Fennel and Carrot Soup with Chicken and Kale

It's finally soup time again. You guys know I love it. One of my favorite soup combos is sausage with a bean and a green. My friend was coming over for lunch and doesn't eat pork, so instead of just subbing chicken sausage, I wanted to try and create a twist on the familiar flavors with just plain ground chicken. I used roasted fennel and carrot to give the broth some depth and add a body to the soup, then loaded it up with some kale, beans, and ditalini pasta.
Roasting the veggies instead of just boiling them in the broth gives them much more flavor. Let them simmer for 15 minutes after roasting before blending the whole thing up. Chicken in the pan first with some onion and celery. Then the broth goes in, followed by the kale and beans. The pasta is boiled separately and added at the end. This soup is the definition of hearty. The fennel and carrot make the broth sweet and earthy, and the chicken and beans make you want to go in for bite after bite. All the textures are there from creamy to chewy to silky with just a little bit of bite from the kale.

Fennel and Carrot Soup with Chicken and Kale

  • 2 pounds Carrots chopped
  • 2 large fennel bulbs chopped
  • 2 quarts Chicken Stock
  • 1 pound Ground Chicken
  • 1 small Onion diced
  • 3 ribs Celery diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Chopped Fresh Oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 bunch Kale stems removed and leaved ripped into small peices
  • 1 can small red beans strained and rinsed
  • 1 pound Ditalini Pasta

Instructions

  1. Put the carrot and fennel on a pan and toss with salt and olive oil. Roast at 450 for about 25 minutes, stirring once to help brown evenly.
  2. Add the roasted veggies to the chicken broth and simmer for 15 minutes. Blend until smooth.
  3. Cook the chicken onion and celery in some olive oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot. Cook about 20 minutes to really break up the chicken and brown things up a bit.
  4. Add in the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add in the blended broth and stir.
  5. Add all the spices and herbs, and the kale and beans. Bring to a simmer.
  6. Meanwhile bring water to a simmer and cook the pasta. Cook a little less than you normally would, leaving the pasta with a bit of a bite. Strain and reserve 2 cups of the pasta cooking water.
  7. Add the pasta to the pot with the soup along with the pasta water to thin it out a little. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and serve!