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This easy chicken and kale soup will keep you warm on a cold and rainy day or any day that calls for a simple, hearty soup. For convenience, you can make this soup with frozen kale without the need to thaw it beforehand.

EatingWell.com, July 2020; updated November 2022


Recipe Summary

20 mins
45 mins

What Kind Of Kale Is Best For Soup?

From the bumpy leaves of Lacinato to the ruffled look of curly kale, all types of kale are excellent for soup. No matter what kale you're using, you will want to make sure it's washed well. Before you chop it up, remove the tough stems from the center of the leaves. If you're using baby kale, you can keep the stems intact if you prefer as they are tender enough for soup.

Can I Use Frozen Kale?

Yes! Frozen kale is a good alternative to fresh if you have it on hand. There's no need to thaw it before adding it to the soup. You can add it in frozen and cook it for the same amount of time as fresh.

Can I Make Chicken & Kale Soup Ahead?

This kale soup holds well for a day or two, but due to the acid in the soup from lemon juice, the kale may trade in its green color for a more brown hue. This doesn't affect the taste, but the look won't be as vibrant as it was right off the stove. But don't let that stop you from packing the leftovers for work the next day!

Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer 


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beans, chicken, potatoes, broth, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of the chicken registers 165 degrees F, about 18 minutes.

  • Transfer the chicken to a plate and, using 2 forks, shred it into bite-size pieces. Stir kale into the soup; cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the kale is wilted and tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the shredded chicken and lemon juice. Remove the thyme sprigs before serving. Serve hot.

Nutrition Facts

1 1/2 cups
271 calories; protein 25.8g; carbohydrates 30.4g; dietary fiber 7g; sugars 4.5g; fat 5.1g; saturated fat 0.9g; cholesterol 48.2mg; vitamin a iu 837.4IU; vitamin c 21.7mg; folate 49.8mcg; calcium 88.8mg; iron 2.3mg; magnesium 64.8mg; potassium 879.3mg; sodium 531mg.