Kale, Chicken & White Bean Soup with Parmesan Shavings

Kale, Chicken & White Bean Soup with Parmesan Shavings

Nothing cheers me up faster than soul music. Seriously, I can be in the worst mood ever, having a sniffle session while googling “how to get my toddler to not hate me” and “how to enjoy reading Harold and the Purple Crayon 78 times in a row,” but then I’ll turn on some soul music and suddenly it’s all making cookies and dancing in the kitchen.

Kale, Chicken & White Bean Soup with Parmesan Shavings

Okay, that last part was Eric’s idea. I called him at work freaking out about being a crappy mom and he said “make cookies with Charlotte and let her eat as much of the dough as she wants.” It turns out letting go of all discipline really helps when you’re having a hard time playing nice with your kids. (I have no delusions: this funk is all on me. Sometimes I wonder which one of us is 2 years old.)

Kale, Chicken & White Bean Soup with Parmesan Shavings

Also, no, Charlotte did not eat her dinner last night because she had just consumed half a pound of cookie dough (full of salmonella-infected eggs, I’m sure) and when she refused dinner I didn’t even have the fight left in me to argue.

But Ain’t No Mountain High Enough was playing in the background, so it’s all good. My Girl, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Please Mr. Postman. They make me feel nostalgic for Saturday mornings as a kid, cranking up the tunes while mowing the lawn and heading to soccer games.

Kale, Chicken & White Bean Soup with Parmesan Shavings

Side note, do you guys ever read the comments on Youtube videos? Why are they always so ridiculous?? Ridiculous, but sometimes hilarious. This is from the video for Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together: “Al, you didn’t know it but you got me a hell of a lot of action back in the day.” Okay I need to stop hitting repeat on this song or Eric’s going to get the wrong idea.

Kale, Chicken & White Bean Soup with Parmesan Shavings

We had dinner at our friend’s the other night and they served us this soup. I loved it so much that I made it the next day, and we’ve been slowly chipping away at it all week. It’s hearty. It’s healthy. It totally hits the spot. Are you a kale hater? Don’t be like that. This kale is magical.

It’s easy to throw together. Not too much chopping, especially if you already have the chicken ready to go. I used a rotisserie, which was an excellent choice.

Kale, Chicken & White Bean Soup with Parmesan Shavings

The thing that really sets this soup apart is the Parmesan. It calls for a rind of Parmesan in the soup, which is my new favorite trick for adding a crazy amount of flavor. And of course the Parmesan shavings that go on top. Skimp on this if you are really watching your calories, but please, don’t skip it. (Also, just go ahead and be jealous of my Cutco cheese knife.)

Do you guys give up? Or are you thirsty for more?
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Kale, Chicken & White Bean Soup with Parmesan Shavings

Kale, Chicken & White Bean Soup with Parmesan Shavings

Yield: Makes 8-10 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 15-ounce cans great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
  • one rind of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 6-8 cups kale, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • Parmigiano Reggiano shavings


  1. In a very large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and carrots and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not brown.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes, white beans, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the 8 cups of chicken broth, the 2 cups of chicken, and the Parmesan rind.
  5. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and let cook for 20-30 minutes. Add the kale, one cup at a time, until you get to a ratio you like.
  6. Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve with thin slices of Parmesan cheese.


Don't skip the Parmesan rind. It's a game changer.


Source: adapted from Ciao Annie


24 thoughts on “Kale, Chicken & White Bean Soup with Parmesan Shavings

  1. This looks amazing Karen. But, where do I get a parmesan rind? Too bad you just can’t buy a rind in the grocery store. I have a big container from Costco of Parmesan – no rind in the bottle I’m pretty sure. I guess I will have to buy a hunk of cheese next time I’m shopping, eh?

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  3. I love soul music too! If Ain’t No Mountain High Enough comes on, you know I’m singing along to every word, and throwing in some dance moves.

    You’re so nice to let Charlotte eat all the cookie dough she wants! I was only allowed one pinch of the raw dough, otherwise I would surely die of all sorts of terrible diseases. When I saw Rocky drinking a raw egg I was like, “Hey! Raw eggs don’t kill you! I was duped”. My mom probably knew I would eat all the cookie dough and leave her none to make cookies with. Clever lady.

    This soup=amazing. The parmesan rind gives such great flavor. I freeze my rinds to use in soups. One time my crazy husband almost threw one away when all the parm was grated off. I screamed “DON’T THROW THAT AWAY!”, he’s never made that mistake again : )

    These pictures are seriously gorgeous Karen. And I love that bowl! Do you remember where you got these dishes from? Want!
    Natalie @ Tastes Lovely recently posted…Easy Homemade Garlic BreadMy Profile

  4. I just made a Pandora station for that song. How do I not already have a Stevie Wonder station, what is wrong with me? I’m loving imagining you spilling everywhere. Thanks for the shout out on your blog today! You guys rock.

  5. Bahaha!! Natalie! That’s so funny that you had an epiphany about raw eggs while watching Rocky. Love it. I was always freaked out by the part on Home Alone when they pan over his kitchen mess when he’s eating ice cream and watching the Grinch…there is a raw egg in there someone and I was always totally freaked out that someone would put raw eggs in their ice cream.

    And thank you for complimenting the pictures! That makes me feel so much better. I wasn’t even sure I was going to post these because I thought they were kind of ho-hum. I’m glad you think they look okay!

    I think I got the bowl at Target. That’s the only place I shop besides the grocery store, ha! It was a while back though. (I just checked, it’s the Target Home collection.)

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  10. This soup is AMAZING! She is not joking when she says the parmesan rind makes a difference! This was a huge hit in my house and will become a favorite around here! (Thanks for stopping by my site! izzybug.com. You reminded me I needed to get on the ball with my comments!)

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  12. Would this still be good without the rind? What could I do to make it better since I don’t have the rind?

  13. Hi Candace! Yes, this soup still tastes fabulous without the rind. If you want, add some shredded parmesan (quarter or half cup) to the soup and stir it in. But either way it will still be really yummy :)

  14. Just wondering how this soup would freeze? I’m on a mission to have healthy lunches on hand and I love soup! If I could freeze in portion sizes that would be fantastic! Thanks for the great recipe – and yes, music makes everything better!!

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