It is certainly soup season in my neighborhood, and this crockpot chicken soup is both easy and nurturing.
The recipe is based on Nourished Kitchen's Slow Cooker Chicken Soup, but I've changed the steps a bit to remove the bones and non-savory bits before adding veggies and opted to roast the vegetables separately in the oven for more flavor. If you're short on time or don't mind pulling out bones while you're eating, by all means throw it all in there and let it cook all day on low.
There are endless variations and substitutions that you can try with this recipe. Right now, I'm aiming to lean out a bit, but you could certainly add potatoes, beans, or a grain for a heartier meal.
Crockpot chicken soup ingredients
- 1 whole pasture-raised chicken
- 2 bay leaves
- Spring of dried or fresh thyme (optional)
- Good quality sea salt – this is my favorite sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 organic onions
- 1/2-1 heads of garlic
- 3-6 carrots
- 3-6 celery stalks
- An assortment of seasonal veggies – I love using cherry tomatoes, squash, kale, zucchini, sweet potatoes or whatever came in the farm box that week.
- Fresh seasonal herbs or greens chopped finely (currently we have kale, chives, and basil, but you can use cilantro, parsley, or anything you have on hand. You can even substitute with dried if fresh herbs aren't handy)
- Creme fraiche, sour cream, or yogurt (optional for finishing) Wanna make your own yogurt? Find yogurt starter culture here.
Crockpot chicken soup method:
- Rinse the chicken, making sure to remove the giblet bag. No need to pat dry, just plop it into the slow cooker and season generously with sea salt and black pepper. Add the giblets right into the pot for added flavor and nutrients (you can pull them out once they're cooked.)
- Add the bay leaves and option thyme springs, and cover the chicken with filtered water. (Where to find the right water filter for every need and budget)
- Cook on low for 4-6 hours or until the meat easily falls off the bones.
- In the meantime, chop onions, carrots, celery, and any root vegetables into bite-sized chunks.
- Roast in the oven with the head of garlic at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until they start to soften.
- Add softer vegetables (tomatoes, zucchini, etc) to the same baking dish and roast for about 30 minutes. Reserve any leafy green veggies to add later.
- When the chicken is done, allow to cool to a workable temperature and (wearing gloves if you prefer) remove the bones, knobby bits, and skin.
- Shred the chicken into the broth.
- Mash the roasted garlic and mix with some of the chicken broth to make a thin paste.
- Add the garlic paste and roasted veggies into the soup
- Cook on low for 30 mins to 1 hour.
- Add chopped herbs and any leafy greens and allow them to brighten for a minute or two, ladle into bowls, top with creme fraiche, and serve. Enjoy!