On those cold days of winter, if you are working or need to be out of the house all day but want some homemade soup when you get home, try this tried and true homemade chicken soup recipe which is made in a slow cooker. My slow cooker capacity is 7 quarts so if you have a smaller one you will need to adjust the recipe accordingly.
Put all the following into the slow cooker:
1 32-oz box chicken broth (I like the Kitchen Basics brand)
8 cups of cold water
3 chicken bouillon cubes (I use the Telma brand, found in the Kosher aisle)
1 whole chicken, small or medium sized
2 12oz. bags of small baby carrots (or 3-4 cups of carrot slices)
8 large stalks celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cups barley (not quick barley)
Set the slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high. Be sure the temperature of the chicken is at least 165-degrees when you remove it. I place it on a jelly roll pan and break it apart to cool. When it’s cool enough to touch, I shred the chicken pieces and return them to the soup. Now the important part – taste the soup! You can salt to your taste but I rarely add more salt.
Once soup cools a bit, I ladle out servings in disposable containers, label them and freeze them. I leave enough in a larger container to put in the fridge for the week. The frozen servings are wonderful to use in the future on a cold day when you just want one serving of homemade soup. If you prefer white rice, brown rice or noodles instead of barley, I’d recommend cooking them separately and then just adding after the soup is done.