Slow Cooker Chicken Soup
It’s finally cooling off and actually turning into fall. Which means more soup! I love making soup – especially when I can dump a bunch of ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning and have dinner magically be ready in the evening.
This chicken soup is based on one my mom used to make in the pressure cooker when we were young. She tossed some veggies and a whole chicken in the pressure cooker and let it go for about half an hour. Then, I ran out of the kitchen as she let the pressure out because I was scared of the pressure cooker. I did come back to eat it though!
I have since converted this recipe to a slow cooker. Feel free to make this in your stovetop or electric pressure cooker.
I chopped up about half a bunch of celery and half an onion and tossed it into the slow cooker with a few handfuls of baby carrots, a few minced garlic cloves, and a couple of bay leaves. If you want to add any other hard veggies, like cauliflower or root veggies, add them now.
Next, take a whole chicken and plop it on top of the veggies. Fill the slow cooker up with your choice of water or chicken broth (I prefer to use half water and half chicken broth, homemade if I have it on hand). If using water, add a few pinches of salt.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for about 7 to 8 hours. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove it from the slow cooker and let it rest and cool for a few minutes. If you are adding noodles, add them to the slow cooker now. This is also when I add in any extra veggies – typically a bag of mixed frozen veggies, a few hand fulls of frozen peas and corn, or about half a bag of frozen spinach. Now is also a good time to add in softer veggies like kale or chopped zucchini.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with two forks or your fingers and add back into the slow cooker. I usually add about half of the chicken back into the soup and save the other half for another use.
Scoop into bowls and top with some chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley, and basil and a little bit of black pepper. A very simple, delicious, filling, healthy, and warming soup.
Some of my favorite variations include adding mazto balls (when are matzo balls a bad idea?!); a squeeze of lemon at the end; and adding ginger, lemongrass, and extra garlic at the beginning and finishing with a little lime. Add your favorite variations in the comments below. Enjoy!