Is there a more comforting dish? Is there a more prevalent food that comes to mind when thinking of home, of mom, of cold winds and fuzzy socks? For me, absolutely not. Chicken noodle soup is it, people. As it should be!
Serve me up a bowl of hydrating broth, lean protein, hearty veggies, and starchy noodles any day. Count me in.
This soup was a labor of love for Colorado's first day of snow. That's right! October 10th and we've already gotten our first snow. It wasn't a stunner, 4 inches at most. But I will take any snow the Universe gives me. It is magic.
On cold days, sick days, or comfy days I prefer the slow cooker. Doesn't matter the occasion and somehow I always end up living in pajamas for all hours of the slow cooker days.
What can be a challenge with a soup as basic as this is the ability to create layered flavors. An easy way to do this is to season and then grill/roast/bake your chicken in a bath of spices and fats to add to the soup at a later time. But, I like my soups - and everything I cook - to be as easy as possible (read: I'm lazy). Putting your chicken breasts, thighs, or other cuts at the bottom of your slow cooker allows the meat to release its own flavors into the broth as it cooks. Give it a nice salt and peppering before putting it in the pot. You're off to a good start.
The easiest way to create flavors in any dish are herbs and spices. For slow cookers, you want hearty herbs that'll last in that broth for hours. Any poultry dish I'm putting together lives and breathes by Turkish bay leaves, fresh thyme, and in a soup a bouillon base is always welcome.
My general rule of thumb for eating healthfully is ensuring every element of my dishes serves a purpose. Is it vitamin packed? Is it full of protein? Is it a source of fiber? Does it make me feel happy to consume this strange thing? If it's one or any combination of those things - I can usually validate using it in a recipe. So it was a realization of divine proportions when I discovered lentil pasta. Pasta made of lentils! Fiber and protein packed lentils! That is amazing news! And I'm here to tell ya, people, these noodles are worth their weight in wheat. Good texture, great taste, and my picky-eater of a boyfriend, Rob, didn't complain about them once. Can I get a hallelujah?!
Anywho, at the end of the day I was left with a beautiful pot of delicious soup. And it took me about 20 minutes in the morning to create. It's a simple recipe, made a bucket, and I'll be eating the frozen left overs for weeks. Feed it to your kids, feed it to your friends, but most of all feed it to your soul. Because you do amazing things EVERY SINGLE DAY and you deserve it. Go you.
Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 bunch of large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 bunch of celery, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 32oz cartons of chicken stock
- 2 Turkish bay leaves
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 8oz of lentil pasta (or the pasta of your choice)
- Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place them at the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Cover the chicken breasts in the diced vegetables. Season with more salt and pepper.
- Pour both cartons of chicken broth into the slow cooker. Add bay leaves and thyme to the liquid.
- Set slow cooker to LOW for 7 Hours 30 Minutes.
- Once timer sounds, add 8oz of paste. Set slow cooker to LOW for 30 minutes.
- Sample soup and season as needed.