Soup is probably my favorite way to incorporate kale into my diet, and this recipe is a definite winner.



  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled, cut into ½-inch thick rounds
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into ½-inch thick slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chopped kale leaves (Lacinato is what I use, stems removed)
  • 1 cup dry red or white wine
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (15.4-oz.) can cannellini or white kidney beans
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt, to taste, plus ½ tsp. salt (divided use)
  • red pepper flakes, to taste


  • 1 lb. ground chicken
  • 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (divided use)
  • ¼ cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more, to taste


  1. In a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook stirring often until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the kale and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the wine and tomato, and bring to a boil. Stir in the stock, water, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer until well flavored, about 1 hour.
  3. During the last 10 minutes, drain the beans, rinse with cold running water and drain again, then add to the pot along with the basil. Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Discard the bay leaf.
  4. Meanwhile in a bowl, combine the chicken, half of the cheese, the bread crumbs, egg, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper. Increase the heat under the soup to medium and bring to a light boil. Drop rounded tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the soup. (Their texture will firm up on contact with the hot liquid.) Cover and cook until the meatballs are cooked through, about 12 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and black pepper, if needed.
  5. Ladle into warmed individual bowls and serve hot. Pass remaining cheese at the table. Makes 8 servings.

Source: Adapted from

Barbara Walch

Barbara Walch joined the staff of Plano Profile in August 1986 and currently serves as Food Editor and Associate Publisher, Community Relations. In addition to writing Dining In, a monthly food feature,...