Chicken Vegetable Soup is a healthy broth-based soup loaded with shredded chicken, butternut squash, carrots, onion, garlic, and potatoes. Add in some kale (or spinach) and garnish with some freshly grated Parmesan for a filling, flavor-packed meal.
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh thyme,optional
PREP: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking pan (21 x 15-inch) and line with parchment paper.
VEGGIEPREP: Peel the carrots and butternut squash. Remove the seeds and stem from the butternut squash. Coin the carrots (about 1/4th-inch thick) and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. Leave the skin on the red potato and cube into 1-inch pieces. Remove the skin from the onion and cut into 1-inch chunks. Take 3 cloves of garlic (leave in papery covering) and place on a square of foil. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the garlic cloves on the foil and then wrap the foil with the garlic into a small ball (so that no garlic is exposed) and place on the prepared sheet pan.
ROASTVEGGIES: Add the prepared carrots, squash, red potato, and onion to a very large (21 x 15 inch) sheet pan or 2 smaller ones. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss the veggies with your hands and then spread into one even layer. Make sure veggies aren't overlapping, or they'll steam instead of roast. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip and stir veggies around, bake for another 15 minutes, flip and stir them around and bake for 10-15 more minutes or until veggies are tender and caramelized. Remove from the oven.
KALE: Remove the thick stems and cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Rinse the kale thoroughly and then dry in a salad spinner or with some paper towels. Set aside.
CHICKEN: Meanwhile, add 9 cups chicken broth or stock to a large stockpot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add in the seasonings: 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram, dried sage, crushed dried rosemary, dried thyme, and the bay leaf. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir in the 3 cups prepared and shredded rotisserie chicken. Add in the roasted veggies (except for the garlic). Then add in the 2 cups rinsed and dried, chopped kale. Remove the garlic from the foil. Press the garlic out of the papery skin onto a cutting board. Use the side of a large chef's knife to press down the garlic and mash to a paste. Add as much of this paste as you'd like to the soup. Stir everything together and cook for 2-3 minutes or until kale is wilted to desired preference.
SERVE: Taste and adjust seasonings to preference adding more salt and pepper as desired. Serve the soup and garnish individual bowls with freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I like to grate with a microplane) and fresh thyme if desired.
Note 1:Broth: Instead of chicken broth, you can use chicken bouillon powder and hot water or chicken Better Than Bouillon® and hot water. I use chicken Better Than Bouillon and hot water and find it adds a lot of flavor and the right amount of salt. If using regular chicken stock, make sure to taste often and season as needed.Note 2: Chicken: If you'd rather cook your own chicken breasts instead of using rotisserie chicken, use large breasts (about 1.25 pounds each) and follow the directions below:
Add the 9 cups of chicken broth or stock to a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
Slice the large chicken breasts into 3 even pieces, which helps the chicken cook quicker.
Place the chicken pieces in the boiling water, season generously with salt and pepper, and cover with a lid. Let the chicken boil until cooked through, about 10 minutes (check the temperature with a food thermometer; it should be 165 degrees F).
Lower the heat to a simmer, remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board, and allow to cool slightly. Shred the chicken and return it to the pot. (You may want to add a few additional cups of chicken broth).