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Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Soup

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1/4 cup chopped onion
3 large garlic cloves, minced ( or 1/2 Tbsp Minced Garlic)
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup flour
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 quart half-and-half cream
1 1/2 cups freshly-grated parmesan cheese
2 cups water
1 bunch broccoli ( tops only, cut into bite-sized pieces)
3 cups boneless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 1/4 teaspoons white pepper
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 dash nutmeg
6 ounces farfelle bow tie pasta, cooked according to package directions
In a heavy stockpot over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic in butter for 2-3 minutes; add flour and cook, stirring, for another 2-3 minutes until bubbly; gradually whisk in chicken broth and half & half; cook, stirring frequently, until thickened.
Meanwhile, in a separate pan, add water to broccoli and bring just to boiling (the broccoli should be only partially cooked and not soft) then remove from heat; do not drain cooking water from broccoli.
Add parmesan cheese to soup-base in stockpot; cook over low heat, stirring, just until cheese is melted; add cooked broccoli along with its cooking water, chicken, seasonings, and bow tie pasta to the stockpot; heat through.
NOTES: 6 ounces bow tie pasta equals 2 1/4 cups before cooking and 3 cups diced chicken breast equals 1 ½ pounds before cooking. Also, decrease the salt by half if you happen to substitute full-sodium chicken broth in this recipe.

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