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Leftover Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash & Kale

Bring hearty fall flavor to a bit of leftover chicken, with this veggie-packed Leftover Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash & Kale.

Earlier this week I impulse bought a butternut squash… because I was feeling fall, y’all. I also bought a bag of kale with the intention of using half of it to make kale chips (see also: Fall, y’all). But what to do with the rest of the bag?

Well, kale just so happens to pair beautifully with squash: The slightly sweet butternut squash plays off the slightly bitter and chewy kale, as in today’s Leftover Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash & Kale. I used a bit of leftover rotisserie chicken in my soup today, but you could use any leftover cooked chicken you have on hand — or, just poach up a chicken breast to use in your own big batch of chicken & veggie soup.

And yes, I do realize that squash is technically a fruit, but let’s not quibble over details… 🙂

Today’s veggie-packed soup just yells fall comfort food. I’d suggest topping yours with shredded Parmesan, too, just to kick everything up a bit.

Leftover Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash & Kale

butternut squash kale soup ingredients

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tsp garlic (about 4 cloves)
1/2 of a medium (about 3 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1.5 cups leftover cooked chicken, chopped or shredded
1.5 tsp rosemary
1.5 tsp smoked paprika
1.5 tsp thyme
1.5 tsp basil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
6 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 bunch roughly chopped kale, stems removed (about 6 oz)

Directions

chopped veggies and chicken for soup

Cut up the veggies (except for the kale), and chop up the chicken.

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.

Add the chopped onion and carrots to the pot and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and squash and continue to cook the veggies over medium heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

stir in chicken and spices

Stir in the chicken and spices.

Stir in the broth, water, and tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, chop the kale (if not using prechopped).

fall soup with squash and kale

Once the veggies are tender, stir in the kale until bright green and just wilted. Serve your soup topped with shredded Parmesan, if desired.

Note: If you are using pre-bagged chopped kale as I did here, tear any especially large leaves into smaller pieces before adding to the pot.

Fall into a bowl of this veggie-packed soup

Leftover chicken soup with butternut squash and kale is a fall feast for the eyes.

That IS fall, y’all! Enjoy the harvest colors and flavors in this differently delicious leftover chicken soup recipe.

Variations: Make this soup vegetarian by omitting the chicken and substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth. Or, change out your protein by using chopped smoked sausage rather than chicken. Take the base recipe and make it your own; just enjoy the contrast between the sweet & smooth butternut squash and carrots and the slightly bitter chewiness of the kale.

Oh and: Speaking of squash and kale, if you’re looking for a way to use up the other half of the butternut squash and the rest of your bag of kale, I have your back there, too. Just cook up a batch of this butternut squash & kale browned butter pasta, and enjoy.

Leftover Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash & Kale, printable recipe

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5 from 1 vote

Leftover Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash & Kale

Bring hearty fall flavor to a bit of leftover chicken, with this veggie-packed Leftover Chicken Soup with Butternut Squash & Kale.
Course dinner
Cuisine soup
Keyword butternut squash, chicken soup, gluten free, kale, leftover chicken, soup
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic about 4 cloves
  • 1/2 of a medium (about 3 lb) butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1.5 cups leftover cooked chicken chopped or shredded
  • 1.5 tsp rosemary
  • 1.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp thyme
  • 1.5 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch roughly chopped kale stems removed (about 6 oz)

Instructions

  • Cut up the veggies (except for the kale), and chop up the chicken.
  • Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.
  • Add the chopped onion and carrots to the pot and saute over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the garlic and squash and continue to cook the veggies over medium heat for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in the chicken and spices.
  • Stir in the broth, water, and tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, chop the kale (if not using prechopped).
  • Once the veggies are tender, stir in the kale until bright green and just wilted.
  • Serve your soup topped with shredded Parmesan, if desired.

Notes

If you are using pre-bagged chopped kale as I did here, tear any especially large leaves into smaller pieces before adding to the pot.

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Recipe Rating




g

Friday 8th of October 2021

I used the aldi frozen and chopped butter nut squash for this recipe! So much easier and faster :) I'm not sure how it changed the price, but I know it wasn't expensive. Thank you for another amazing meal.

rachel

Friday 8th of October 2021

Great idea! Plus, then you can make it again this winter when squash go out of season. :)

Natalie

Sunday 3rd of October 2021

Delicious! Love all the veggies in this. Butternut squash is tough to cut!

rachel

Wednesday 6th of October 2021

It really is! A sharp chef's knife works wonders, though.

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