This is a perfect soup for a cold February night that will warm you right up. I love to serve it with grilled bread that is buttered and sprinkled with herbs. The shaved parmesan gives the soup a bit of richness that tastes savory and delicious.
- 1 3-4 lb whole chicken
- 1 carrot
- 1 stalk celery
- 1 onion, quartered
- 3 smashed garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 cups cooked red beans (kidney, cranberry or pinto)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 4 cloves cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large leek, diced, white and pale green parts
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 1/2 cups diced butternut squash (1/2 inch dice)
- 1 parsnip, peeled and diced (1/2 inch dice)
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- 6 ounces kale, stems removed, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
- 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Parmesan for serving
Place all ingredients for stock in a large pot. Fill with 10-12 cups of cold water or until the water reaches about 3/4 of the way full. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover simmered for about 1 hour. Drain stock (it will be a beautiful golden color) through a colander reserving cooking liquid and chicken and discard. Once chicken is cool enough to handle, remove chicken from bones and shred into bite size pieces, setting aside to use later. You can strain the stock one more time through a sieve to remove any other particles.
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté leek, onion, garlic, carrots, parsnip, butternut squash, rosemary and thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper, stirring until slightly softened for about 5 minutes. Add about 6 cups of your stock, covering vegetables and bring to a simmer covered for about 20 minutes. Stir in kale, shredded chicken and beans, adding a bit more stock as needed (extra stock can be reserved and frozen for another use). Stir in chopped parsley last and ladle soup into bowls and drizzle with additional fresh olive oil and shaved parmesan. Serve hot with toasted bread and enjoy!