boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds total)
low-sodium chicken broth
stalks celery, chopped
large fennel bulb, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
large onion, chopped
dried white beans (such as cannellini or navy)
dried bay leaves
kosher salt and black pepper
ditalini, orzo, or another small pasta
country bread, for serving
- In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the chicken, broth, carrots, celery, fennel, onion, beans, bay leaves, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook until the beans and vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
- Twenty minutes before serving, transfer the chicken to a medium bowl; discard the bay leaves. If the slow cooker is on the low setting, turn it to high. Add the pasta, cover, and cook until tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Meanwhile, using 2 forks, shred the chicken. When the pasta is cooked, stir the chicken into the soup. Sprinkle with the fennel fronds and serve with the bread.