Chicken, Kale, and Orzo Soup with "Cheat" Homemade Stock, Inspired by the Portuguese Caldo Verde //

Chicken, Kale, and Orzo Soup

Yield 4 servings

Chicken, Kale, and Orzo Soup is made with chicken broth, potatoes, and large green cabbage leaves—very similar to kale—shredded extremely finely.



Using a clever or a sharp chef’s knife, chop the chicken leg in three pieces: separate the leg at the joint, and then cut the thigh in two. In a large pot, add the chicken pieces, chicken broth, water, onion, garlic, celery, peppercorns, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a minimum. Keep the broth at a gentle simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the time you have (the longer, the better).

While the broth is simmering, cook the orzo pasta, subtracting two minutes from the “al dente” cooking time determined by the pasta manufacturer. Drain. Then, chop the kale leaves as finely as possible. To do this easily, stack the leaves, then roll them tightly. Use a very sharp knife to shred the “kale roll” as finely as possible. Finally, slice the chouriço sausage in thin slices. Set the three prepared ingredients aside.

When the broth is done, turn off the heat and fish the chicken pieces out of the broth, laying them in a separate plate to cool. Pass the broth through a very fine strainer to discard all solids. Pour the strained stock back into the pot, then put the pot back on a gentle heat. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Add the cooked orzo and shredded kale, and keep on a low simmer for 5 minutes. The orzo may have stuck together while resting; it will separate again in the broth. If lumps remain, use a wooden spoon to gently press them against the side of the pot so the pasta separates again.

Meanwhile, pick the chicken meat from the bones and shred it to pieces. Once the kale is soft, dump the shredded chicken back into the pot and add the chorizo slices. Stir, and serve piping hot.

Recipe Credit: Marie Asselin

Courses soup

Recipe by Food Nouveau at