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Crumpets' Chicken Florentine Soup

Chicken Stock:
1 whole chicken, cut into fourths
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
4 stalks celery
6 to 8 sprigs fresh parsley
3 carrots, peeled
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. white pepper
1 bay leaf

Chicken Florentine Soup:
2 quarts homemade chicken stock (see recipe above, or canned chicken stock)
3 heaping T. cornstarch
1 C. finely chopped fresh spinach
1/2 C. finely chopped red bell pepper
3 C. chicken meat, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
salt and white pepper, to taste
1 C. heavy cream

For Chicken Stock:
In a large stock pot with 3 quarts water, add chicken, onion, celery, parsley, carrots, salt, white pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a slow boil and let simmer gently for 1 hour. Strain stock and set aside. Discard vegetables, chicken skin and bone, setting aside the chicken meat. Stock may be refrigerated at this time. Fat can be easily removed once the soup is chilled.

For Chicken Florentine Soup:
Bring stock to a slow boil; simmer until reduced by 1/3. Dilute cornstarch in 1/4 cup water, add to stock and stir constantly until it thickens. Reduce to a simmer. Add spinach, bell pepper and chicken meat. Add curry powder to taste. Check for flavor and add salt and white pepper if needed. Add heavy cream, heat for a few more minutes and serve.

Makes 8 cups.

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