I was half asleep on the couch when I realized I didn’t have any leftovers for lunch the next day. CRISIS. Because Tuesdays in the cafeteria are Taco Tuesdays, and I really do NOT need to keep eating nachos, or buying lunches. As it was already late in the evening, I decided to whip out my favorite kitchen gadget: the slow cooker. I LOVE my Crock-Pot (and the fact that I got it for FREE when people in my building were moving out). It’s not the fanciest, by any means – it has 3 settings: Off, Low, and High. But hey, that’s all I really need. And gluten-free meal options are truly endless, particularly with soups. And since Marco appears to be coming down with a cold, why not a nice Chicken Noodle Soup? I just so happened to have picked up some rice macaroni on my last trip to the Asian market (for $1.29!!!), so that’s what I used as my noodle here, but you can go with whatever you prefer or have on hand. Just be sure to use a pasta that you know will hold up well over time. You won’t be putting the pasta in until the last half hour of cooking, but you don’t want it to disintegrate in your soup leftovers. (I find that bean-based pastas definitely do this.)
1.5 pounds of frozen chicken (I used 2 boneless chicken breasts)
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 small onion, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
4 cups of chicken broth
4 cups of water
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
4-6 ounces of rice pasta
Literally, throw it all in your slow cooker. I like to put the oil down first, then the onions, then the whole chicken on top, and everything else last. The amount of salt and other seasonings you add will depend on the stock you use. I prefer Kitchen Basics, unsalted, but it is a tad more expensive than other brands. I just think the flavor is awesome, there’s not much else you have to do to it.
I cook this overnight, for about 7 hours (Marco stays up later than I do so I typically have him turn it on before he goes to bed). Then when I wake up, I pull the chicken out and shred it, replace, add the noodles, crank it up to high, and let it cook while I take a shower and get ready for work (about half an hour). This all obviously depends on your morning routine, so do what makes sense with your schedule.
I would venture to guess that this makes about 8 bowls of soup, and it’s totally freezable, if you don’t want to eat the same thing all week.
How easy was that?
If you’re interested in more crock-pot recipes, Pinterest has an endless supply. But I also keep a couple here on this board if you’re interested.