Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Easiest Soup Ever

I love my slow cooker. During the week there’s nothing like coming home to a hot, home-cooked meal after a long day at work. But it seems that most recipes for the Crock-Pot are high-fat or unhealthy. Most call for fatty cuts of meat or if they do call for chicken, they call for chicken thighs.

I understand that for some dishes, these juicier cuts of meat are used to keep them from getting too dry, but I’d rather use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. And when the recipe did call for boneless chicken breasts the recipe usually used some sort of cream soup to add in the extra moisture. To avoid any mishaps, up until now I stuck to recipes that called for ground beef or that were vegetarian.

But I recently came upon a recipe this recipe for Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup which not only used chicken breasts, but used them raw. Instead of cooking them first, they were cooked in the broth over the course of the day.

In addition, the recipe used raw rice and let that cook in the soup instead of cooking on the stove and adding later, as some recipes have you do.

With that discovery a new recipe was born. I stole the chicken and rice from the original recipe and turned my soup into a Broccoli Carrot Chicken and Rice Curry Soup. It couldn’t have been easier to make. I combined chicken broth, curry, ginger, broccoli and carrot to the slow cooker. Then, with a little trepidation, I cut up a raw chicken breast and added that to the pot. Next, this time fearing I’d come home to a starchy mass instead of soup, I poured in the raw rice. I flipped the slow cooker to low and left for work.

Ten hours later I came home and immediately smelled the soup from downstairs. Because I’d been gone so long I didn’t have a chance to check it right away, and instead took my dog Frisbee out for a quick walk. Back in about 10 minutes I ran up to the stairs for the moment of truth.

When I took the cover off the slow cooker I could see that everything had cooked together perfectly. I lifted out a piece of chicken and cut it in half. I was cooked all the way through and after it cooled a bit, a taste revealed that it was very tender.

I scooped out a bit of rice after that and it was cooked through, without any hard uncooked center as I also thought might happen. Although the rice was cooked through it did have a bit of an odd consistency in that it seemed to have fallen apart a bit. Instead of being regular rice-sized pieces, the rice seemed to have fallen apart into a couple pieces. I actually liked the consistency because it made the soup creamier. Alongside the broccoli it almost reminded me of the consistency of broccoli cheese soup, but at a lower calorie count.

All in all the soup tasted very good. I will make it again, but I’m also excited to come up with other new recipes now that I know I can cook chicken and rice raw in the slow cooker.


  1. This sounds wonderful! I didn't realize most recipes have you cook the chicken first? I always put it in raw! Easiest dinner ever? Chicken thighs and a jar of salsa. Add a can of corn and some black beans if you want. I usually cook the rice separate but next time I'm going to just throw it in the crock pot like you did!

  2. I know you usually cook big pieces of meat raw, but it seemed strange to put little pieces of cut-up chicken in the broth. I was afraid they'd be rubbery, but now I know. I like the black beans, corn and salsa combo; I may try that with chicken breasts too.