There is something about a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup on a cold day or when you are feeling under the weather that just soothes the soul, isn’t there? The hearty vegetables and starchy pasta filling your stomach while the chicken (and its high levels of protein) leave you feeling full without overdoing it. The various taste of spices combined together to just make this dish something to savour.
For generations now, chicken noodle soup has been the end-all to be-all cure for whatever ails you – feeling like you have a head cold brewing? Chicken noodle soup. Heartache or feeling down in the dumps? Chicken noodle soup. Having a rough day at work? Chicken noodle soup. But there is something missing when you heat up a can from the pantry and the missing ingredient is the freshness of homemade chicken soup.
When you work full-time though, it can be hard to come home and start preparing from scratch a pot of chicken noodle soup. There is a way around this, however, and that is to get that slow cooker out of the cupboard and put to use. Assemble it all the night before, place the ingredients in the slow cooker that morning, turn it on, and walk into the soothing aroma of chicken noodle soup on your return to your home!
Can You Leave a Slow Cooker on All Day?
Some people are wary about leaving their home in the morning with an appliance not only left plugged in but actively turned on. This worry would be sufficient and rewarded if you were to leave your home with your toaster or burners on the stove left on but a slow cooker is a different story.
Slow cookers are meant to be used for long periods of time without drawing too much wattage or heat throughout the base. They use low amounts of heat to slowly cook and prepare food for a longer period of time than the stove or the oven.
The majority of newer slow cookers also have additional safety gestures installed for additional ease on your mind when you leave the house for the day with supper simmering away. Some slow cookers have automatic shutoff switches for when the appliance reaches a particular temperature, others have timers that can shut down the appliance or switch it over the “warming” mode when a pre-set time has come. Some slow cookers even have shutdown gauges built internally into the wiring system that will completely shut down the appliance in the case of overheating.
Fresh or Frozen Chicken for Chicken Noodle Soup?
When it comes to making a dish such as homemade chicken noodle soup, fresh is always best when it comes to your ingredients. Frozen chicken will do in a pinch but depending on the age of the chicken and the length of time it was frozen; the taste could be slightly off or the texture of the chicken moister than you are looking for.
The same can be said about the vegetables you are putting into your soup – canned vegetables can become mushy after being simmered for a long period of time and frozen can contain too much water; leading to the same issue. Fresh vegetables? Will have the right amount of crunch and taste to make this the best chicken noodle soup you’ve ever made!
Ingredients you’ll need for Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup:
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
- 8 cups of chicken stock
- 1 to 1 ½ cups noodles (your choice)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 teaspoon dry rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Fresh parsley
How to prepare the Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup:
Step 1: Prep
Start off by preparing all the vegetables as directed above. Use a sharp chef’s knife to chop, mince, and dice your vegetables in bite-sized pieces.
Prepare the chicken by slicing it into big chunks or strips for easier cooking. Use a sharp knife for this step and remember to wash everything afterwards because this is raw chicken.
Place chicken in a six quart slow cooker. Pour in enough water to cover the chicken pieces without overflowing the container.
Step 2: Combine and add
Stir in the chicken stock, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Stir until the chicken has been covered with the spices and the vegetables are mixed throughout the water. This is the base of the chicken noodle soup.
Add salt and pepper to taste if you prefer. If you are trying to cut down on the salt and you didn’t use no-salt added chicken stock, then only use pepper to taste.
Step 3: Cook
Cover your mixture with the provided slow cooker cover and turn on low heat. Set the timer for 6 to 8 hours to allow the chicken, vegetables, and spices to slowly simmer.
This step will help the flavours of the ingredients mix together and penetrate the chicken for a savoury soup!
Step 4: Remove bones
After the timer is up for the broth, remove the chicken from the slow cooker.
Place the chicken on a cutting board and using either a knife or your hands (once the chicken has cooled!); shred the chicken into slivers.
Add chicken back into the slow cooker.
Step 5: add noodles
Toss noodles of your choosing into the mixture and cook on low heat for approximately 40 minutes or until the pasta is tender. The pasta is ready when it can easily be penetrated with a fork and there is no audible crunch left on the noodle.
Stir in lemon juice and parsley for the last explosion of flavour. If you aren’t the biggest fan of lemon juice? Then cut the amount down by half or a quarter to offer a hint of flavouring.
Remove the soup from the heat source (the slow cooker base), serve, and enjoy!
Pair this soup with freshly baked bread and fresh butter for the ultimate dining and comforting experience right in your kitchen!
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