Slow cook your way to a steamy bowl of comfort with this chicken & kale soup! White beans, carrots, and Parmesan shavings round out this easy dinner, which is healthy to boot. Serve with some crusty bread and extra cheese for extra yum.

Chicken Kale Soup (Slow Cooker)

Originally posted January 10, 2017

Eric has started to make a small “ding!” sound every time I close the sliding door of my closet. I think he figures that if I hear a pleasant “ding!” as a reward for shutting the closet door, I will do it more often. You know, kind of like Pavlov’s dog. (Ring a bell, give food. Eventually the dog salivates at the bell, without the food.)

White Bean Chicken Soup

I’m slightly offended to be a mere subject in his psychological experiment, but at the same time have caught myself silently “dinging” myself for all sorts of things now as a mini reward. Who knew I was so easy to please? Maybe I’m part canine? A little worried that I’m going to start requesting belly rubs and ear scratches soon.

Chicken Bean Soup w/Kale

How to make White Bean, Chicken & Kale Soup

Have you jumped on the kale bandwagon? I heard this interview of a restaurant critic on the radio the other day where she totally slams kale. At least, kale as it is often prepared in these trendy times. (Kale salad, kale chips, kale pizza.) She said that years ago grocery stores would leave it on the stands outside during winter, so that it would partially freeze, which made it more tender. And even then it was usually tossed into a soup or stew.

Sauteeing chicken in skillet

Shredding chicken for soup

Prepped chicken, beans, cheese, and veggies in crockpot

Do not skip that Parmesan rind!! If you don’t have one, throw in a chunk of parmesan.

I was cheering the whole interview. I mean, have you ever had kale chips? They’re gross. If you think otherwise, I think you’ve drunk the Kool aid. (It was probably kale-flavored.)

Adding kale in chicken bean soup

Chicken and Kale Soup

Kale in soup, however, is a completely different story. It becomes tender and absorbs the flavors around it.

What makes this chicken soup healthy?

This soup is so hearty and healthy, yet completely satisfying. It’s the perfect meal for when you aren’t feeling well! The chicken and beans have tons of protein to support the immune system. The chicken broth is hydrating and salty, perfect for your dulled taste buds. The carrots and tomatoes and onions have vitamins and mineral to help fight off a cold, and of course the kale that I’ve been trashing this whole post comes through for you with tons of minerals and fiber. WIN.

I also love how versatile this soup is. Swap out the vegetables, swap out the bean type, etc. I just talked to my friend Shannon the other day, she’s the one who gave me the recipe, and she said she was going to try it with sausage, which I think would be awesome! Whatever you do, don’t leave out the Parmesan rind. It totally takes this soup above and beyond!

More soups you will love!

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Slow Cooker Chicken, White Bean, and Kale Soup with Parmesan Shavings

Serves Serves 8-10     adjust servings

Source: This recipe is from the original Kale, Chicken, and White Bean Soup with Parmesan Shavings, which is adapted from Ciao Annie.


  • 3 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed*
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon 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
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • one rind of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 6-8 cups kale, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • Parmigiano Reggiano shavings


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Remove the skin from the chicken and salt and pepper well.
  3. Add the olive oil to the hot skillet. When it starts to shimmer, add the chicken. Sear well for 1-3 minutes, then flip and sear the other side until brown.
  4. Add the seared chicken, onion, carrots, garlic, diced tomatoes, white beans, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, chicken broth, and Parmesan rind to a 6-7 quart crock pot.
  5. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
  6. Remove the chicken and shred, discarding bones. Return to the crock pot.
  7. Add 6-8 cups of chopped kale, cover, and cook for another 10-20 minutes.
  8. Serve with lots of Parmesan shavings and crusty bread!


If you make this recipe, share it on Instagram using the hashtag #TheFoodCharlatan so I can see it!