Kale & Ale Soup

By • January 20, 2014 0 Comments

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Author Notes: After a few barren, winter months I start to crave the fresh greens of spring. I don’t have time to spend all morning cooking (or all evening for that matter!). This is a quick and easy recipe, hearty but not heavy. You may want to serve it with a crusty loaf of sourdough for sopping up all the ale broth!
The star anise greatly enhances the flavor of the broth and is integral to the dish. Just don’t leave it in after the soup is cooked or the flavor can become overwhelming.


Serves 4-6

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 12 ounces amber ale
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 4-5 cups chopped and rinsed kale
  • 1 cup ditalini pasta
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 4 ounces baby spinach
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)
  1. In large pot, melt butter over medium heat.
  2. Season chicken with half of the salt and lemon pepper.
  3. Add garlic, onions, and chicken to melted butter. Cook until chicken is browned.
  4. Deglaze pan with beer.
  5. Add vegetable broth, water, and kale. Increase heat to medium high and bring to boil.
  6. Add pasta and remaining spices. Reduce heat, cover, cook 8 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Remove star anise and bay leaves from pan. Stir in spinach. Top with Parmesan, if desired, and serve immediately
  8. If it’s a too thick, add a bit more water or broth to thin…or heck, add more beer if you’re serving it to adults!

More Great Recipes: Chicken|Pasta|Vegetables|Soups|Kale