Chicken and a variety of vegetables team up in this homemade chicken noodle soup. The soup is perfectly seasoned with a combination of basil, thyme, and parsley. The crock pot makes the soup nearly hands-free. Just toss it all together in the slow cooker and press a button. You'll have a delicious homemade soup with minimal effort.
The soup couldn't be easier, and it's quite versatile. Feel free to add frozen lima beans about an hour before the soup is ready. Or add mixed vegetables in place of the peas. Diced rutabaga or turnips are good as well, or add about 1 cup of shredded cabbage along with the carrots and celery. If you like tomato flavor, add one 14.5-ounce can of diced or petite diced tomatoes along with the chicken stock.
The noodles are cooked separately to avoid overcooking but feel free to add them to the slow cooker the last 45 minutes to an hour and turn it to high. Instead of noodles, consider adding cooked rice or a small pasta shape, such as ditalini, small shells, or orzo.
- Pat the chicken with paper towels to dry and cut it into pieces if whole.
- Peel the onions and chop them.
- Peel the carrots and slice them thinly.
- Slice the celery.
- Place the onions, carrots, and celery in the slow cooker.
- Place the chicken pieces on the vegetables and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, basil, and thyme.
- Add the chicken stock.
- Cover the pot and cook on LOW for about 6 to 8 hours, or until the chicken is tender.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and let it stand until it's cool enough to handle. Debone the chicken and chop the meat. Add the chopped chicken back to the pot.
- Add the peas and cook for about 20 minutes longer, or until the peas are tender. Stir the parsley into the soup.
- Meanwhile, cook the noodles in boiling salted water following the package directions. Drain the noodles thoroughly and then add them to the soup.
- Top the soup with croutons (see below), if desired.
Easy Croutons: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Remove the crusts from 3 to 4 slices of bread and cut it into small cubes. Drizzle the cubes with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat them. Add a dash of pepper and salt and toss to blend. Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until dried and lightly browned. If desired, toss with a tablespoon or two of grated Parmesan cheese and 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.