CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken, Kale And Bean Soup

Some people are calling kale the new spinach. (Pound for pound kale has up to 120 percent more vitamin C and 150 percent more vitamin A than spinach.)

Others are calling it the new beef. (Kale is richer in iron, fiber and omega fatty acids than beef.)

And still more are calling it the new bread and milk. (Kale is the the new must-have snowstorm essential.)

I don’t care what people are calling kale. It’s become one of my favorite vegetables for another reason. Not only is kale packed with vitamins and minerals whose health benefits are indisputable, it is very versatile.

If you have any doubts, just ponder this: Kale chips are a great on-the-go snack that are easy to make. The addition of kale to an iceberg salad makes it a nutrition dynamo. And in the case of soup, it goes great with most other vegetables and any number of meats, including chicken and sausage.

And that brings me to today’s recipe, Chicken, Kale and Bean Soup. With two kale plants in our garden that are big producers and a pile of leftover chicken, soup seemed like a logical choice.

That’s what I call a no-brainer!

Chicken, Kale and Bean Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt (more or less, to taste)
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (more or less, to taste)
1 15.8-ounce cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.8-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups water
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and roughly chopped into about 2-inch pieces
2 cups fully cooked chicken, cut up or shredded
2 slices bacon, diced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Shredded Parmesan cheese for topping (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add garlic, celery, onion, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the beans, chicken broth, water, kale, chicken and thyme. Stir well to combine. Cover and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer until kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
Serve topped with shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Yield: Serve 4 to 6.

Published by

Jeff Tiedeman

About Chef Jeff Name: Jeff Tiedeman, former Grand Forks Herald food editor Alias: Chef Jeff. Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota. Gender: Male. Birthday: April 9, 1951. Occupation: Journalist and blogger. About Me: I was born and raised in Crookston, Minn. I attended Cathedral High School for two years and Mount St. Benedict High School for two years, graduating in 1969. I attended the University of Minnesota-Crookston, Corbett College, Bemidji State University and Moorhead State University, where I graduated in 1974 with a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications. During college, I worked on the MSU Advocate and was sports editor for two years. I also worked part time at the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead while attending MSU. I joined the Grand Forks Herald in August 1974 as a part-time sportswriter, going full time in November 1974. I was food editor at the Herald from the mid-1990s to February 2013. My Interests: Cooking, gardening, hunting.

One thought on “CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken, Kale And Bean Soup”

  1. I’m going to try this, Jeff. We might as well put quality fuel in our bodies. One point of clarification: I thought vodka was the must-have snowstorm essential in North Dakota. Oh, well.

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