easy as chicken noodle soup

Last winter I discovered how easy it is to make hearty chicken noodle soup in the crock pot. Since we’ve had such cold temperatures lately I thought it was a perfect time to make it again. The basic recipe I used the first time is from Cooks.com, but I have since altered it a bit to suit my preferences.

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

My recipe:

2 large chicken breasts, frozen
2 packages of diced/cubed ham
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1 bag frozen corn
1 bag frozen cut green beans
1 teaspoon chopped chives
12 oz. whole wheat noodles
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt (season to taste)
64 oz. water

Excluding the noodles, put all ingredients into the crock pot.
Cook on high for 4.5 hours.
After this, use a wooden spoon to stir it up, taking care to break the chicken breast into bite size pieces.
Add noodles and continue cooking for an additional 1 hour.

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

If I had thought to get broth/stock ahead of time, I might substitute that for the water, as I think it would enhance the flavor (I could probably cut out some or all of the salt if I did that). I’m thinking that next time, I’ll add some frozen carrots, too. As you can probably tell from these photos, this soup is really hearty and does not end up with much liquid/broth – just a little bit. These ingredients really fill up our 6 quart crock pot, or else I’d add a larger portion of liquid at the start. As it is, when you add the noodles, it is a little precarious trying to get them mixed in without splashing liquid over the edges.

Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

This time I made the soup with ham instead of bacon. I found that with bacon, it tasted delicious the first time but ended up feeling too fatty on subsequent reheatings. I think that by substituting ham, that issue has been fixed. Huzzah! This recipe makes enough for K and I to share several meals – I’m guessing maybe four or five, possibly six? It makes a lot, anyway, and it’s really easy to reheat in the microwave. It’s so filling and delicious! I love that chopping the potatoes is the only real work involved – the rest is just dump and let cook. Given how easy and satisfying it is, I really should use the crock pot more often. What are your favorite slow cooker recipes?

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