Chicken and Kale Soup with White Beans


This creamy yet low-fat soup gets its color from white beans and milk added to a simple chicken stock. Chunks of chicken breast, parsnips, and potatoes blend with the opaque base, while the deep-green hues of chopped kale and oregano offer bright contrast.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 large onion, cut into ¼-inch pieces

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 ½ quarts Basic Chicken Stock for Chicken and Kale Soup

  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

  • 2 parsnips, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

  • 1 large turnip, cut into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 1 whole chicken breast

  • 1 bunch fresh kale, stems discarded, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried

  • 1 can (15 ½ ounces) white beans, rinsed and drained

  • 2 cups low-fat (1 percent) milk


  1. In a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add onion and shallot; cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Stir in flour, and continue stirring until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute.

  2. Stir in the chicken stock, and add potatoes, parsnips, turnip, bay leaf, and chicken breast. Cover, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

  3. Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Pull meat from bones, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Return chicken meat to skillet, and add kale and oregano. Cook until kale is tender, about 20 minutes.

  4. Add beans to skillet, and cook 10 minutes. Stir in milk; cook just until heated through, about 5 minutes. Do not let soup boil or milk may curdle. Remove from heat, and discard bay leaf. Serve hot.

Cook's Notes

This soup may be refrigerated for up to three days in an airtight container or frozen for up to three months.

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