Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Potato Soup

healthy-slow-cooker-chicken-potato-soup-13It is dairy-free, gluten-free, low-fat (especially when you use turkey bacon) and packed with protein and veggies. You can make this Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Potato Soup either in a slow cooker as directed or on the stovetop if you are short on time. Either way, you end up with a lovely rustic, yet silky, texture and a spectacular savory flavor.

INGREDIENTS

4 slices low-fat turkey bacon
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cups sliced celery
8 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/3 cup fresh chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

PREPARATION

1. Place a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until brown, then add in the onions and garlic. Saute for 3-4 minutes in a nonstick skillet to soften. Pour the onion mixture into a large 6-quart slow cooker.
2. Place the chicken breast on top of the onions. Add the sliced potatoes, carrots, celery, chicken broth, thyme, 1½ teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Place the lid on the slow cooker. Turn on high and cook for 8-12 hours, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are extremely soft. (Check the chicken at 7 hours. If it’s cooked through, cover and refrigerate until the potatoes are tender and breaking apart. If you happen to have a faster slow cooker, you do not want to overcook the chicken.)
3. Remove the chicken breast from the slow cooker. Stir the potato soup vigorously to break up the potatoes and thicken the broth. (You can make it extra creamy by partially pureeing the soup with an immersion blender. Or place 1½ cups of the soup in a regular blender, puree, then stir back into the soup.) Shred or chop the chicken and add it back to the slow cooker along with fresh parsley. Stir well. Serve warm topped with low-fat cheese if desired.

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: This recipe is great on the stovetop as well. Brown the bacon, onions and garlic as directed above in a large sauce pot. In step 2, add the remaining ingredients to the pot. However, increase the broth to 12 cups and lower the salt to 1 teaspoon. Simmer on medium until the chicken has cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside. Continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are extremely soft and the broth thickens, 30-40 minutes total. Then move on to step 3.

Yield: 6-8 servings Nutrition Per Serving:
 Prep Time: 15 minutes 220 Calories
 Cook Time: 8+ hours 29 Carbs
21 Protein
3 Fat
583 Sodium
13 Sugar