Soup season is behind us—especially here in the sticky South. But when an insufferable summer flu hits, it doesn’t matter; soup’s on! This chicken and kale soup, in particular.
Since I work from home, I can usually dodge whatever bug is going around. But! I think what I’m experiencing right now is my body telling me that I need to slow the hell down. May has been exhausting—physically, mentally, and socially—and as an introvert, I’m in desperate need of repose and a recharge.
And nothing can cure what’s ailing you quite like a steamy pot of homemade chicken soup. (Though this plant-based Healing Quinoa Vegetable Soup works wonders as well. It’s *packed* with anti-inflammatories!)
Okay so wait. Chicken?
Yep. We’re eating poultry again.
If you’re new here, this space was previously centered around the pescetarian diet, and if that’s what brought you here in the first place, don’t fret. Despite the fact that I’ll be bringing poultry to the table on occasion, my lifestyle still concentrates heavily on seafood and veggies.
With the recent shift, Killing Thyme now focuses on heart-healthy recipes and overall wellbeing. I’m very much done with labels. With wanting to start a family this year, I decided a few months ago that I’d phase poultry back into my diet for an extra punch of protein since fish consumption has to be held to a minimum while pregnant. As a result, I felt guilty and ashamed; I feared that friends would question me while out to dinner. Omg you’re eating chicken? Are you no longer pescetarian? Why? DID YOU STOP CARING ABOUT ANIMALS?
And then I realized that a) my friends aren’t dicks and would never question me about it, and b) living a labelled lifestyle that makes me feel ashamed to make a decision for my own health is bullshit and I want no part in it.
What’s important is that we eat well, stay informed, know where our food comes from, buy sustainably when we can, and support local, happy, and humane farms; we should talk to our butchers and fishmongers, and make wise decisions.
Soothing Chicken and Kale Soup.
I’ve conjured up this soup for my husband every time he’s caught a bug, and it does the trick every time. It’s warming, substantial, flavorful, and oh-so-cozy. I remember making him a batch when I was fully pescetarian, and doing a wee taste test just to make sure it was seasoned just right, and I kind of chuckled to myself thinking… If only I could bring this bad boy to the blog.
Well, here we are.
I’ve thought this quite often over the last two years of pescetarian living—especially with Instant Pot recipes trending so much. I used to think about the endless possibilities that would come with creating and sharing poultry recipes.
Niching myself in the pescetarian world brought me more success than I could’ve ever hoped for, so I’m really hoping this shift takes me even further. As I continue to bring pescetarian and vegetarian-friendly recipes to the blog, I’m hoping to attract a whole other slew of healthy eaters with the inclusion of poultry.
If you make this dish, snap a photo and tag me on the Insta @killing__thyme! I love seeing your creations, and you could be featured in my monthly newsletter <3
Soothing Chicken and Kale Soup
This soothing soup will cure what's ailing you with tender pulled chicken, nutrient-dense kale, carrots, herbs, garlic, teeny pasta, and a pinch of crushed chilis for an extra kick.
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken you can use thighs, breasts, or strips
- kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
- 2 cups roughly chopped kale when cutting your kale, make sure to cut out and discard the ribs
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning If you don't have this, you can use other dried herbs, like thyme, oregano
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth this equates to TWO 32 oz boxes of broth
- 1/4 cup farfalline, or any tiny pasta acini di pepe, ditalini, pastina/stelline also work; you can also use quinoa!
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Heat 2 TBSP of olive oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-low heat. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper, and once the oil is hot/shimmering, add the chicken to the pot and cook it through, until no longer pink in the center. Time will vary with different cuts of chicken. Chicken strips/tenders should take 8-10 minutes; chicken breasts can vary between 10-15 minutes; chicken thighs, 8-12 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, ensure your chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165° F.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it on a plate or cutting board lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil.
Add the onion and garlic to the pot. (If you find the bottom of the pot to be dry, feel free to add a bit of oil.) Simmer the onions and garlic over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally; add the carrots, kale, chili flakes, and Italian seasoning, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the onion and carrots are tender and the kale has turned bright green in color.
Add the chicken broth to the pot and increase the heat to medium-high, bringing the soup to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for about five minutes, then add the farfalline. Bring the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the pasta has cooked.
Remove the soup from the heat and finish it off with a splash of juice from half a lemon. (The acidity really brightens the flavors!) Give the soup a good stir, and serve with fresh bread or saltines.