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Easy 30-Minute Kale, White Bean and Chicken Soup

YIELD: ABOUT 14 CUPS

The soup is easy, ready in 30 minutes, hearty, and healthy. It’s packed with flavor, texture, and even for those who think that soup can’t make a meal, this one will change your mind. To save time I used shredded rotisserie chicken. The beans add heartiness and protein while the kale, cabbage, and zucchini add texture. There’s sweet Vidalia onions, garlic, and celery for a flavor boost.. I use low-sodium chicken broth, low-sodium beans, and add a bit of salt to the soup so I can control the overall salt level. The saltiness of low-sodium broth, beans, rotisserie chickens, and personal preferences for salt all vary so salt to taste.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small (about 2 medium/large onions)
  • 1 cup celery, sliced thin (about 2 stalks)
  • 2 to 3 cups green cabbage, sliced into thin ribbons (about 1/2 small head of cabbage)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 64 ounces (8 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 to 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (use about 1 whole storebought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own chicken in a skillet)
  • two 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • leaves from 4 large stalks of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces (discard the center thick rib)
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced small (from about 1 medium zucchini)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional (brightens up the flavor)

DIRECTIONS

  1. To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the oil, onion, celery, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  2. Add the cabbage and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until cabbage wilts and softens. Stir intermittently.
  3. Add the agarlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth, shredded chicken, cannellini beans, parsley, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and boil about 5 minutes, or until chicken is warmed through.
  5. Add the kale, zucchini, optional lemon juice, and boil 1 to 2 minutes, or until kale has wilted and zucchini has softened.
  6. Taste soup and add salt or herbs, to taste. Amount of salt will vary based on how salty the brand of chicken broth used is, how salty the rotisserie chicken is, and personal preference. At any time while making the soup, if the overall liquid level is lower than you like and you prefer more broth, adding a cup or two of water is okay because at the end you will adjust the salt level. Serve immediately. Soup will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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