Pesto Chicken Kale Potato Soup
Pesto Chicken Kale Potato Soup, a simple seasonal homemade soup recipe made from scratch that’s ready in under an hour and is perfect to make ahead for meal prep or freeze to eat all season long. Chicken soup for the soul!
Chicken soup is a fall and winter feel-good-food staple. A classic for cold winter nights, a holistic remedy for the common cold (with actual research to back up the claim!), and a euphemism for feel good vibes (anyone remember “chicken soup for the soul”?).
We love a good soup around here and when I found myself with a pound of chicken breast and two quarts of frozen food scrap vegetable broth in the freezer, I knew a chicken soup was in the cards for these cozy winter nights.
But of course, being a dietitian, I had to throw in as many seasonal vegetables as I could — carrots, onions, celery, and kale — for extra nutrients and fiber. Top it all off with a bit of basil pesto (that I actually had frozen from summer!) and this simple, throw-it-all-in-a-pot soup now became one of our new favorites.
Want the recipe for this simple chicken, potato, and kale soup that’s ready in under an hour? Let’s do it!
How to make Pesto Chicken Kale Potato Soup
This simple chicken, kale, and potato soup with pesto comes together quickly so it’s a great option for a weeknight meal. It’s also a great recipe for meal prep because the sturdy ingredients hold up well and will be even more delicious reheated after a few days.
To make the soup, first heat oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven and saute onion, carrots, and celery until soft. Then add the chicken and sear quickly on each side, and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Next, add the broth and bay leaves and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked throughout, about 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and let cool, and increase the heat to rolling boil and add potatoes and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
When chicken has cooled, use a fork to shred and then add it back to the pot. Cook for a few more minute and, once potatoes are soft, add juice of one lemon and the shredded kale. Cook for a few minutes more until the kale softens and then it’s ready to serve. Scoop soup into a bowl and top with a spoonful of pesto and enjoy!
Pesto Chicken Kale Potato Soup: Tips, tricks, and tools
This simple chicken and potato pesto soup is easy to make, but there are a few tips and tricks to streamline preparation and get the most out of our meal.
- Invest in a soup pot: get yourself a large soup pot or dutch oven, it will be a workhorse in your kitchen all winter long
- Make your own broth: make your own broth with food scraps to extend the life of food, save money, and reduce packaging
- Make once, freeze for later: make a big batch of chicken soup and freeze for later busy weeknights or work lunches
- Choose responsibly-raised chicken: there’s not denying it, the poultry industry is problematic. If you do choose to eat meat, do your part and choose USDA organic and Animal Welfare Approved chicken
- Choose an interesting pesto sauce: skip traditional basil pesto and try pesto with carrot tops, radish leaves pesto, or pesto with chickpeas instead of nuts.
Did you make this Pesto Chicken Kale Potato Soup? Leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out. Save this chicken soup recipe for later by pinning to your favorite winter Pinterest board and make sure to tag me on Fork in the Road’s Instagram to show me your chicken soup creations!
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 medium carrots, sliced thin
- 4 stalks celery, sliced thin
- 1 pound chicken breasts or thighs
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 large potatoes (russets or other), sliced into 1" cubes
- 1 bunch kale, peeled and shredded
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot, then add chopped onion, carrots, and celery and cook until they begin to soften, 3-5 minutes. Once softened, push vegetables aside and add chicken breasts, salt, and pepper. Sear chicken breast about 2 minutes each side.
- When chicken is seared, add broth and bay leaves and increase heat to bring broth to a boil. Then reduce heat to medium and cook covered for 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked throughout.
- Once chicken is cooked, remove from broth with tongs and let cool on a cutting board. Add potatoes to broth and increase heat to bring soup to a rolling boil to cook potatoes until soft, about 10 minutes.
- When chicken is cooled, use a fork to shred and then add back to the pot. Cook a few more minutes, or until potatoes are soft when speared with fork. Then add kale and lemon juice and cook until soft, about 2 minutes more.
- To serve: spoon soup into bowl and top with 1 tablespoon pesto.
- Tools needed: cutting board, knife set, dutch oven or large soup pot
- Prep ahead: to prep ahead, the vegetables can be cut ahead of time to make preparation easier. However soups are the perfect make-ahead dishes because the longer they sit, the more powerful the flavors
- Leftovers and storage: let the soup cool to near room temperature and then store in the pot or in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to four days. This soup is a great dish to freeze and thaw later to eat throughout the winter; can be frozen for one month or more
- Nutrition notes: nutrition information calculated for 1 serving (about two cups) with 1 tablespoon pesto. It is high in protein, potassium, and vitamin A and features ingredients that are readily available in the colder months of fall and winter.
Serving Size:1 serving (2 cups)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 326Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 312mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 17g