- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 package (16 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 can (28 oz) organic crushed tomatoes with basil, undrained
- 1 carton (32 oz) chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup Italian-style panko crispy bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Fresh chopped basil or Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, if desired
- In 5-quart slow cooker, add onion, bell pepper, garlic, chicken, crushed tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper. Cover; cook on Low heat setting 5 to 6 hours or on High setting 3 to 4 hours or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
- Thirty minutes before serving, stir pasta into slow cooker. Cover; cook on High heat setting about 30 minutes or until pasta is tender.
- Meanwhile, in 10-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add bread crumbs; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until golden brown.
- Top soup with shredded cheese and toasted bread crumbs before serving. Garnish with chopped basil or parsley.
- Stir in 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper for a little kick.
- Orzo pasta works well in this soup because of its small size. Ring pasta or small elbow macaroni would also work as a substitute.