Monday, November 3, 2014

Chicken Soup with Shells and Kale

Chicken soup with celery, carrots, onions, savory broth, chewy shells, and antioxidant rich kale? This is food that is bound to make you feel better when you are sick. Comfort food at its best. 

I'm trying to get better! This cold is stubbornly hanging on. I could have sworn I was better when I woke up Saturday morning, I felt like I was at 90%. How did I manage to screw that up? I went to the gym. I felt weak and fatigued during my workout, and worse, I felt like I'd lost some lung capacity. Granted, later that night, I realized I still had a lot of fluid in my chest. Hence, the feeling of reduced lung capacity. I felt tired upon returning home, only to wake up on Sunday with a serious case of illness related exhaustion. One step forward, two steps back. This is my norm, I hate taking time out of life to be sick. I'm feeling a bit better this morning, but I still feel the crud in my chest and have the slightest twinge of a stuffy nose. Frustrating.

Sundays do happen to be one of my most favorite days to recover from a cold, however. Let me rephrase that- Sundays in the fall. Why? Football! Yes, the hubby and I watched quite a bit of football yesterday, as he has caught my cold. My fantasy team that I deemed to be duds at the beginning of the season after a margarita-fueled draft have turned out to be... not so dud-ly. Much to our hosting site's surprise (I got a D for my draft), my team has been greatly over-performing. The combination I most doubted at the beginning of the year (Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb) have turned out to be my bread and butter. It just took them some time to settle into their roles. Of course, with Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler on a bye this week, I was forced to play Ben Roethlisberger.  I say forced because-

1. My other 2 quarterbacks were on a bye (duh).
2. He had a record breaking week last week, which typically means a less than stellar week after for Big Ben.

Much to my surprise, I woke up this morning and was pleasantly startled to find his final numbers to be stellar. In other lineup wonderfulness, I had to play Jeremy Hill. One of the 2 Cincinnati running backs, one who is usually sharing carries. Turns out, he wasn't sharing yesterday. And he. went. OFF. Talk about a good week to go off, since he was only in my lineup because Matt Forte also had a bye. The cherry on the top of my delicious fantasy sundae? Jeremy Maclin. Whatever Kool-Aid that kid has been drinking, I wish he'd share with my bench! 

All right, enough about fantasy football. I know many of you probably came to read about food and have found yourself wondering why you are reading about football. Moving on. 

Cold and flu season is in full swing around these parts. When we got back from Mexico, I picked up a rotisserie chicken at the deli the night after we got back. I didn't feel like cooking and I sure didn't feel like going out. A deli chicken is one of the best solutions for that problem. We had plenty of leftovers after dinner, and I made fresh broth out of the bones. It was the perfect setup for chicken soup, which is exactly what I did the next night. I added mini shells (for fun) and lots of kale (for good health). If I cut the kale small enough and make sure it's cooked enough, the hubby will eat it. Indeed, he enjoyed the soup. And it probably went a long ways towards making us better :)

I've still got a little bit of this soup leftover, perhaps it will be the nail in the coffin of this cold? I certainly hope so. 

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Happy Monday!

Ingredients (serves 6-8):

2 cups dried pasta shells
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
9 cups chicken broth (use low-sodium if using commercial)
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 cups kale, chopped
2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced


1. In a large pot, bring 5-6 cups water to boil. When boiling, add shells. Cook until al dente, about 8-9 minutes. Drain, toss with a little olive oil, and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. When warm, add onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté 5-7 minutes, or until vegetables have softened. Add garlic, sauté for 30 seconds. 
3. Add chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. 
4. Add kale, chicken, and parsley. Allow soup to heat for 3-5 minutes, or until chicken is hot and kale has cooked down. Ladle into bowls, and serve immediately. 

Looking for other soup recipes to keep you warm? Try these!


  1. This soup is certainly good for a cold. It is healthy and looks delicious! Take care and rest. Catherine

    1. Thanks Catherine! It was nice having this soup in the fridge when I didn't feel like cooking. Helped a ton! :)

  2. Oh yummy, I love soup, and what a great idea to add the kale! :-) Saying hello from the weekend potluck!
    Cathy @ three kids and a fish

    1. Thanks Cathy! I love kale, there's hardly anything it doesn't make a great addition to! Have a great weekend! :)