Chicken, Kale, and White Bean Soup came about on one of my “let’s see what we have in the frig?” days. It was cold and blustery outside. Ya’ know, one of those days you really just want to sink into the sofa with a blanket and a good book.
I always have basic vegetables on hand (see mirepoix in notes below), along with an assortment of dried beans. And on this specific day, I also had leftover chicken and a bunch of kale I was planning on using in salads.
Now this soup is one of our favorites. This past weekend, I replaced the chicken with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving, and voila, a new version of an old favorite.
Hope you enjoy my version of Chicken, Kale, and White Bean Soup.
Equipment You Will Need:
- 6 qt stock pot or larger
- wooden spoon, for stirring
- chef’s knife, best kitchen tool ever!!
- cutting board
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups (but I tend to eyeball amounts)
Chicken, Kale, and White Bean Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 carrots, diced
- 2 rib celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 1/2 tsp dired oregano
- 1 tsp dried tarragon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground peppercorn
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 3-4 cups cooked chicken, diced
- 4 cups white beans, soaked
- 1 bunch kale, thick stems removed
- 10-12 cups chicken stock
- Parmigiano-Reggiano, as desired
Add olive oil to stock pan over medium heat. Add diced carrots. Let sautés for 3 minutes.
Add diced celery and diced onions to pot. Continue to sauté vegetables for another 3 minutes.
Add diced garlic sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add cooked chicken, beans, chicken stock, herbs, and spices. Stir.
Allow to simmer on medium low heat for 1 hour or more.
Before serving, slice kale into thin ribbons and add to hot soup.
Taste soup and add additional salt and pepper as needed.
Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until kale reaches desired tenderness.
Serve topped with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Additional Recipe Tips & Pointers
If you love soup as much as I, you should always keep on hand onions, carrots, and celery. These make up your mirepoix. (A French term used for the combination of aromatic vegetables used to flavor soups, stews, and braises.) Generally, a mirepoix consists of 2 parts onions to 1 part carrots and 1 part celery. My family isn’t big on onions, so I do a 1:1:1 ratio.
When dicing garlic, I always give it a good wack under the broad side of the knife over a cutting board before dicing. It makes it so much easier to dice. I guess this is really crushed garlic, but no worries.
Some of the ingredients in Chicken, White Bean, and Kale Soup range in amounts needed. I almost always make this soup with leftover chicken. And sometimes I freeze my chicken stock in 2 cup containers, sometimes 4 cup containers. So I simply adjust to what I have. That’s beauty of soup, right?!? Stick to the minimum listed for best results, but feel free to add more.
When using fresh herbs increase amount to 1 tablespoon for every teaspoon. The rule of thumb is 1 tsp dried = 1 tbsp fresh.
I like to add my dried herbs and seasonings before the liquid as the olive oil allows dried herbs to bloom. When using fresh herbs, I wait to add when adding kale.
Always taste your soup after it has time to cook. Black pepper actually reduces spiciness when heated. And the amount of salt needed can vary depending on how much salt is in your chicken stock. Always taste and adjust a little at a time.
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