Friday, January 23, 2015

Slow cooker chicken and white bean soup

This easy, slow cooker chicken and white bean soup is loaded with two types of protein, fresh herbs and healthy veggies: a perfect warming weeknight dinner.

easy slow cooker chicken and white bean soup

How has the weather been in your area lately? Cold? Snowy? If so, I bet you've been thinking a lot about soup, chili and other warming winter dinners.

I know I have.

But no wussy soups for me this time of year. Nosirreebob. The Ninj craves a hearty, filling soup, with protein and veggies, that makes a whole meal in and of itself.

(Largely this is because I'm lazy and don't want to have to make a salad to go with my soup, but let's just keep that between us, mmmmkay?)

Speaking of lazy, I'm a huge fan of soups made in the slow cooker because ... well, I just said it ... I'm lazy and the crockpot is the lazy cook's best friend. Hey, using the slow cooker is pretty much the only way I get out of cooking every once in a while. (Back when we first got married, I tried assigning Mr. Ninj a cooking night once a week to give me a break -- he missed the point about "cooking" and just ordered Chinese every week, so I gave up.)

easy slow cooker chicken and white bean soup

I dig this slow cooker and white bean soup because, like my chicken noodle stew, it's essentially self-brothing (I don't think that's a word, "brothing", but let's just roll with it). That is, you only need to add water because the chicken makes its own flavorful broth as it cooks.  (See? It's like the chicken is lazy, too! We've got a whole lazy theme going on here -- perhaps I should rename this recipe "Lazy Slow Cooker Chicken and White Bean Soup.")

Once the soup is cooked, you'll want to puree a little bit of it with an immersion blender. Pureeing some of the beans and veggies (avoid the chicken, though) gives the soup just the right amount of thickness and heartiness.

So, again, speaking of lazy -- are you a lazy cook in the cold winter months? Do you count on your crockpot as much as I do -- or Chinese takeout as much as Mr. Ninj does? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

easy chicken and white bean soup made in your crockpot slow cooker

Slow Cooker Chicken and White Bean Soup

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 15-ounce cans cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
3-4 sprigs fresh parsley
1-2 fresh sage leaves
1 dried bay leaf
6 cups water

Add the chicken, beans, onion, celery and carrot to the crock of slow cooker. Make a bouquet garni by wrapping the thyme, parsley, sage and bay leaves in cheesecloth and tie it closed with kitchen twine; place on top of the crock mixture. Add the water, cover and cook on LOW for 6-7 hours.

Using a large serving spoon, push the chicken in the crock to one side (use the spoon to hold it in place) and then blend a small amount of the beans, vegetables and broth with an immersion blender (just insert the blender, let it run for about 5-10 seconds and then remove it). This will add a bit of body to the soup. Using tongs or two forks, shred the chicken in the crock, season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and serve, garnished with additional thyme (optional).
-- print recipe --


  1. Ha! Talk about LAZY! I think I would double everything and try to cram it all into my large slow cooker so that I wouldn't have to make it twice! It looks REALLY GOOD!

    1. Great idea, Cat -- especially b/c it freezes really well. ENJOY!!

  2. I'm definitely in soup mode too! I'm not sure there's anything better than a good chicken soup. Love your version and your photos are fantastic. Great post, Julianne!!

    1. Thanks so much, Bill -- high praise indeed, coming from you!