Feel free to substitute different vegetables or herbs according to what you’ve got. This is a fairly light soup, so for a meal, add some cheese and bread or a salad with fruit and nuts.
By Jennifer Abbott
And if you don’t want chicken at all, just make a vegetable stock, or buy one.
- 3½ quarts chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
- 2 leeks, washed well and thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 zucchini, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups shredded kale, loosely packed
- 3 cups diced cooked chicken
- 2 bay leaves
- thyme sprigs, about 4
- salt and pepper to taste
- snipped chives, for garnish
- Heat the chicken stock in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and carrots and saute for a few minutes. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, squash, and garlic and saute until nearly tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the contents of the saute pan to the stock, along with the kale, chicken, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a simmer and let the flavors meld for about 10 minutes at a gentle simmer. Check seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper.
- Top each serving with chives.
Jennifer Abbott is a writer, music teacher, Southern food enthusiast, and soup aficionado. She lives in New Orleans and blogs about cooking and dining at Food Orleans.