Chicken Soup with White Beans + Kale
Why we love it:
- 1 Chicken, Whole (about 3.5 pounds)
- 8 cups Water (give or take… see instructions)
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 3 Carrots
- 2 ribs Celery
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 4 Roma Tomatos
- 1 Tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 bunch Green Kale (or other dark leafy green)
- 1 Baguette
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder (optional)
- 1 15-ounce can White Beans
- 1⁄2 Lemon (zest and juice)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Nutmeg (freshly grated)
1. CHICKEN STOCK
In a large pot, place the whole chicken. (Make sure there’s nothing inside the cavity). Cover with at least 1 inch of water. Turn on the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, you can turn it down to maintain a few bubbles here and there, a steady simmer. Cook for about 75 minutes.
*If you have an instant pot, this is a great time to pull it out. Add the chicken and water to it, also add ½ an onion, clove of garlic, 1 carrot and 1 rib of celery. If you have any herbs (like parsley, oregano or thyme) you can add some of them, too. Turn on high pressure for about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, dice the carrot, onion and celery and mince the garlic. Dice the tomatoes. Any scraps - ends of carrots, tops or bottoms of celery, top of tomatoes and skins of the onion can go in the pot with the boiling chicken.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and melt the butter. Add the diced veggies and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper.
Wash the kale and chop into 1” squares. I usually leave the stems attached and slice through them, then cut perpendicular to the center to form squares. Set aside in a bowl for now.
If your bread is really fresh and soft, perhaps you just slice it and serve it as is. If not, slice into rounds, drizzle with olive oil and garlic powder and a pinch of salt. Bake at 400 until golden brown, about 7 minutes.
5. STOCK PART 2
When the chicken has cooked, set up a large pot or bowl in the sink and place a colander in it. Very carefully, drain the stock through the colander catching the broth and the chicken. Lift it out slowly to allow for drainage.
Use tongs to carefully place the whole chicken on a work surface, take care that hot liquid may be hiding inside!
Pour the stock into the soup pot (you may decide to use it all or reserve a few cups for another purpose - it’s up to you). Return soup to a simmer, then add the kale.
Open the beans and add them to the soup. I usually add the liquid too, but be cautious if you don’t have low-sodium beans. You can drain the beans if you prefer.
7. SEASON SOUP
Taste the soup and perhaps you’ll need another pinch of salt and pepper. Add the zest and juice of ½ of the lemon and the nutmeg.
8. SHRED CHICKEN
Carefully pull the chicken breast from one side of the chicken and shred it. Shred one leg and thigh. Add this to the soup.
Serve soup in large bowls with bread on the edges for dunking.
Reserve the rest of the chicken for the tacos this week, or another purpose. It freezes well, or makes chicken salad, BBQ chicken sliders or enchiladas.