This Creamy Chicken Marsala Soup is everything you love about the classic pasta…slow simmered into a cozy, creamy, comforting soup. Feel free to make yours with any kind of pasta shape or noodles that you have on hand.
Cold and rainy days call for warm and cozy soups. Always. ♡
And last week, on a particularly cold and dark and drizzly day here in Spain, this creamy chicken soup ended up being particularly good for the my soup. Not to mention a particularly delicious way to warm up.
It was inspired by everything I love in classic chicken marsala — tender chicken, lots (and lots) of hearty mushrooms, a creamy, garlicky, wine-infused broth, a few good handfuls of fresh spinach stirred in (gotta have at least a few greens), plus whatever shape of pasta you may have on hand (stirred right into the soup!). Then, when served up with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, along with — I insist — a generous sprinkle of freshly-grated Parmesan, it’s pretty much inevitable that this one will be a total winner.
It’s everything I love about a good creamy, cozy, comfort soup. So if you need a winter warm-up, grab some chicken and mushrooms at the store, and let’s make a batch together.
As I mentioned, the ingredients for this soup are pretty much directly inspired by classic Chicken Marsala. You’ll need:
lots of mushrooms (I love classic baby bellas, but white button mushrooms would also work well)
cooked, shredded chicken (feel free to pick up a rotisserie as a shortcut)
carrots + onion + garlic + thyme for seasoning
chicken stock + cream (or half and half) for the broth
pasta (any shape)
lots of baby spinach (to add at least a few greens to this creamy soup)
And the namesake of the dish…Marsala wine.
If you’re new to Marsala, it’s a fortified Italian wine that you can purchase either “dry” or “sweet”. Classic chicken marsala is usually made with sweet wine, but either will do. That said, if you can’t find Marsala, you can substitute in a dry or sweet white wine with an extra tablespoon or two of brandy. Or — if you prefer not to cook with alcohol — you can sub in a little extra chicken stock plus 3-4 tablespoons sherry vinegar instead.
As you’ll see in the recipe below, I opt to not completely “boil off” the wine, so that its flavor can still be present in the soup broth. But feel free to reduce the wine as much as you would like at that point in the recipe.
Then, once your soup is ready to go, ladle it up nice and hot into your serving bowls.
Serve them up with a few slices or a wedge of fresh lemon (and give them a good squeeze, it really helps brighten up the soup), and sprinkle with a generous pinch of freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.
And then…I sincerely hope you enjoy every last bite.
This Creamy Chicken Marsala Soup is everything you love about the classic pasta, slow simmered into a cozy, creamy, comforting soup. Feel free to make yours with any pasta shape/noodles that you have on hand.
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 pound baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 small white onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons flour
2/3 cup Marsala wine*
8 cups chicken stock
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 ounces uncooked dry pasta, any shape (I used shells)
1 cup cream
2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
for serving: Parmesan cheese and fresh lemon wedges
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 5-6 minutes until softened and browned. Transfer mushrooms with a slotted spoon to a separate plate, and set aside.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the stockpot, along with the carrot and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the garlic, and sauté for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally, until fragrant. Stir in the flour until completely combined, then cook for 1 more minute, stirring occasionally.
Add about half of the Marsala wine, and give the mixture a good stir, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any of those delicious brown bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining wine, chicken stock, shredded chicken, thyme, and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.
Then reduce heat to medium and stir in the dry pasta. Continue cooking for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente. Stir in the cooked mushrooms, cream and baby spinach until they are completely combined, and the spinach begins to wilt. Then taste the soup, and season with a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, as needed. Remove the thyme sprigs.
Serve warm, garnished with lots of Parmesan and a squeeze of fresh lemon.