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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.
5 from 12 votes


  • 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.