Frugal Foodie Mama: Slow Cooker Chicken & Veggie Soup

Monday, September 18, 2017

Slow Cooker Chicken & Veggie Soup

Enjoy your favorite flavors of late summer in this comforting & nourishing soup that is perfect for fall...
Enjoy your favorite flavors of late summer in this comforting & nourishing soup that is perfect for fall.

As you all may recall from the recipe I shared for my Italian Steak Sandwiches with Roasted Vegetable Tapenade last month, I am on a mission this outdoor farmers market season to show you all how you can create a delicious recipe purchasing only locally grown & raised produce and meats at your local farmers market this summer. Each month I will be sharing a recipe here to the blog inspired by and featuring some of my own personal favorite fresh & local finds from my local market. 

For the month of September, I am sharing the recipe for this comforting & nourishing Slow Cooker Chicken & Veggie Soup with you all. This soup is the perfect dinner idea for making the transition from late summer to early fall with. It fully takes advantage of the late summer veggies that are still in season like sweet corn, okra, & fresh basil. But this soup is so cozy and satisfying that it will have you wishing for crisp fall days.

Enjoy your favorite flavors of late summer in this comforting & nourishing soup that is perfect for fall.

You can totally used store bought chicken broth in this, but I can't tell you all enough how much I prefer homemade in my soups. It has a richer flavor, & it is more nutritious when you make it yourself. The next time you roast a chicken or pick up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, save the bones & cartilage & try your hand at making your own homemade chicken broth. You won't believe how crazy easy it is to make it. Need a recipe for homemade broth? Try my Easy Homemade Chicken Broth! :)

Enjoy your favorite flavors of late summer in this comforting & nourishing soup that is perfect for fall.

A few tips & suggestions for making this soup:
  • While you could certainly substitute chicken breasts in this recipe, I highly recommend sticking with the legs & thighs. They are not only more flavorful, but they also happen to be a more budget friendly cut of chicken.
  • To easily to remove the corn kernels from the cobs of corn, place the corn cob in the center of a bundt pan. Run a sharp knife along all sides of the cob to cut off the kernels. The kernels will fall right into the bundt pan. 
  • If an okra feels & sounds fibrous as you are slicing it (trust me- you will know), just toss it. It will end up being tough. And on that note, I would also suggest adding in the sliced okra during the last 2 hours of slow cooking. Otherwise they will likely end up as mush. Still delicious, but definitely mushy.
  • As with most of the recipes that I share here, this farmers market inspired soup is totally versatile. Happen to be vegetarian? Leave out the chicken, use vegetable broth, & reduce the cooking time by 2-3 hours. Don't like patty pan squash? Swap it out for potatoes or summer squash. Like a little heat in your soup? Use a hot pepper instead of the bell pepper. The possibilities for this soup are pretty much limitless. 
Enjoy your favorite flavors of late summer in this comforting & nourishing soup that is perfect for fall.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Veggie Soup
by Frugal Foodie Mama
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 6-8 hours
Ingredients (Serves 8-10)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs. bone-in chicken legs & thighs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 large sweet bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 of a large white patty pan squash, seeds removed & chopped (can also use 3-4 small white or yellow patty pan squash)
  • 8-10 carrots, peeled & sliced into rounds
  • 2 large ears of corn, husked & kernels cut off
  • 8-10 fresh okra, tops & bottoms cut off & sliced at an angle
  • 32 oz. (4 cups) of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 small bunch (about 6-8 leaves) of fresh basil, chopped
Instructions
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the skin from the chicken legs & thighs, & then season with salt & pepper. Once the oil is heated, add in the chicken. Brown on each side, & then transfer the chicken to the slow cooker.

In the same skillet, saute the bell pepper, garlic, & red onion just until soft. Add to the chicken in the slow cooker.

Add the patty pan squash, carrots, corn kernels, & sliced okra to the slow cooker. Pour the chicken broth & water over top. Give a quick stir. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

During the last 45 minutes of slow cooking, remove the chicken legs & thighs from the slow cooker & transfer to a cutting board. Allow the chicken to cool for at least 5 minutes. Then remove the meat from the bones and chop. Add it back to the slow cooker for the remainder of the cooking time.

Stir in the chopped basil & season the soup with salt & pepper to taste before serving. Ladle into bowls & serve with a good crusty bread or homemade biscuits.
Enjoy!

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