Hearty Chicken and Vegetable Soup Recipe
The days are short, the air is brisk and the cold foggy mornings are less frequently parting way to sunny afternoons – all sure signs of winter’s inevitable chilly wrap. As we bundle up in the warmest outerwear, nothing warms the blood and bones better than a thick soup of hearty vegetables and chicken.
Potatoes, beets, turnips, carrots or parsnips, can all contribute wonderful, rich and nutty flavors. Instead of adding flour to get a hearty consistency, try adding bread. The starches of the bread will not only thicken your soup, but give it a creamy consistency. Essential Bakery’s Sour White works great, and imparts a great flavor to the soup.
As with any soup, your flavor will only be as good as your mirepoix* and your stock. If you’re going vegetarian, use a good vegetable stock, otherwise the roast chicken stock will bring richness to your broth. This recipe is a quick version of a traditional chicken soup, if you’re looking for an incredible chicken soup that takes a bit more preparation, check out our post on How to Make Your Chicken Soup a Flu Fighting Machine.
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 large carrots, or turnips (about 2 pounds) washed and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
- 2 large parsnips or 2 large peeled celeriac, washed and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
- 2 small onion, leeks or shallots
- 6 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 quarts vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 medium russets or other high starch potato, or 1 lb. sunchokes cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tsp mixed minced fresh herbs, rosemary, thyme, Italian parsley
- 1 large bay leaf
- 2 thick slices of bread
- 4 cups kale pieces
- 1 can white cannelloni beans
- 3 cups shredded chicken from a roast chicken
- Salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a thick bottomed soup pot or Dutch oven until simmering.
- Add carrots, parsnips and onion or shallots and cook until slightly brown and the onions are translucent, 4-5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for another minute being careful to not let the garlic burn.
- Add broth, potatoes and herbs and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover until vegetables are fork tender, about 15 minutes.
- Remove and discard bay leaf.
- Remove 3 cups of broth and solids and place in blender or food processor with bread, and blend to a soft puree.
- Stir puree back into pot, add kale, chicken and beans and cook until kale is bright green and beans and chicken are heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and a splash of champagne or balsamic vinegar
*What is Mirepoix? It is a classic combination of roughly chopped Onions, Carrots and Celery (either common stalks or celeriac) as a flavor base for creating stock, soups, stews and sauces. A traditional ratio is two parts onions, one part carrots and one part celery.