Prep 30 mins
Cook 5 hrs 30 mins
Autumn is here and winter is on the way, what could be easier or smell better than a nice warming bowl of soup made in the crock pot. This soup is nice and thick and could easily pass for a stew...Feel free to add or omit any of the listed vegetables just as long as you enjoy!
- 1 fennel bulb, small, trimmed, quartered, thinly sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
- 2 parsnips, peeled, thinly sliced
- 2 celery hearts, thinly sliced
- 1 tart apple, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup mushroom, button, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- 8 skinless chicken thighs, deboned, remove all fat
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 cinnamon stick, 2-inch piece
- 1⁄2 cup great white beans, canned, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 2 1⁄2 cups spinach, baby
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, good quality, coarsely shredded
- 1⁄8 cup asiago cheese, coarsely shredded
- Lightly spray Crock-Pot with cooking spray.
- In the crock pot add fennel, onion, carrot, parsnips, celery hearts, apple, mushrooms and garlic in slow cooker.
- Stir in 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper and make sure to spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pot.
- Cut the chicken thighs into 6 equal pieces. Season the chicken chunks with the remaining salt and pepper.
- Next place the chicken on top of the vegetable mixture.
- Pour in the apple cider and chicken broth and cover.
- Set slow cooker on high and cook for 1 hour.
- Reduce heat to low setting and continue to cook for 2 additional hours.
- Next add the cinnamon stick, orzo and beans, cover and cook on low for 1 1/2 hours, then remove the cinnamon stick.
- Now check to see if orzo and chicken are tender and too your liking, if not, cook the soup for an additional 30 - 45 minutes.
- Place the baby spinach on top of the chicken but do not stir.
- Cover and continue to cook on low for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
- Now, turn off the heat, add the parmesan cheese and stir the spinach and cheese into the chicken soup, taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Garnish with the Asiago cheese and serve with nice heavy white bread and butter.
Loved it! Great combination of vegetables and seasonings are perfect. Really enjoyed the cinnamon in this. I cooked on stovetop because my crockpot is too small. Used 1/2 fennel bulb and was right for us. Did not have cinnamon stick so put in 1/2 teaspoon of ground. Thank you very much for sharing.
Although I pretty much followed the recipe, I did leave out both the mushrooms & the spinach, & when it was done in the crock pot, I set aside 2/3 of it to cool down before refrigerating & then freezing in 2-serving containers! Added an appropriate amount of the cheeses to the soup & we had ourselves a very, very nice mid-day meal! I know the recipe is very forgiving & I could add almost any other veggies I'd like, but the recipe as given was absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing it! [Made & reviewed in 1-2-3 Hits recipe tag]
Well I now have several portions of this yummy soup in the freezer for when the weather cools down more, if we can wait that long! :) What a superbly delicious meal! I agree totally with Marramamba and French Tart, this is so packed with ingredients that it is more like a stew: certainly a very sustaining meal in itself. And very versatile. It would so readily accommodate pretty much whatever other vegetables you chose to include. On Marramamba's advice, I was sparing with the fennel but to meet our taste preferences I doubled the garlic and apple (I used Granny Smiths) and added two leeks. I also added a packet of frozen spinach, thawed, as well as the baby spinach leaves (LOVE spinach). Loved the cinnamon in this: it blended superbly with all the many ingredients. I'm going to be making this a lot and I can see what's going to happen (it's happened before): I'll have two crockpots on the go making as large a quantity as they can accommodate between them. Thank you, Baby Kato, for such a fabulous recipe! Made for 1-2-3 Hit Wonders.