For this recipe, just throw a whole chicken in the slow cooker with dried thyme and vegetables. Then let it simmer away until the chicken falls apart in the rich, chicken-y broth. Take the chicken out, shred the meat, and add it back to the slow cooker, then stir in cooked egg noodles, or steamed white or wild rice to make it even heartier.
Game plan: This soup can be made through step 4, cooled to room temperature, and frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month (freeze the rice or noodles separately, if using). Thaw the soup and rice or noodles in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat the soup, then stir in the rice or noodles. You’ll need to make steamed white rice, steamed wild rice, or cooked egg noodles before you begin.