I love my Crockpot and one of my favorite recipes is a very simple chicken soup that my whole family loves. After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver a couple years ago, I started getting most of my meat and vegetables from local farms or my own backyard. So for this recipe, I generally try to use a chicken from a local farm, as well as whatever vegetables I can get from the farmer's market or my garden. If you want to make this even better, make your own broth instead of using store-bought.
Crockpot Chicken Soup
3 - 4 lb whole chicken or stew hen
Mixture of vegetables cut into small pieces (I use carrots, yellow and green onions, celery, turnips)
48 oz low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp minced garlic
2 bay leaves
Ground black pepper to taste
1. Add cut vegetables to bottom of slow-cooker.
2. Place chicken into pot on top of vegetables.
3. Sprinkle seasoning, garlic, bay leaves and pepper on chicken.
4. Pour broth over chicken.
5. Cook on low for 8 hours.
6. Carefully remove the entire chicken and let cool a bit. Remove the meat from the bones and add it back into the slow-cooker.
7. Stir the meat into soup and serve.
Alternative 1: Chicken Noodle Soup
If desired, add egg noodles to the slow-cooker when the meat is added back in. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until noodles are done and serve.
Alternative 2: Chicken and Rice Soup
To make chicken and rice soup, cook white rice separately and mix into each bowl of soup when served.