If you’re looking for a hearty lunch after bringing home the perfect holiday tree, look no further than this delicious soup from Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten. It has all the flavours of a savoury chicken pot pie in a hearty soup — comfort in a bowl. The recipe calls for puff pastry croutons; I didn’t make them and the soup was still fantastic. I omitted the sherry and used fresh instead of frozen pearl onions. Adding a Parmesan cheese rind adds terrific flavour – I keep them in the freezer and use to enhance soups and tomato sauce.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Sherry often contains sulfites. I used Imagine Organic chicken stock. Genuine Parmesan cheese is additive-free.

Chicken pot pie soup



3 chicken breasts, skin on, bone in (2½-3 lb/1.13-1.36 kg total)

Olive oil

4 tsp (20 ml) kosher salt, plus more to taste

1½ tsp (7.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

6 tbsp (90 ml) unsalted butter

5 cups (1.25 L) chopped leeks, white and green parts (3)

4 cups (1 L) chopped fennel, tops and cores removed (2 bulbs)

3 cups (½-inch/1.25-cm) diced carrots (5 medium)

1 tbsp (15 ml) minced garlic (3 cloves)

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh tarragon

¼ cup (60 ml) cornstarch

¾ cup (185 ml) cream sherry, divided

7 cups (1.75 L) chicken stock, preferably homemade

1 (2 x 3-inch/5 x 7.6-cm) Italian Parmesan cheese rind

1 (10-oz/285 g) box frozen peas

1 cup (250 ml) frozen whole pearl onions

¼ cup (60 ml) minced fresh parsley

Puff pastry croutons

½ (17.3-oz/490 g) pkg frozen puff pastry, thawed

Flour, for dusting

1 extra-large egg, beaten

1 tbsp (15 ml) heavy cream

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Puff pastry croutons

Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Lightly dust a board and rolling pin with all-purpose flour. Unfold puff pastry. Lightly dust with flour and lightly roll to smooth out folds. Use star-shaped or fluted round cookie cutters to cut out 12 stars or rounds; place on prepared pan. Combine and cream; brush over tops of stars or rounds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 8–10 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.


Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

Place chicken, skin side up, on a sheet pan. Rub with oil; season generously with salt and pepper. Roast 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 130°–140°F (54°-60°C). Set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard skin and bones. Cut chicken into a 1-inch (2.54-cm) dice; set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium.

Add leeks, fennel and carrots; sauté over medium-high 10 minutes or until leeks are tender but not browned. Stir in garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add ½ cup (125 ml) sherry, stock, 4 tsp (20 ml) salt, 1½ tsp (7.5 ml) pepper and Parmesan rind. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 20 minutes.

Add chicken, peas and onions. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Off the heat, remove Parmesan rind; add remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) sherry and parsley. Serve hot in large shallow bowls topped with 2 puff pastry croutons. Serves 6.

From Modern Comfort Food by Ina Garten