I’ve long struggled with the best way to make chicken soup. In fact, on more than one occasion, I’ve asked for your advice on the KOAB Facebook wall.
No what I did, my soup just wasn’t consistent. Sometimes it turns out really well – all rich and golden. And other times… it was watery and just meh!
For Rosh Hashana, I decided to give the slow cooker a try for making my chicken soup — and low and behold, it turned out amazing! I actually texted a friend (she’s a master soup maker) and asked her for her advice. So the technique in this recipe is mostly thanks to her.
Please keep in mind that your slow cooker may cook slower or less than hot than mine does, so you may need to make adjustments.
Simple Crock Pot Chicken Soup
- 1 whole, small chicken
- 3-4 large carrots, peeled
- 3-4 ribs of celery, cleaned well
- 1 large onion, chopped roughly
- 3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled, optional
- large sprig of parsley
- large sprig of dill
- 1-2 Tbsp of pareve chicken soup mix (I use the kind without MSG)*
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in your slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, then fill the bowl of your crock pot with cold water. For my slow cooker, this was about 12 cups.
Turn your slow cooker on high and cook for 4 hours, then lower the temperature to “low” and cook for another 4 hours. The heat and cook time will vary by slow cooker, so you will need to play around with this. Fortunately, it’s hard to “overcook” soup, so you should be okay!
Turn off your slow cooker and allow the broth to cool a bit before removing the chicken and other ingredients from the pot. If you like to skim your soup, this is a good time to do that.
Discard onion, parsley, dill, celery and garlic (unless your family likes it in their soup), then shred the chicken and cut the carrot. Keep chicken and carrots in the refrigerator until ready to serve (I just store them in tupperwares).
Bring the broth back to a light boil (for some slow cookers, you need to put it on high to do this, but mine cooks a bit “hot”, so I was able to rewarm it on low). If you want to add fresh herbs (dill, parsley or even cilantro), roughly chop them and add to the broth at this point. When ready to serve, place chicken and carrots in your bowl, then ladle the piping hot soup over them.
If you make matzah balls, I recommend that you make them in a pot on the stove top (boil in water, or a bit of water with soup mix*) and then add the matzah balls to your bowl of soup. You can also transfer them to the slow cooker after they have fully cooked in the water – this will allow them to absorb more of the flavor.
*I know the whole chicken soup powder thing is controversial. Many “purists” swear that all you need is salt and pepper to flavor your soup. If you can get the flavor you love without the soup mix, go for it! I’ve found, though, that just a tablespoon (or two) can go a long way in helping out my broth!
Have you made your chicken soup in a slow cooker? What’s your method?