Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup with Kale

I sort of feel like it's unfair to call this soup cooking because it's really repurposing a bunch of leftovers. But that doesn't make it any less delicious.


This chicken soup has been developed over time after countless chicken dinners and it more often than not involves a store-bought roast chicken. The kale was a 'what happened to be in the garden at the time' addition and there may be more or less vegetables depending on what happens to be in my fridge at any given time.

Kale_HelenaMcMurdo Photography

As for the chicken stock. I often end up using a mixture of my own quick stock, made from the chicken carcass topped up with some store-bought variety.

The special touch is a spoonful of homemade sofrito which I make in big batches and freeze in ice cube trays for when I need it. Sofrito is the onion and tomato base used for many a Spanish dish and I find to have this on hand is a wonderful thing. I use it constantly to add flavour to paella, soups or even to give extra dimension to a quick spaghetti sauce.  I use Ferran Adrià's recipe from The Family Meal, which you can find hereIf you don't have the sofrito on hand, you can substitute a spoonful of tomato paste.


Finally I give this soup a shot of spice with pimentón picante, Spanish spicy smoked paprika.

The result is a robust, nourishing, soup that will take the chill off any day.


Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup with Kale and Sofrito

Chicken Stock Ingredients:

Leftover cooked chicken with the equivalent of 1 breast and 1 leg remaining
10 peppercorns
1 bunch of parsley
1 bay leaf
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
2 carrots in large chunks
1 onion, skin on, split in half

Soup Ingredients:

2 litres chicken stock
1 stalk celery, finely diced
3 medium carrots, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 to 2 TBSP sofrito
1 bunch of Kale
2 cups angel hair egg noodles
1 tsp pimentón picante (spicy smoked paprika)
Leftover cooked chicken with the equivalent of 1 breast and 1 leg remaining
Grated parmesan to garnish


1. Make the stock.

Remove the bulk of the meat from the chicken carcass and set aside in the fridge while you make the soup.

Place the chicken carcass in a pot with peppercorns, bay leaf, onion, carrot and celery and cover with water.

2. Simmer gently for 30 to 40 minutes

Pick any remaining meat and set aside. Dispose of the carcass and the vegetables. Drain the stock and set aside.

3. Sauté the mirepoix.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, celery and carrots. 

4. Add stock.
Add your stock and top up with purchased chicken stock to make up the required quantity.

5. When the vegetables are cooked, add a tablespoon of sofrito (or tomato paste) and the kale. About 5 minutes later, add the noodles.

6. Cook until both the kale and the noodles are almost tender (about 5 minutes more).

7. Dice the chicken meat and add it to the soup.

8. Add the pimentón and season with salt and pepper.

9. Heat for an additional 5 minutes.

10. Serve with grated parmesan.

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