Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

It's that time of year again - cold season! Over the holidays, I unfortunately battled a terrible cold the week before Christmas, and then the following week, a stomach bug. In the middle of all of that, all I wanted was some delicious soup! I gave my husband a grocery list (a very LONG list) and he brought home all that I needed for some wonderful chicken noodle soup. This made a ton, so I have some leftovers in the freezer. Definitely give this a try during these cold months, which I'm sure are coming at some point for us in Northern Virginia! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

8 oz carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick (this was about 3 large carrots)

6 oz celery, sliced 1/4 inch thick (this was about 5 decent sized celery stalks)

1/4 yellow onion, diced

2 large sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

2 tb fresh parsley

~1 tb Italian seasoning

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

4-6 oz wide egg noodles (3 cups)

1/2 small lemon, juiced

salt and pepper, to taste

1.5-1.75 pounds chicken breasts (or you can use chicken thighs)

Directions:

Prepare your slow cooker with a liner - these things are AMAZING. It saves so much time during clean up. Toss the carrots and celery together in the slow cooker. Add the onion, sprigs of thyme, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon salt. Rub the chicken breasts on both sides with the Italian seasoning and put them on top of the vegetables. Add the chicken broth. Cover, and cook on low for 8 hours. NOTE: I ended up cooking mine for 6 hours on Low and it was perfectly done. During the last 15 minutes of cooking, remove the chicken to shred, and stir in the noodles. While the noodles cook, remove the chicken and shred the chicken-it will most likely fall apart on its own. When the noodles are done, turn off the cooker, remove the thyme stems and bay leaf, and add the shredded chicken and the lemon juice. Taste, and add more salt and pepper as needed. Stir in the chopped parsley, and serve hot.

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