Kale and Chicken Pesto Soup – robust flavours, healthy ingredients and incredibly easy to make! Whole30 + Low Carb
Hi my name is Sarah and my hobbies include:
- Eating ungodly amounts of cookie dough and then regretting it later
- Happy crying over videos of dogs being reunited with their owners
- Knitting hats and scarves for loved ones
- Finding ways to get more pesto in life CONSTANTLY
At least that last bullet point must be true because I feel like I’m writing about another pesto based recipe every other week and I have no problems with that. See: here, here, here and here (to name a few).
Wanna be friends? I’ll bring you some soup.
Speaking of soups….this soup.
I’m obsessed. It’s my current antidote to these late winter blues. The past week we’ve had nothing but snow and reliably grey skies. Yesterday was so foggy we could barely see the house across the street. I mean….it looks cool but it does get old. Fast.
I’m ready now for a little bit of Springtime sunshine, but in the mean time I’ll make due with this vibrant and zesty Kale & Chicken Pesto Soup. It’s definitely got enough oomph to carry us on through the rest of this winter season.
Let’s do it!
How to Make: Kale & Chicken Pesto Soup
This pesto soup is all things soup should be: robust, healthy and easy! Even if you make the pesto from scratch and cook the chicken breast first this soup can still easily be made in the ballpark of about 30 minutes.
The base of the soup is incredibly simple: onion, celery and carrot. Sauté in a little bit of olive oil to soften and then stir in your chicken stock, pesto and bay leaf. I do include a quick, homemade basil pesto but please feel free to use whatever you like here. Pre made will totally work or you can always make another type of pesto if you’ve got a favourite – whatever you like/whatever is easiest!
Let those flavours simmer together for a little longer before adding the shredded chicken. This soup is a great way to use up leftover chicken but I include instructions for how to shred it yourself in case you don’t already have any on hand. It takes about 15 minutes to poach and shred – as long as you start off on cooking the chicken you’ll still be able to finish this soup in 30 minutes of less.
In the final touches add in your chopped pieces of kale for some adding goodness and bulk. After a couple of minutes the leaves will soften and take on the full flavour of the soup. Since I’ve already been established as a bit of a pesto freak it should come as no surprise that I like to add an extra spoonful of pesto to my soup after serving. That being said a little goes a long way so don’t go crazy with the green stuff (as tempting as that may be).
This soup is an absolute wintertime gem full of cozy vibes and vibrant flavours. Hope you guys like it – tag me on insta if you do and we can bond over all things pesto together!
Don’t forget to #asaucykitchen on instagram if you try this Chicken Pesto Soup! We love seeing what you make! You can also post your pictures to my facebook page!
- 2 tablespoons | 30 ml extra olive oil
- 1 medium | about 1 cup, white onion chopped
- 1 large | about 1 cup, celery chopped
- 1 large | about 1 cup, carrot chopped
- 4 cups | 1 liter chicken stock
- 1/4 cup pesto (recipe below or use your own)
- 1 dry bay leaf
- 2 cups | 280 grams cooked shredded chicken breasts
- 2 cups loosely packed tuscan kale, ribs removed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- chopped fresh basil optional
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil or a small handful
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts (can also sub with with any type - whatever you have on hand)
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons | 45 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (can also sub with parmesan but it will no longer be Whole30/Paleo)
- In a large cooking pot warm the olive oil on a medium heat. Once warm, add the chopped onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and sauté another 2-3 minutes or until the onions and soft and translucent.
- Add the chicken stock and pesto and mix well. Add the bay leaf.
- Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the temperature until it turns into a simmer. Add the chicken and let simmer for 10 minutes. In the last couple minutes of cooking stir in the chopped kale.
- Taste and season with salt - depending on how salty your stock is you may need a little more or less than what's listed. Sprinkle over a little bit of basil if using enjoy!
- Add all of the pesto ingredients to the blender and blitz until smooth. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
Feel free to your favourite pesto in this recipe! The one included in the recipe will make more than you need for the soup. Save the extra for later or add an extra spoonful to each bowl for an extra punch of flavour.
This soup is a great way to use up leftover chicken but just in case you don't have any you can make your own shredded chicken easily.
How to make shredded chicken:
Lay the chicken breasts at the bottom of a medium sized sauce pan - make sure not to overlap the chicken so they cook evenly. Cover with at least 2 inches of cold water. Add the salt. Bring the chicken to a boil over a medium/heat and then cover and reduce down to a simmer. Let gently simmer for about 15 minutes to cook internally.
Once done remove the chicken from the water and let cool a couple of minutes. You should be able to easily shred the chicken with a couple of forks at this point.