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After a warmer than average start to the fall, it has high highs in the mid 60s so far this week! It’s chilly in the morning, nice and warm for after work walks, runs, or bike rides, and cool at night. This soup typed up in this recipe is the type of soup that goes along with boots, scarves, and crisp nights. I was in the mood for a minestrone type of soup, packed with delicious vegetables. Because I wanted to add some protein, I decided that ground up chicken was the game to go. This soup was DELICIOUS, and I was hungry just smelling it as it was slowly cooking in the crock pot.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 40-46 ounces of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 large white potatoes
  • 1 small-medium sized butternut squash
  • 1/4 onion
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 can of northern beans
  • rotini noodles (optional)
  • red pepper flakes
  • cayenne pepper
  • seat salt
  • cheese

I started by throwing the chicken into a pan and cooking it. While it was cooking, I stuck the butternut squash several times with a fork and put in the microwave for 2.5 minutes to soften it. While both these things were cooking, I peeled the white potatoes and threw them in the crock pot, along with the broth.

Once the squash was done, I took out of the microwave, holding onto it with a few paper towels. It’ll be fairly warm, so use a towel if it’s too hard to get a good grip on. I cut it in half width wise and them cut the skin away. I scooped the inside out and tossed in the trash, and then cut the rest of the squash into bite size pieces before putting it into the crock pot.

Next I threw in the beans, onions, and the garlic cloves (which I finely chopped).

Once the chicken was done cooking, I drained most of the fat away and put red cayenne pepper and salt on for flavor. Once that was mixed together I dumped that into the crock pot.

The mushrooms and spinach I roughly broke into smaller pieces. I only broke up the large pieces of spinach, but most I just tossed into the pot!

I threw red pepper flakes in for extra spice before letting it cook on high for an hour and then on low for about four hours. Enjoy the smell as it cooks:)

If you want to add pasta, you can cook separately or add in for the final part of cooking (just make sure it’s not too long or it’ll get too mushy).

hearty fall soup

I make a large quantity and so anything extra I make that I know I won’t eat during the week I immediately freeze to enjoy at a later date.

When dinner time hits, I fill a bowl up, heat in the microwave, and sometimes add a bit of cheese on top! I thought that it might taste pretty good as I made it, but I have to say that this far exceeded my expectations, and I ate it 4 nights in a row without ever getting sick of it! YUM!

For other great cold weather soups, check out this taco soup and this lentil and vegetable soup!

Now it’s your turn to share! What’s one of your favorite fall soups? 

© 2013, Journey To Wellness, Caroline

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