I know it is cliché, but chicken soup really is good for the soul. When I am not feeling well I crave chicken soup. I am not sure if it is physical or psychological but chicken soup definitely makes you feel better, no matter what ails you. Actually, it is not just when I am not feeling well, I love chicken soup at anytime.
At a recent doctor’s appointment, she told me to go home, rest and eat some chicken soup. I came home, looked through the fridge and created this chicken vegetable soup. You could definitely add noodles or rice if you wanted to; but they are really not necessary.
First, the aromatics. I chopped three onions and diced an entire bulb of garlic. You can never have enough garlic in my opinion. Especially when I am not feeling well, my taste buds demand its strong flavor.
In my favorite dutch oven over medium heat, I melted one tablespoon of butter and added one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add in the onions and garlic and sauté until they just begin to get translucent.
Add in two large boneless skinless chicken breasts. Chicken thighs would be fabulous in this soup, however, chicken breasts are what I found first in the freezer. Cook for four minutes or so per side until slightly browned and remove to a separate plate.
Rough chop and toss a generous handful of shiitake mushrooms into the dutch oven and sauté until browned. Do not salt yet!!!! The mushrooms will not brown nicely if you salt them. Any other mushrooms could be substituted here as well.
Look at these beautiful kohlrabi!!! I could not resist them at the farmers’ market. I remember the first time I saw them thinking “what on earth are these funny looking things”. I really have learned to love this strange root vegetable. Kohlrabi has a nice mild and slightly sweet flavor. Feel free to replace it with turnips, parsnips, or even potatoes. I cut four of them up into small cubes.
Next, some colorful sweet peppers. Feel free to use whatever sweet peppers you have on hand. I was fortunate enough to have all these great colors in the fridge. I love cooking with a lot of color. I find it makes eating more fun if you savor your food with your eyes first. Rough chop four sweet peppers.
Next the kohlrabi and peppers get added in. See what I mean about color? It really makes you want to devour your food! At this point season well with salt and pepper.
Chop the chicken so it is roughly the same size as the vegetables and add in back into the dutch oven. Stir to combine.
Rough chop a handful or two of kale. This is going to look like a lot of kale, but remember, it shrinks!
Add in the kale, mix well to combine.
Add in six cups of unsalted chicken stock and stir well to combine. It is starting to look like soup! Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.
Allow to simmer for at least thirty minutes until the vegetables are tender, the chicken is cooked all the way through, and the flavors have married nicely. Adjust seasonings as necessary. I seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, and fresh parsley. If you are not ready to eat right away turn the heat all the way down to low and continue simmering.
Ladle into your favorite bowl and enjoy! This soup is hearty enough to be served all on its own; the only thing I might add is some nice crusty bread.