Italian Harvest Chicken Soup
Serves 6. Reprinted with permission from "Slow Cooked Paleo" by Bailey Fischer. “This simple soup is quick to prepare, and the red pepper and carrots give the broth a hint of sweetness. It all comes together with the chicken and parsley to create a flavorful meal that’s ready when you are. This recipe is great with turkey, too, and it’s such a tasty Paleo soup, you won’t even miss the noodles.” — Bailey Fischer
1½ pounds uncooked chicken breast (about 4 large breasts, frozen is OK)
2 cups diced white onions
3 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
2 cups quartered and diced zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
1 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1 red bell pepper)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with liquid
4 cups chicken broth, homemade or store-bought
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, broth, garlic, Italian seasoning, parsley, salt and black pepper on top of the chicken.
2. Stir to combine the vegetables and liquid, being careful to keep the chicken on the bottom. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. Thirty minutes before serving, remove the chicken breasts, shred with two forks and mix the chicken back into the slow cooker.
3. To freeze uncooked, combine the chicken, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, bell pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, parsley, salt and pepper in a large freezer-safe bag or container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and then pour into the slow cooker, add the tomatoes and broth and continue cooking as directed. To freeze cooked, allow to fully cool and then separate into individual portions if desired and store in freezer-safe bags or containers for 2 to 3 months.
Cooking tips: Add 1 (13 ½-ounce) can of coconut milk to transform this into a creamy stew. Swap out the carrots for veggies like eggplant or baby kale for a lower carb soup.
Nutritional information per serving: 224 calories; 3.5 grams fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 6.6 grams fiber; 26.9 grams protein.
Testing note: I halved the recipe to use in a smaller slow cooker. I had used skinless, boneless chicken breasts and thought the cooked chicken meat and soup were too bland. I suggest using bone-in chicken breasts and adding additional Italian seasoning and pepper after cooking.