Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Soup with Artichokes and rice is a healthy and flavor-packed soup that perfect for a cold night.
Lemon Chicken Artichoke Soup is one of those soups that sounds fancy and almost inaccessible. Artichokes take too much time to disassemble, and maybe it sounds like you have to squeeze your own lemons, and do you have to cook and pull apart your own chicken, too?
The truth is though that it's not that complicated. But, I admit I was skeptical of all the work that could be involved after I saw this very same soup at Whole Foods for $5 a serving. In my head, the more expensive the food, the harder it was to put together or the more costly the ingredients would be in general.
However, I ended up loving the soup so much (after purchasing it a couple times for official taste testing) that I figured there had to be an easier, more budget-friendly way to achieve this delicious, flavorful, tangy soup at home.
After only a few tries, I was able to develop an at-home version I like just as much as the Whole Foods one that’s made in the slow cooker. And it wasn't hard at all. To save time, I used canned artichoke hearts, lemon juice, and boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You do have to shred or cut the chicken after it's cooked, but the rest you just put right into the slow cooker and don't give it another thought.
I believe the secret to this recipe lies in letting the rice cook down with everything else until it gets nice and thick and adds the creamy element to the soup. (Note: If you don’t like rice with that texture, make it separately and add it to the soup at the end.) Then waiting till the end to add lots of lemon juice to brighten everything up.
Once I perfected the recipe, I went ahead and made a double batch for later. I know it freezes great as well, so go on ahead and make up a big batch of your own while you're at it. You're going to want to, believe me.
How Do You Make Lemon Chicken Artichoke Soup?
Making lemon chicken artichoke soup is a piece of cake. A bowl of soup. Something easy, I promise.=
What I did was to get out all my ingredients and dice or cut everything up that needed to be diced or cut. Then, I started layering in the ingredients, starting with the chicken breasts, and kind of sprinkling the rest around like a magic slow cooker soup fairy.
Although, I did hold off on the lemon juice and parsley till the end. I do this because you want the lemon juice to really shine through the soup and to be able to taste the parsley and not have it all cooked down into mushy nothingness.
Finally, salt and pepper to taste — that's it!
Side Dishes Ideas
Soup goes with quite a few sides. My favorites include:
- Salad. Soup and salad were just meant to be together. Whip up a fancy one, like this kale Caesar or make one out of whatever veggies you have in your vegetable crisper. Remember to keep the cheeses, nuts, and other high-calorie or high-fat ingredients to a minimum or skip them all together.
- Bread. I can't help it — I love soup with a handful of oyster crackers, a roll, or some French bread, or a piece of baguette.
- Mashed potatoes. I have a friend who loves to put soup over mashed potatoes. Don't knock it till you try it — it's quite good. You don't need much for the flavors to meld, and it makes for quite a hardy dish!
- A side of veggies. Whether roasted, sauteed, or grilled, a side of veggies is always a good, healthy, filling choice with any meal.
- Fruit salad. I love me some fruit salad. Layer it all in a bowl and dive right in — or save it for a healthy dessert!
How Can I Customize Lemon Chicken Soup?
Customizing soup is easy. One way I like to add to this soup is to toss in some chopped zucchini, yellow squash, or spinach right into the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. You only need to add it about the last hour of cooking for firmer veggies or the last 10 minutes for fresh spinach.
You can use chicken thighs if you have them or prefer them, or you could use shredded rotisserie chicken and add it to the slow cooker about halfway through cooking.
Use frozen, diced carrots, celery, garlic and onion if you are low on time or if you have them handy. Dried parsley flakes work too in a pinch — cut the amount in half though as dried herbs are more potent than fresh.
Substitute cauliflower rice for the real deal (steam it and put it in the soup at the end of the cooking time) if you want to make this lemon chicken artichoke soup Paleo or Whole30 friendly.
Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken Artichoke Soup
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- 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 14 oz. canned artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained (frozen works as well)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 cup brown rice (not quick cooking, white rice may cook more quickly if swapped)
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth (up to 8 cups as needed)
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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