is the umami that our taste buds have come to know. I am shocked how much more flavor came out using it.


  1. Prepare the stock. If making a scratch stock with the carcass, break up or pound the bones to expose more of the marrow. Place in a stock pot and add enough water to cover. Use medium heat until just before a rapid simmer, then check the heat down. This helps create a clearer stock. Add in a onion, some celery, and carrots, a few leaves of bay. Add a TBS of cider vinegar [helps acidify and leach more minerals from the bones]. Simmer for 90 to 180 minutes. Then remove the carcass and allow to cool enough to handle. Pull off the meat and cut into bite size or shred with two forks. Strain the stock and compost or discard the rest. I don’t season the stock, but rather use it in a soup as is, and then season the soup. I season the soup near the end, so that it will not be overly salty as it reduces.
  2. In a soup pot heat the butter until liquid and sprinkle in the flour while stirring to completely dissolve. Cook for a few minutes until the mixture turns slightly darker
  3. Add in the veggies, and herbs and sauté for a few minutes
  4. Add the stock and bring to a simmer
  5. Add in the remaining ingredients except for the meat and parsley. Cook for 20 minutes—until the veggies are tender.
  6. Add in the turkey and bring back to a simmer
  7. Check for seasoning—old kitchen secret—if the soup tastes flat, add a tsp or so of vinegar to heighten the flavor. Add in 1 tsp increments and taste; don’t over use

Recipe adapted by B. Hettig

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