Monday, February 03, 2014

Slow Cooker Turkey (or Chicken) Soup with Kale and Sweet Potatoes

This Slow Cooker Turkey (or Chicken) Soup with Kale and Sweet Potatoes
This Slow Cooker Turkey Soup with Kale and Sweet Potatoes can also be made with leftover rotisserie chicken.

We just finished a month of Daily Phase One Recipes from January, and I've been waiting all that time to share this Slow Cooker Turkey (or Chicken) Soup with Kale and Sweet Potatoes that I made in December, since the sweet potatoes aren't phase one.  This soup was inspired by leftover turkey breast cooked in the slow cooker, but you can certainly use leftover rotisserie chicken to make this delicious soup.  The day I brainstormed this recipe I also had sweet potatoes and kale that I needed to use, two of my favorite soup ingredients.  I loved how this veggie-loaded soup turned out, and sweet potatoes and kale are two of The World's Healthiest Foods, so this is a soup that's loaded with nutrition.  I was home so I cooked my soup on high, but you can cook the broth and veggies all day on low, then turn your slow cooker to high and add the turkey and kale when you get home from work.

Chop up a large onion and about a cup of chopped celery and add to the slow cooker.

Add the poultry seasoning, dried thyme, 10 cups turkey or chicken stock (or about 6 cans of broth), and fresh ground black pepper.  If your stock or broth isn't that flavorful I'd add a couple of teaspoons of turkey soup base or chicken base.  Let this start to cook while you cut up the sweet potatoes.

I cut up two medium sweet potatoes to make about 3 cups small sweet potato cubes, but a little more or less won't hurt.

Add sweet potatoes to the soup mixture in the slow cooker and cook 4 hours on high (or 8-9 hours on low if you're not going to be home.)

I only had about 2 cups of chopped leftover turkey, but you could use a little more if you have plenty.

Cut away the ribs of the kale and chop the leaves into small pieces to make 4 cups (packed) of kale.

Add the turkey and kale to the slow cooker, turn to high if you had been cooking on low, and cook 1-2 hours more.

Here's how mine looked after the kale and turkey had cooked in the soup for nearly two hours.

Stir in the balsamic vinegar and serve hot.  (I'd start with the smaller amount; then taste to see if you want a little more.)

Slow Cooker Turkey (or Chicken) Soup with Kale and Sweet Potatoes
(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe created by Kalyn when she had leftover turkey, plus sweet potatoes and kale in the fridge.)

I used this Crock-Pot 5-Quart Programmable Smart-Pot Slow Cooker for this recipe. (A slightly smaller model would also work.)  If you're cooking all day, this type of slow cooker is a good choice because you can set it to cook 8 hours on low and then it switches to "warm" after 8 hours.

1 large onion, chopped fairly small
1 cup chopped celery
10 cups homemade turkey stock or homemade chicken stock
(or use about 6 cans chicken broth, but homemade stock is more flavorful.)
2-3 teaspoons turkey soup base or chicken base (optional, but recommended especially if you use canned broth)
1 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. dried thyme
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes (about 3 cups sweet potato cubes, although a little more or less won't hurt)
2-3 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken
4 cups finely chopped kale (packed into measuring cup)
2-3 T balsamic vinegar

Peel and chop the onion and chop enough celery to make one cup chopped celery; add onion and celery to the slow cooker.  Add the poultry seasoning, dried thyme, 10 cups turkey or chicken stock (or broth), and fresh ground black pepper, turn on the slow cooker and let it start to cook while you chop the sweet potatoes.

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 3/4 inch cubes.  Add to the slow cooker with the chicken or turkey soup base (if using) and cook for 4 hours on high or 8-9 hours on low.

Chop up enough turkey or chicken to make 2-3 cups bite-sized pieces.  Cut away the ribs from the kale leaves and finely chop enough kale to make 4 cups packed kale.  Add the turkey and kale to the slow cooker, and turn to high if you've been cooking on low.  Cook for 1-2 hours more on high, or until the kale is done to your liking.  Add balsamic vinegar and stir into the soup.  (I would start with 2 tablespoons and taste to see if you want to add more.)  Serve hot.

This would probably freeze okay, but the sweet potatoes will be starting to fall apart after this long cooking time and freezing will make them even softer.

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South Beach Suggestions:
Although they're a lower-glycemic choice than regular white potatoes, sweet potatoes are limited to Phase 2 or 3 for the South Beach Diet.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Tasty Soup with Kale or Sweet Potatoes:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Ground Turkey Soup with Rice, Kale, Mushrooms, and Butternut squash ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Creamy Ham and Sweet Potato Soup ~ The Nourishing Gourmet
Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Kale, Sweet Potato, and Lentil Soup ~ The Chic Life
Leftover Turkey and Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans and Lime ~ Kalyn's Kitchen  
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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  1. This sounds great. I wonder if you could do it with uncooked chicken or turkey and put it in longer?

  2. Heidi, I'm not sure I would, for a couple of reasons. First, because when you cook chicken in liquid it makes kind of a "scum" on the top of the liquid that's not appealing. (It's protein from the chicken.) Possibly that would break up with long cooking, but if you cooked the chicken all day with the other ingredients I think it would be soggy and flavorless.

  3. This looks so yummy! I love sweet potatoes in my soup.

  4. Thanks Kaitlin; I'm a huge sweet potato fan too.

  5. This is a great soup and I love that you are making it in a slow cooker!

  6. Thanks Alyssa, love soup in the slow cooker!


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