Crockpot Butternut Squash, Chicken, and Quinoa Soup


Ingredients
1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup quinoa
1 (~4 cups) small butternut squash
1 can (15.25 ounces) kidney beans
1 can (15 ounces) corn
1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes*
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 packet (1.12 ounces) fajita seasoning mix
5 cups chicken broth**
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: fresh parsley, sour cream, cheddar cheese

Instructions
  1. Remove the fat from the chicken. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve to remove the bitter saponin coating.
  2. Peel, seed, and chop the butternut squash into small bite-sized pieces (or buy pre-chopped butternut squash for an even faster prep).
  3. Rinse and drain the kidney beans and corn.
  4. Lightly grease your slow cooker with nonstick spray (I use a 6-quart crockpot). Add in the chicken, quinoa, chopped squash, kidney beans, corn, undrained tomatoes, garlic, and fajita seasoning packet. (OR try a chili seasoning packet if you enjoy those flavors better).
  5. Pour in the chicken broth and give everything a good stir.
  6. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the quinoa is cooked through and the squash is very tender.
  7. At this point you can remove some of the squash and mash it with a potato masher and then put it back in the soup. This is totally optional, but makes it a bit heartier.
  8. Add some salt and pepper to taste and any other seasonings desired. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
  9. If desired, stir in some sour cream (we use and love reduced fat or fat free) and some freshly grated cheddar cheese.
  10. NOTE: slow cookers are known for cooking at different speeds - if yours tends to cook faster your chicken and squash could be done even earlier than 3 hours and alternatively everything may take longer to cook in a cooler slow cooker. The longer this cooks the more liquid the quinoa absorbs - if you don't mind that's fine, otherwise you can always add some more chicken broth and seasoning.


Recipe Notes
*I used fire roasted petite diced tomatoes for an extra kick of flavor. **Instead of chicken broth, I use chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in boiling water. 


Original Recipes visit: Crockpot Butternut Squash, Chicken, and Quinoa Soup @ chelseasmessyapron.com

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