As I was making this soup, I kept wondering what about it made it Italian. Chicken, chicken stock, noodles, heavy cream and corn? Nothing about it screamed Italian. It was even worse when I tasted the soup. Bland after adding lots of salt. Then I began to experiment. A little of this, a little of that and finally something that could pass for Italian. I think!
- 1 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast cut into thin strips
- 5 c. chicken stock
- ⅔ c. heavy cream
- 4 oz. vermicelli
- salt and pepper
- 2 T. cornstarch
- 3 T. milk
- 6 oz canned corn kernels, drained
- 1 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
- ½ tsp. white pepper
- 1 T. oregano
- 1 T. basil
- 1 T. Penzey’s Pasta sprinkle
- Place the chicken in a large pan and pour in the chicken stock and cream. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile bring a large heavy bottom pan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, return to a boil, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just tender to the bite. Drain the pasta well and keep warm.
- Season the soup with salt, pepper and seasonings. Mix the cornstarch and milk together until a smooth paste forms, then stir it into the soup. Add the corn and pasta and heat on medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Ladle the soup into warm soup bowls and serve.
The original recipe called for three tablespoons of milk and one tablespoon of cornstarch. This ratio does not a paste make. I had to experiment but found that equal parts milk and cornstarch seemed to work better as making a paste. I also think you shouldn’t boil the heavy cream and the chicken stock. When I did so the cream seemed to separate or break down. The next time I make this soup I’ll add the cream while the chicken and chicken stock are simmering.
I have a really bad habit of having a heavy hand when adding crushed red chili flakes. I probably added about a tablespoon and it didn’t seem spicy at all so I added more. If you’re not into spice at all, you should probably omit the crushed red chili flakes altogether. The heat factor seems to quantify exponentially as the flakes soak into the soup.