Bowl of Tuscan Kale and Chickpea soup

Tuscan Kale and chickpea soup to warm your soul

Who doesn’t love a warming bowl of home-made soup in winter? This Tuscan Kale and chickpea soup to warm your soul won’t disappoint in the comfort food arena. I mean it. It’s so good it will have you going back for more. Put simply, it’s a heavenly, heart melting bowl of goodness.

As Melbourne’s winter drags on, I’m making sure there’s always a fresh batch of soup ready for a hearty lunch or dinner. Like this Tuscan Kale and chickpea soup. It will warm your soul with its deep goodness. It’s base is home-made chicken stock, it’s thick with hearty vegetables and filled with the deep green goodness of Tuscan Kale. Chickpeas give a protein hit and add some texture to the overall soup.

What is Tuscan Kale anyway?

Also known as Cavolo Nero, this Italian Kale variety has long, dark green leaves with a wrinkly appearance. Its leaves are quite thick and robust, so it needs a bit of cooking. The name Cavolo Nero just means black cabbage.

Bunch of Tuscan Kale

To cook, first remove the stem that runs up the middle. I do this all at once when I buy a bunch, then store the leaves in the fridge in a container or veggie bag and use them up within about a week.

With that deep green colour, it is rich in vitamins and is to serve as a side vegetable as well as in soups and braised dishes.

Another serving idea

Finely chop up the leaves, then sauté in olive oil with garlic and chilli and a little white wine. Finish with some lemon juice and toss through pasta. Yum.

Can’t get Tuscan Kale?

Easy. Just swap it with standard curly kale that’s more commonly available in supermarket veggie departments or local fruit and veggie stores. And if you can’t get any kale at all, you could use spinach leaves instead.

Vegan or not – it’s up to you

Although I make my soup with chicken stock and add chicken meat to the mix, you could easily make it entirely vegan by using a tasty vegetable stock. You also wouldn’t add the chicken. So to all you vegans – this one’s also for you!

Tuscan Kale and chickpea soup to warm your soul

Tuscan Kale and chickpea soup to warm your soul

Recipe by Marti

A hearty vegetable soup enriched with the deep green goodness of Tuscan Kale

Course: SoupCuisine: Italian inspiredDifficulty: Easy
5 from 3 votes


Prep time


Cooking time


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You will need

  • 1.5 litres 1.5 chicken or vegetable stock

  • 1 1 brown onion, chopped

  • 4 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 1 leek, white part only, washed and chopped

  • 1 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 tbspn 1 olive oil

  • 2 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes (about 1 cup)

  • 4 cups 4 Tuscan kale, washed, stems/ribs removed and finely chopped

  • 2 2 carrots, cut into rounds (around 1 cup)

  • 1 cup 1 cooked chickpeas (or one tin)

  • 1 cup 1 shredded chicken breast meat (optional)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 dry white wine (optional

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Here’s what to do

  • Prepare all the vegetables first.
  • Heat half the olive oil in a large soup pot and add the shallot.
  • Optional first step, but it adds to the final flavour:
  • Sauté until softened and add the kale. Stir to coat and ladle in 1/2 the wine and about 1/4 cup chicken stock. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated, then remove from the pan. Set aside.
  • Wipe the pan out and add more olive oil.
  • Add the onion, garlic and leek. Sauté five minutes until tender, then add the potatoes and carrots. Cook a further two minutes, stirring.
  • Add the wine and then the remaining chicken stock.
  • Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are becoming tender.
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Finally, add the chickpeas, kale and chicken (if using).
  • Simmer for a further 15-20 minutes until all the flavours are fully infused.
  • Pour in the lemon juice – this helps to remove any bitterness from the kale.
  • Allow to cool in the pot before putting in the fridge overnight. Or simply ladle into bowls and serve immediately.

Tips and tricks

  • This soup is best made the day before to allow all the flavours to develop.
  • Make a vegan version with vegetable stock and leave the shredded chicken meat out.


  1. Susan Cooke

    Healthy and delicious. Perfect winter fare.

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