A hearty soup that’s make-ahead easy, slow cooker BBQ chicken soup is perfect for your game day meal, or as a warms-up-the-crowd side to appetizers and finger foods.
The Super Bowl is one of my favorite excuses for setting out platters of appetizers and comfort foods, right in the middle of the January/February have-to-eat-better-all-the-veggies diet mania. Goooo, party food!
I’m a moderate football fan, but honestly, the day is all about the food!
One thing I’ve really been digging lately for casual winter parties, where everyone is usually sitting down — on the couch, in a chair, on the floor, it’s all good — is chili or soup served in sturdy mugs. Remember those ginormous latte mugs from the “Friends” coffee shop days? Those.
If you’ve never thought of soup as party food, consider this: a nice, thick, non-splashy soup in a mug is portable, relatively spill-resistant (exuberant cheering during 4th quarter scoring aside), can be held with one hand, and set down just about anywhere.
Plus, soup is such a comfy thing to serve on a cold winter’s day, especially when you and your besties are gathered ’round the tube to cheer for your team. It’s the S(o)uper Bowl!
One particularly awesome thing about today’s slow cooker BBQ chicken soup is that you start it early in the day, and then by the time kick-off rolls around, it’s rrrrready!
You can spend the rest of the afternoon napping or … OR … making all the other yummies for the day, like hanky pankies, or the world’s best chip dip, or mojitos for a crowd. (<— Yeah, do that!)
If you’re like me and missing your summer grill, this is the perfect excuse to add a little BBQ flair to the menu. Add your favorite BBQ sauce to the soup, and season the chicken with your favorite rub. Together, they make an incredibly tasty soup, with very little effort.
Game day will be here soon. Gooooo, Souper Bowl Soup!
Game Day Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Soup
for the chili
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 links Italian sausage chicken or pork, removed from skin and crumbled
- 1/2 red onion chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1 small red bell pepper chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon your favorite dry rub seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 14 ounce can great northern beans drained and rinsed
- 14 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup your favorite BBQ sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dijon or honey mustard
for the chicken
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs and/or breasts sliced into 1/2" pieces
- 1 tablespoon your favorite dry rub seasoning
- green onions
- sour cream
- grated cheese
- tortilla strips
- jalapeno slices
- Preheat your slow cooker to high (for models with hour settings, choose 4 or 6 hours, depending on how long you have available to cook). You can prepare all of your vegetables while slow cooker heats. Then choose one of the prep methods below.
Prep Method 1 (quicker):
- When the slow cooker crock is hot to the touch (be careful!) add 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth to the bowl, and sprinkle the herbs and spices on top (paprika through coriander). Stir to create a very loose paste. Add the sausage and all of the chopped vegetables (onion through garlic). Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, and then mix vegetables in with the spice paste. Skip Prep Method 2 and continue to the soup.
Prep Method 2 (adds extra flavor):
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the chicken broth in a large skillet on the stove top over medium heat. When the broth begins to bubble, add the sausage. Stir frequently to brown. Add the chopped vegetables (onion through garlic) and cook until softened. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir. Scootch the vegetables to one side and add a splash of chicken broth. Sprinkle the spices (paprika through coriander) on top and stir to create a loose, fragrant paste. Mix everything in the pan together, then transfer to the slow cooker.
For the soup:
- Add the remaining chicken broth, plus the beans, tomatoes (diced and sauce), BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and mustard.
- Give everything a good stir, then cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours.
for the chicken
- Halfway through cooking time (at the 2-3 hour mark), toss the chicken pieces with the dry rub seasoning in a large bowl. Let rest for 20 minutes. Add the chicken to the slow cooker, and continue cooking on high.
- A half hour before serving, turn the heat down to the lowest setting just above warm.
- Ladle into bowls, and garnish with your favorite chili toppings.
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