Slow Cooker Chicken Soup
Updated June 2014
This is our adaption of Grandma's Chicken Noodle Soup recipe for a crock pot. It's an equally tasty, healthy and eco friendly alternative to canned chicken soup. It's takes a little more time than Grandma's and is a smaller portion, but it's actually easier to make, especially if your slow cooker insert can be used on the stove top for browning. We love this feature of our Rival VersaWare CrockPot as it really minimizes the cleanup. We made this side by side with Grandma's to get an accurate taste comparison. The results were surprising. You can see the details in our Chicken Soup Throwdown article. As with Grandma's, most of the time is simmering and the yield is quite large. With a little planning it can be made between house chores or on the weekend. A full batch will provide lunch meals throughout the week.
The ingredients in both Grandma's and Slow Cooker soup are nearly identical except for one thing. We add a little chicken base to the slow cooler recipe because we are using only chicken breasts which will produce much less flavor in the broth. We have been using Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base which is also low sodium. It's highly concentrated so one 16 oz. jar will make 19 quarts of broth or 76 servings. This is a very eco friendly product since one small jar will replace 19 quart cans in the landfill, not to mention the emissions created when transporting the heavy cans.
We make a batch of soup and store the leftovers in a big glass jar in the refrigerator. It looks really appetizing and is great for a quick lunch meals during the week. The kids love taking the soup to school for lunch in a 10 oz. Thermos or having a bowl when they get home in the afternoon. It's as easy to prepare as canned soup.
Reasons that this Chicken Soup Recipe is Eco Friendly
- No red meat or dairy which are the highest carbon producing foods.
- One batch eliminates 8 soup cans from recycle or the landfill.
- No heavy jars or cans of sauce transported across the country.
Reasons that this Chicken Soup Recipe is Healthy
2 large chicken breasts with bone and skin
1 small onion - chopped
1 clove garlic - chopped
3 medium carrots - sliced
2 large celery stalks - sliced
1/8 cup flat leaf parsley - chopped
3 qts. water
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. Better Than Boullon Organic Chicken Base
1 Tbsp. olive oil
6 oz. noodles - cooked
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 30 minutes
Makes 4 qts
You will need a slow cooker and a medium sized skillet if your slow cooker insert can't be used on a stovetop
Rinse the chicken breasts. Chop and slice the vegetables. Warm the skillet or slow cooker insert on the stove top and add olive oil. Add chopped onion and garlic and saute on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add chicken and lightly brown for 15 to 20 minutes. If using skillet, deglaze and move ingredients to the slow cooker. Add the water, salt, chicken base and bay leaf to the slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours. Add carrots, celery and parsley to slow cooker pot and continue cooking on high for 30 to 45 minutes depending on firmness desired.
Carefully remove the chicken pieces with tong. Remove meat and discard bones and skin. Break up chicken meat into bite sized pieces and set aside. Remove bay leaf from soup and discard.
Boil the noodles in the 6 qt. pot as instructed on the package. Make sure they are not overcooked. Add meat and noodles to the soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Store leftovers in a large glass jar in the refrigerator. It looks really appetizing and is great for a quick meals during the week. It can also be frozen for longer keeping.