When it comes to soups, like many recipes, the recipe is just a guide. Eyeballing and tasting is key to making a good one. This recipe is no different. If you have a big family, start with a big chicken. If you’re a family of 4, use a smaller chicken or a big one and freeze some.

This soup is a modern take on what grandma used to make. Use Soba noodles instead of regular pasta noodles because they hold their shape a bit better. You can also try rice noodles or quinoa if you want the soup to be gluten-free. This recipe is with kale, you can also use escarole or spinach or no greens at all.

Chicken Soup with Kale and Soba Noodles

Serves: depends on size of chicken


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 8 ounces (226.8 g) soba noodles – broken into smaller pieces (about 2 inches)
  • 3 carrots – sliced in 1/4″ pieces
  • 1/2 onion – diced
  • 1 medium garlic clove – finely chopped
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (29.57)
  • 2 tablespoons (29.57 g) tomato paste (optional but gives it deeper flavor and color)
  • 4 ounces fresh Kale (113..39 g)
  • 2 tablespoons chicken base (or bouillon) or to taste
  • 2-3 whole stems parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large stockpot, add the oil and place over medium heat. Add onions and cook until they soften (about 5 minutes)
  2. Add the garlic and the pepper flakes and cook until the garlic begins to color (about 30 seconds).
  3. Follow quickly with the tomato paste and stir to incorporate.
  4. Add chicken and fill with enough water to cover the chicken.
  5. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour or until the chicken begins to fall off the bone and remove it to a separate bowl. As the soup is cooking, periodically remove the scum that collects on the top. This helps to keep it clear.
  6. At this point, at least half the water will have evaporated so add more and flavor it (one spoonful at a time) with the chicken base or add a bouillon or two.
  7. Add the carrots and the noodles and cook for about 5 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, remove the chicken from the bones and break the meat into bite sized pieces into a separate bowl.
  9. Add the kale and the chicken meat and cook for about 5 minutes more or until the noodles are tender and the kale is bright green. I love adding the kale at the end because then it still has a bite to it and the color is beautiful.
  10. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if you like.

Note: if you want a clear broth, once you remove the chicken, run the soup through a fine mesh sieve.

Recipe by: Chef Silvia