I got the idea for this soup from Pioneer Woman's recipe, but like almost every recipe I use, I couldn't follow it exactly. My version is a little easier than hers and it tastes great. It also makes a lot. I have half of it in my freezer waiting for dinner another night.
This recipe calls for a chicken. One of the easiest and cheapest ways I've found to cook chicken for recipes, is to take a thawed, whole fryer and put it in my crock pot in the morning before work. Then when I get home, it is just falling apart. I pick up the chicken with my tongs and the bones just fall off. Then I take out what I need for that meal and put the rest in freezer containers for next time. For this soup, I just pulled a container out of my freezer and threw it in the soup. You can't tell it has been frozen and it makes it super fast to whip up soups or casseroles that need chicken.
half a box of small shells (or some other small pasta)
1/2 a chicken cooked and shredded or a package of breasts cooked and shredded
1 large can of chicken broth
1 c. of frozen celery/onion (or chop up your own)
1 green pepper chopped up
1 can of Italian diced tomatoes
2 T. chicken noodle base
1 t. oregano
salt and pepper
Boil the broth. Add in everything else but the cream. When the noodles are done (after 10 minutes or so) turn it down to simmer and add in a 1 c. of heavy cream or half and half or milk. Simmer for 10 minutes or so and then serve with cheese on top.