Am I too late?! Is soup season officially over? Have you had one too many soup variations this winter and are already dreaming of grilling anything that can possibly be cooked over a flame? Even if you thought you were over soup (don’t worry, I hear ya!), I have full confidence this soup will persuade you to give soup one last chance before you officially declare yourself done with soup for the season.
I think it was around late February when I thought I was over soup. It seemed like I was making soup on a weekly basis. My problem is that I have so many favorite soups I want (need?) to cram into a short season. Plus, the ease of making soup can’t be beat, especially when everything goes right in the Crock-Pot. Still, I was thisclose to scratching off all soups from our weekly menu planning. After weeks on end of one soup or another, it’s easy to call it quits.
Except, of course, when you spot a recipe that has Italian in the title (because, you know, anything Italian catches my eye these days), it’s a dreary spring day (ahem, like this entire past weekend), and the ease of a Crock-Pot soup after a busy day is too good to pass up, Crock-Pot Hearty Italian Quinoa & Vegetable Soup will have you making soup at least one last time no matter how many soups you’ve devoured this season…and it likely will win you over. It definitely did for me.
I made this soup as a trial run a couple weeks ago, tweaking and adjusting the spices as I went. If I was about to put away all soup recipes for the season then, this soup made me reconsider. I’ve made it again since for a friend from church who just had a baby (an easy meal to prepare and transport, yet pleasing to most palates, it’s a winner if you’re sharing a meal).
Paired with some crusty whole wheat bread, this soup is the all time comfort soup that doesn’t weigh you down like some of those soups you crave when you’re in the heart of the winter season. (Btw, this bread is seriously one of my favorites to make! It’s so easy, yet it looks so legit. #winning). Rather, the soup is filling from the quinoa and chicken, yet not heavy at all. Dare I say, it’s the perfect transitional soup from winter to spring? :)
Whether you’re ready for soup season to be over or not, this soup is one you’ll want to try on one of our (probably) many upcoming rainy spring days.
Crock-Pot Hearty Italian Quinoa & Vegetable Soup
Serves 6 — 8
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 6 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (if using unsalted chicken broth and tomatoes)
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste preference (I use a lot!)
- To the Crock-Pot, add in the boneless skinless chicken breasts, onion, celery, carrots, garlic, uncooked quinoa, and un-drained fire-roasted diced tomatoes.
- Pour in the broth along with the red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, dried oregano, and dried basil. If not using unsalted chicken broth, feel free to use less salt. Add in more or less seasonings to your taste.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for about 3 – 4 hours, or until the quinoa has popped and the chicken shreds easily.
- Shred the chicken in the Crock-Pot. The longer the soup sits, the thicker the soup will be become. It’ll be more like a stew and less like soup. Both ways are delicious! Top soup with freshly shredded Parmesan and serve with crusty whole wheat bread.
Inspired from Chelsea’s Messy Apron