Slow Cooker Chicken Tortellini Soup

It’s fall and I’m craving soup!  A bowl of hot soup is the perfect foil against the dropping temperatures.  Plus, a slow cooker recipes makes it easy to cook a large batch for us and for my father-in-law. This slower cooker chicken tortellini soup recipe is from The Recipe Critic.  It has everything a meal needs, protein, carb and plenty of veggies and it’s delicious!

Throw everything in the pot and 6 hours later, voila!  This recipe is a definite keeper. You can follow the recipe on The Recipe Critic or my modified one below.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Prep time: 30 mins Cook time: 6 hours
Serves: 6 – 8

Recipe note: I clean my chicken in part water/white vinegar for a cleaner taste. I divided the broth because my slow cooker holds 4 quarts. I heated the remaining broth and added back to the pot along with the tortellini to avoid any liquid bubbling over during the cooking process.  Lemon juice is optional but it really helps to brighten up the soup.


3 – 4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
4 carrots, peeled and sliced in half circles
3 stalks celery, sliced
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 – 10 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
3 cups tortellini
handful chopped fresh parsley
1/2 lemon, optional
salt and pepper to taste


Clean the chicken breast by trimming any fat. Rinse in 1:1 ratio of water and white vinegar and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and place in the pot. Add all of the vegetables, spices and 6 cups of broth. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Remove bay leaves and discard. Remove the cooked chicken from the slow cooker and shred and add back to the pot. Add in the tortellini and remaining hot broth and cook for additional 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze 1/2 lemon juice. Add 3/4 of chopped parsley. Sprinkle remaining parsley before serving.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a Lebanese dish made with parsley, mint, tomatoes, green onion and bulgur. An authentic Lebanese tabbouleh contains mostly parsley and is mostly green. Americanized version contains more bulgur and resembles a couscous salad.  Then there is the quinoa version, which is my favorite because the addition of protein makes it possible to be a meal replacement.  Plus, quinoa is a staple in my house; therefore, readily available.

I love eating quinoa tabbouleh scooped up with pita bread or tortilla chips or alone. I love eating it as a side with grilled steak or chicken or shrimp, you name it. It goes with everything.  Gosh, I’m salivating as I’m writing this.

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: 20 mins
Serves: 6


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1 cup diced cucumber
1 large bunch parsley, chopped
1 small bunch mint, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


In a saucepan bring water to a boil. Add quinoa and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature and fluff with a fork.

*Optional: In a small mixing bowl, marinate the diced onion in lemon juice and zest while prepping the other ingredients to soften the bite.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest and oil. Salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour the 3/4 of dressing and toss gently. The salad can be made a few hours ahead of time and refrigerated. Drizzle remaining dressing right before serving.

First Day of School

Peanut, my last baby, has started 1st grade. I thought this fact coupled with how young she still looks to me would be the tear trigger. There were some fluttering in the heart, some ache. It was harder to walk away from her for sure, but…

Soso, my first baby, is the one that brought tears to my eyes. I have brought her to first day of school for 7 years and the routine hasn’t changed too much over the years. We take a photo by the school sign, we walk to that year’s grade entrance, we take a few more photos with friends, we kiss and hug and I wish her luck and we say goodbye. Perhaps I linger for a few more minutes. Sure there are less parents each year, but surely…

We round the corner and yup, no parent in sight. All the kids are in there little groups, looking impossibly tall and independent. I whisper, “No photos?” and she quickly replies, “No,” before she runs off to join her friends. She may have brushed me a quick kiss. It happened so fast, I don’t know.

I manage to get off a quick shot when Peanut runs over to hug her goodbye. Then we leave quickly so we’re not late to Peanut’s school, but also so I don’t embarrass Soso.  I don’t know why I felt so bereft, but I was holding back tears the entire walk back to the car.

Wishing everyone a happy back to school, however bittersweet it is.