It was a Sunday evening. My spouse and I had been tilling the garden all afternoon, and we hadn’t had time to visit the grocery store. What were we going to make for dinner?
Luckily, I had roasted a chicken (yes, a sustainable one) earlier that week and we had some left over. And, I had a bag of chopped kale in the fridge that was on its way out. So, I decided to make a kale and chicken soup with white beans.
I often cook roasted chicken with other items in my fridge that were left over from the week (like my mediterranean chicken salad). Chicken is a pretty versatile protein, and pairs nicely with many different herbs, spices, and veggies.
And, I also love to make bone broth from the chicken as well. I make stock from any meat that we cook on the bone, and then I freeze it for later. Thankfully this weekend, I had a quart of chicken stock in the freezer that was ready to go.
As I mentioned last week, I keep some pantry essentials for circumstances like this. My pantry already had canned beans, dried barley (brown rice or quinoa would have been delicious), onions, and dried herbs/spices in stock.
PS – Wanting to make this soup a vegetarian or vegan option? Never fear! You get a complete plant-based protein when you combine a whole grain with beans and veggies. So, feel free to ignore the chicken, sub the chicken stock with veggie stock, and enjoy!
How to make Kale and Chicken Soup with White Beans
This recipe makes about ten servings of soup. We loved it for dinner and then for lunches throughout the week. It was hearty, filling, and oh-so nutritious!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup white wine
2 cups diced, roasted chicken
1 can (about 2 cups) white beans… go for no salt added if you can find it
1 cup dry, pearled barley
6 cups chicken stock
6 cups chopped kale
1. Take out a large stock pot and add olive oil over medium heat. While the oil is heating, chop the onions. When the oil is shimmering, add chopped onion.
2. While the onion is cooking, chop garlic, carrot, and celery. When the onion becomes slightly translucent, stir in chopped garlic, carrot and celery. Cook for about 5 more minutes.
3. Add your spices: oregano, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes add Mediterranean flavors. If you would prefer French flavors, use rosemary, thyme, and black pepper instead.
4. Deglaze the pan with a cup of white wine. This adds a depth of flavor, and don’t worry, the alcohol cooks off 🙂
5. While the pan is deglazing, dice your your leftover roasted chicken (about 2 cups) and stir into your pot.
6. Open a can of white beans, and rinse (that gets the excess sodium that could be in your beans). Add to the pot.
7. Add 1 cup of dried barley. As I mentioned before, choose a grain that you already have in your pantry. Brown rice, quinoa, or any whole grain would be delicious in this recipe. A whole grain will complete the protein when paired with the beans and veggies in this soup.
8. Pour 6 cups of stock to the pot (or pour in stock until there is about two inches of liquid over the veggies, grains, and chicken). Bring to a boil and cook until your grain is cooked (took me about 30 minutes with barley).
9. Once the barley (or whatever grain you choose) is cooked, turn off the heat and add the kale. The kale will gently in the soup because the liquid is still hot.
Makes about 10 servings
Approximate nutrition information per serving:
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Sodium: 369 mg
Sugar: 2.8 g (no added sugar)
Fiber: 6.4 g
Protein: 15.7 g
What soup do you like to make on the fly? Let me know by commenting below!
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