RECIPE: Kale Pesto Chicken Soup
Nothing screams “comfort food” on a dreary fall day more than a nourishing bowl of piping-hot homemade chicken soup. The naturally-occurring salts, steam from the warm broth, and immune-boosting antioxidants from the veggies can help to clear mucus membranes, increase the body’s ability to fight off infections, and soothe irritated passages in the nose and throat. Not to mention the fact that it is absolutely delicious and always seems to evoke beautiful memories from our grandma’s kitchen. In our house, we’ve given this classic soup a flavorful, Italian twist—adding a few bunches of crunchy, nutrient-dense kale and herbaceous, nutty pesto. Delizioso!!
Pesto Chicken Soup
2 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 c yellow onion, chopped
1 c celery hearts, chopped
1 c rainbow carrots, chopped
4 c low-sodium chicken broth
¼ c vegan pesto (we like Gotham Greens)
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp red chili flakes (optional)
2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 c chopped kale
½ tsp sea salt
In a large saucepan, warm 2 tbsp EVOO over low-medium heat. Add chopped onion, celery and carrots, and saute until veggies are fork-tender (about 2-3 minutes).
Add sautéed veggies, along with chicken broth, pesto* (see recipe below if using homemade), bay leaf, chili flakes (optional), chicken breasts + sea salt to slow cooker. Set to low heat, and cook time of 6 hours.
At 5 hours, remove chicken from soup, shred with a fork, and return to the slow cooker. Add the 2 c of chopped kale and allow everything to cook together for the remaining hour. Serve while hot, and enjoy!