Warmth and good nutrition! We are approaching the dead of winter and our bodies need to be nourished! What better way to do it than with this delicious roasted veggie and chicken soup with kale.
This soup is savory, earthy, and light. Roasting the root vegetables on the stovetop with cast iron is a nice way to enhance flavor along with adding the kale and fresh diced tomatoes towards the end. Using cast iron creates complete control over the roasting and cooking of the veggies. Also, I am a huge fan of dark meat, but for this one, boneless skinless breasts only.
So let’s get started.
Place a large soup pot on the stove filled ¾ of the way with water. Salt the water and bring to a boil.
While you are waiting for the water to boil, prepare your veggies.
For the veggies and herbs we are going to “keep” . . .
Dice your carrots, parsnips & turnips into ½ inch cubes.
Slice the onion in thirds creating 3 thick pieces. Keep rings intact. These are going to be roasted on the cast iron and will be chopped later.
Coarsely chop your kale. You can use center stalks as if they were celery and chop them up as well.
Dice your fresh tomato or have your can of diced tomato ready to go.
Chop your thyme and dill.
Put the above veggies and herbs aside for now.
For the veggies we are going to discard. . .
In addition to the prepared veggies above, cut the onion, parsnips, turnips, and carrots into just a few large pieces each and add them to the pot of water with the bay leaf and smashed garlic cloves. These vegetables will be removed later on. Pieces should be large to make removal easier.
When your water and veggies come to a boil add your boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Let simmer for about 25 minutes with the large cut vegetables.
While the chicken is cooking, heat up a large dry cast-iron skillet on the stovetop. Once the cast iron is hot, add the diced carrots, parsnips, turnips, and onion. Do not coat veggies in oil or use oil on the cast iron. When cast iron is hot nothing will stick.
Depending on the size of your cast iron you may have to roast in two stages. Avoid piling vegetables on top of each other. The goal is to have one layer of veggies on the cast iron with space in between just as you would if you were grilling.
Using a pair of tongs, gently turn the vegetables in order to get more than one side slightly charred. This can be a little tedious. You can use a metal spatula, but be careful about scraping the cast iron as you may collect soot from the roasting. If you are into it, using a well-insulated pot holder or kitchen rag, flip all your veggies “chef-style” by grabbing the handle of the pan with both hands quickly moving the skillet forward, back to you, and up at the same time. This takes practice. You may want to watch a couple youtube videos on it.
Flip the large pieces of onion making sure each side is slightly charred. When finished, reserve your roasted veggies in a bowl and cover them. They should remain partially uncooked because they will continue to soften while reserved and when they go into the soup as well. We are only concerned with creating flavor and beautiful color by perfectly roasting them at this point. Do not be concerned with cooking them through.
After 25 minutes, pull the chicken breasts, vegetables, garlic, onion, and bay leaf out of the water. Discard the vegetables, garlic, onion, and bay leaf and place the poached chicken breasts on a cutting board.
Using two common kitchen table forks, hold the chicken with one fork and with the prongs of the other fork start shredding the breast meat. With your shredding hand, place the fork just a little bit in from the edge of the chicken. With quick downward motions, use the fork to create smaller pieces or “shredded” chicken while keeping the chicken stable with the fork in the other hand. This is best done while the breast is hot or very warm.
At this point return the shredded chicken back to the pot of water along with your reserved roasted veggies, diced tomatoes, and chopped kale. Coarsely chop your roasted onion and add that as well. Now add your chopped thyme and dill.
Let simmer for another 20 minutes or so.
At this point taste your broth. Little by little season with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper and taste until perfect.
You can serve this soup immediately if you like. But I feel it is most flavorful when it sits a while, ( a few hours) reheated and served. It’s up to you.
Ladle soup in your favorite bowl, garnish with fresh parsley on top for some nice fragrance, and serve.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Thank you for visiting my blog!
Chicken Breast, fresh, boneless, skinless about 24 oz.
Veggies / herbs initially cooked with chicken then discarded
1 large carrot cut into quarters
1 medium-sized onion cut into quarters
1 medium-sized parsnip cut into quarters
1 medium-sized turnip cut into quarters
2 smashed garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
Veggies/herbs cooked and served with chicken soup
2 medium-sized carrots diced into ½ inch cubes
1 medium-sized onion sliced in thirds
2 medium-sized parsnips diced into ½ inch cubes
2 medium-sized turnips diced into ½ cubes
2-3 diced fresh plumb tomatoes or one 14oz can of diced tomatoes
About 3 cups of coarsely chopped kale
2 teaspoons of chopped thyme
2 teaspoons of chopped dill
Kosher salt to taste
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
2 teaspoons fresh parsley coarsley chopped for garnish