Spicy Shredded Chicken Soup with Farro

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Chicken easily shreds off the bone after braising in the slow cooker for hours.

Nothing beats hot chicken soup on a cold winter day. And this recipe warms you up even more with some spice to create a little more heat. Dial down on the chili powder and omit chile seeds if you want a milder soup.

With the nice surprise of an artisan grain like farro instead of the usually rice, this is a one-pot one-bowl meal that everyone will love!

1 whole organic chicken, cut in pieces
2-3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, plus more if needed
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots. peeled and cut into 1/4 inch discs
1/2 red pepper, chopped
4 Tablespoons flat Italian parsley, chopped plus more for garnish
32oz can peeled tomatoes
1 serrano chili, chopped (remove seeds for less “heat”)
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup farro
salt and pepper to taste

Arrange all ingredients in layers in a slow cooker except chicken, broth and farro. Place chicken on top and pour in broth so that chicken is half covered and will braise in the liquid.  Cover and set cooking time for 8 hours. After approximately 5 hours, remove chicken breasts, shred chicken with a fork, cover and set aside. Continue cooking the remaining chicken and broth and in the final hour, add farro and more broth for a soupier consistency. When farro is fully cooked in the tomato-chicken broth, remove other chicken pieces and any bones, and discard. Skim off chicken fat on top with a spoon.  Add the shredded chicken to the pot and stir.  Ladle in soup bowls and garnish with extra parsley.  Serves 6.