Slow Cooker Chicken Soup, Gluten Free

For anyone who has experienced the DeKalb Farmers’ Market on a Saturday, you know it takes all you have not to casually throw an elbow or two. For anyone who has experienced the DeKalb Farmers’ Market on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, God bless your soul. Boy, did I not know what I was getting myself into this afternoon. After a cakewalk of a trip to Publix at 8:00am, I thought I was the only person in Decatur with enough sense to buy my holiday groceries early. Nope, I was just at the wrong store. After an hour of being blocked in aisles by abandoned carts and way too much standing traffic in front of the fish section, I made it to the cash register. Right as I sidled my cart up to the wooden loading area and elderly woman asked if I minded if she went ahead of me. “Do I what?” I wanted to scream, but instead it was a  “No ma’am, go ahead” and I took a deep breath, smiled, and hoped that was a check or two on my universal good deeds list.

Now that this week’s holiday shopping is finished in its entirety, I can focus on what I really love about this time of year. The cooking, the baking, the gathering. If I could spend my days solely creating delicious and comforting meals to feed to the ones I love, I’d be in heaven. So with a few extra days off this week, I’m going to pretend for a bit that is my life. However, if you find yourself pressed for time this week and need a quick meal to come home to, whip out your slow cooker and make yourself a giant batch of chicken soup. It’ll last you all week and only gets better as the week goes on.

There is no real science to this recipe, which means you can somewhat make it up as you go along, if you wish. Though I wouldn’t suggest altering the rice or liquid much, that way you’re guaranteed a nice consistency. I threw this dish in the slow cooker on a morning before work, so hurried chopping was happening, which left the veggies in larger chunks than some might like. Personally, I like the chunks, so it worked well for us. (We are also a food processor-less house, which could have been a great tool in large quantity veggie chopping. So if you have one, put it to the test!)

Chicken & Rice Soup (Serves 6-8)

1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, raw
64 oz chicken broth (2 boxes)
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper

Fill crock pot with uncooked rice and veggies. Place chicken breasts on top and season with parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Pour both cartons of broth over contents and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

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