To many, a crock-pot is something only used during those chilly cold weather months. Au contraire, it will serve you better to use it during the sweltering summer nights. No hot air blasting from your ovens or having to stand out the late day heat in front of a searing grill.
Here is a crock-pot recipe that is an absolute favorite with my family! Chicken, veggie and pasta soup. I threw this together last week in a matter of minutes around 2pm and by 5pm we were sitting down for dinner with homemade soup and paninis.
Get your ingredients all ready to go, a day or two ahead is even better, and you will have yourself a completely fresh cooked, light and healthy meal in time for dinner. To make it a vegetarian option, omit the chicken and substitute vegetable broth. And as is with most soups, the measuring of ingredients doesn’t have to be exact. So, feel free to adjust this one to your taste.
Chicken, Veggie & Pasta Soup
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
3 medium carrots, chopped into bite size pieces
2 cloves of garlic, minced or chopped
1 pound (approximate) boneless, skinless, chicken thighs (I use Coleman Organic) cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces
1 19 ounce can of cannellini beans (or any cooked white bean will work), drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more to taste after finished cooking)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 14 ounce can of chicken broth (I use 16 ounces of Pacific Natural in the cartons)
2 cups water
1 refrigerated, 9 ounce package of filled pasta (mini ravioli, tortellini or similar)
1 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
Shredded Parmesan cheese for topping
In a 4 to 5 quart crock-pot, add garlic, carrots, fennel, beans
Lay chicken on top of veggies
Salt and pepper the chicken
Add broth and water over chicken and veggies
Cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or LOW for 5 to 6 hours (depending on the size of the pot – you know best)
Approximately 15 minutes before serving, add the pasta and basil
Stir, cover and cook on HIGH for the 15 minutes or until the pasta cooked (don’t overcook or they will fall apart)
Top with shredded Parmesan to taste and enjoy!