Rustic Chicken Soup in a white bowl with bread and a folded napkin

Rustic Chicken Soup

Recipe by Marnie Nitschke, Accredited Practicing Dietitian at Fork That Nutrition & Cockatoo Grove Ambassador.

Chilly night and need warming up? Rustic chicken soup. Leftover barbeque chook and no idea what’s for dinner? Rustic chicken soup. Sick friend who needs a big healing hug in the form of food? Rustic chicken soup.

You get the gist. This chicken soup has all the lemony, herby, chicken-y flavour to hit on those emotional safety, satisfaction and satiety buttons. The macaroni and cannellini beans make it a meal in a bowl (trust me – next day it’s more of a pasta than a soup). And it’s a fantastic cheap and cheerful way of using up vegetables and herbs that might be going to waste. This soup has so many good things going for it, I’m just going to say it’s a veritable feast for your gut bugs.

You can’t really go wrong – swap in and out for what you have available, taste along the way, and don’t be shy at the end with the herbs, parmesan and Extra Virgin Olive Oil at the end to garnish (better still – lemon infused if you’re lucky enough to have it).
Rustic chicken soup from a low angle close up
Serves 6


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra for garnish
1 large carrot
2 small celery sticks
3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
1 small zucchini
1 lemon – zested and juiced
2 tsp fresh chopped or 1 tsp dried thyme
6 cups chicken stock
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 cup mini macaroni (or other small pasta shapes)
3 cups chopped kale
1 400g tin cannellini beans
1.5 cups cooked shredded chicken
Salt & pepper
Fresh parsley and parmesan cheese to serve


Finely chop the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, roughly chop the zucchini and finely grate the lemon rind. Wash and chop the kale into 5cm pieces, removing hard stems.

Heat the Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large saucepan, then add the chopped vegetables (except kale) with the thyme and sauté for around 5 minutes until soft and fragrant.

Add the chicken stock and whole rosemary sprigs (to be removed later) and bring to a simmer, then add the pasta and drained cannellini beans. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook for around 8-10 minutes, before adding the chicken and the chopped kale, and continue to simmer gently for a few minutes to heat through and wilt the kale.
Pour in the lemon juice then taste and adjust seasoning (you want a nice lemony, herby flavour). Fish out the rosemary sprigs and discard.

Serve in big bowls with plenty of parsley, cracked pepper, shaved parmesan and a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Rustic Chicken Soup

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