Although it’s spring time,the nights are still chilly and this soup is a nice way to warm up. This is a hearty recipe includes the addition of bacon adds a smoky note and nice depth of flavor. I have packed the recipe with vegetables and while making the stock from scratch is an extra step, it is well worth the effort and definitely renders a delicious flavorful and nutritious soup.
- 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 1/2 cups cooked white navy beans
- 4 strips, extra thick bacon cooked and roughly chopped, 1 tablespoon bacon grease reserved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 4 cloves cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large red pepper, diced
- 1 large green pepper, diced
- 3 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 6 ounces lacinato kale, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped thyme
- 3 tablespoons chopped sage
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 and reserved bacon over medium heat and sauté onion, garlic, carrots, peppers, celery, sage and thyme. Season generously with salt and pepper, stirring until slightly softened for about 5 minutes. Add poultry seasoning and seasoning with salt and pepper. Add about 6 cups of your stock, covering vegetables and bring to a simmer adding beans, kale and shredded chicken. Add a bit more stock as needed (extra stock can be reserved and frozen for another use). Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with bacon, and extra sage and thyme as desired.