Lemony Chicken Soup With Farro, White Beans, and Kale (2024)

By Katherine Sacks



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Lemony Chicken Soup With Farro, White Beans, and Kale (1)

Photo by Chelsea Kyle, Prop Styling by Alex Brannian, Food Styling by Anna Hampton

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  • Active Time

    20 minutes

  • Total Time

    1 hour, 10 minutes

This recipe is part of our Spring Grocery Bag Menu featuring 5 easy weeknight dinners made from 1 grocery bag of ingredients.

Enhance the flavor of store-bought chicken broth for a hearty soup packed with farro, white beans, kale, and plenty of lemon.


4 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 large carrots (about 10 ounces), coarsely chopped

2 onions, coarsely chopped, divided

12 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, divided

1 leftover roasted chicken carcass, meat picked off in large pieces and reserved, or 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken

10 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 1/2 cups whole farro

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained, rinsed

1 cup thinly sliced Tuscan kale

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons radish-top salsa verde (optional)

1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill

1 baguette, sliced, toasted

Lemon wedges (for serving)


  1. Step 1

    Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large pot over medium-high. Cook carrots, half of the onion, and 3 sliced garlic cloves, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add chicken carcass, if using, and broth; cover and simmer 30 minutes. (If you're not using carcass, simmer 15 minutes.)

    Step 2

    Meanwhile, toast farro in another large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown and smells nutty, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 tsp. salt and 3 cups water. Cover and simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes; strain any remaining liquid, if necessary. Set aside 2 cups farro for Dill-Crusted Pork Tenderloin or reserve for another use.

    Step 3

    Strain chicken broth mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard carcass and vegetables. Set aside 2 cups broth for Potato, Leek, and Pea Pot Pie or reserve for another use.

    Step 4

    Wipe out pot, then heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil over low. Cook remaining onion and 9 sliced garlic cloves, stirring occasionally, until tender and light golden, 8–10 minutes. Add remaining broth left in bowl, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Add reserved chicken meat, beans, kale, lemon juice, pepper, and remaining 1 1/2 tsp. salt and farro left in pot; cook until vegetables are cooked through, 3–5 minutes.

    Step 5

    Divide soup among bowls. Stir 1 Tbsp. salsa verde into each bowl, if using, and sprinkle with dill. Serve with baguette slices and lemon wedges alongside.

  2. Do Ahead

    Step 6

    Soup can be made 2 days ahead. Chill in a resealable container.

Cooks' Note

Instead of salsa verde, you can use coarsely chopped parsley, cilantro, and/or mint. This recipe uses whole farro rather than the semi-pearled variety. To substitute farro, use wheat berries.

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Reviews (24)

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  • I mostly agree with the generally positive review--altho I will add more lemon and maybe something else to make it a little "stronger"--a bit weakly flavored for me.Where are piople finding the nutritional information? I don't see it and would like to routinely

    • AET

    • Pittsburgh, PA

    • 4/3/2024

  • Just made this tonight and it is absolutely delicious! I so appreciated another reviewer’s suggestion to add the zest of a lemon. I also added 3 tablespoons lemon juice instead of 2 and everyone raved how refreshing the lemony flavor was. I did not use the carcass instead I, too, just sautéed the onions, garlic, carrot adding a bulb of fennel. Once veggies were very tender I added the remaining ingredients swapping out kale for 2 cups of spinach. Using rotisserie chix makes this recipe especially easy too. I also loved the dill sprinkled on top before serving. Rounds the flavors out beautifully.

    • JC

    • Scottsdale

    • 2/18/2023

  • I subbed potatoes for the farro since I didn't want to dirty a second pot. This soup was delicious. Don't skip the dill - it really adds something lovely. I doubled the kale, per other commenters. This soup was lovely!

    • Sarah

    • New Hampshire

    • 4/29/2022

  • We made the recipe as specified. The whole family was pleasantly surprised by how well everything came together. The salsa verde is a tasty addition. I do agree with other reviewers that you can definitely add more kale. My four year old thought it was great too!

    • Anonymous

    • Minneapolis

    • 8/17/2021

  • This is an easy soup to simplify while still keeping the bright flavors intact. I started with a sauté of onions, garlic, celery and finely diced carrots. From there, add pre-made chicken broth and simmer. Earlier, I'd browned and cooked a couple of skinless chicken breasts and shredded them. Once the broth is simmering, add in the chicken, the cooked farro, shredded kale, beans (garbanzos worked well), salt and pepper, lemon (I also zested the entire lemon into the pot in addition to the juice)... and I added a bunch of broccoli at the end. Absolutely spectacular flavors and super hearty. Add the lemon zest, it's meant to be!

    • margotb

    • Boise

    • 1/9/2021

  • Great recipe! The flavors worked really well together, and the soup was heartier than expected. Used Italian farro instead of whole farro and it turned out just fine. Also didn't reserve any of the ingredients, as suggested, which was perfect.

    • l_seborowsk

    • Charlotte, NC

    • 3/19/2017

  • Delicious! I only cooked 1 c. farro and added it all to the soup, and used chard b/c didn't have kale on hand. Tasty and my daughter loved it! Will use more kale/chard next time, as others have suggested.

    • judekazmaier

    • 11/4/2016

  • Delicious! I only cooked 1 c. farro and added all to the soup. Will include more kale next time (I used chard and it was great). The salsa verde makes the dish.

    • judekazmaier

    • Dallas

    • 11/4/2016

  • The recipe's nutritional info is for the entire recipe, not a single serving.

    • Anonymous

    • Mendham, NJ

    • 10/30/2016

  • I used grilled skinless, boneless chicken breast and substituted freekeh for farro because I got confused at the grocery store. Oops. It was a fortuitous error, though, because the freekeh added a nice roasted flavor. I also subbed black beans because I didn't have white. I made a lot and shared with friends, who raved about it.

    • Anonymous

    • Maine

    • 10/24/2016

  • Very unique and tasty. To cut down on the calories and fat, I used my own cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts. And low fat chicken broth. Most people cook their chicken with the skin on. This adds a extra LOT of fat and calories to the meat and to any broth you use. So, that's why I made mine the way I did. I did add extra kale, as recommended here in the reviews. I also cooked my own white beans to add to the soup. Fresh lemon and fresh cilantro made this a great meal!

    • lynnnm

    • New MexicoNNEW MEXICO

    • 10/20/2016

  • How can this recipe be made so it's not 1100 calories??

    • bbmartin

    • California

    • 10/19/2016

  • I haven't made this, it sounds great. I don't understand why the recipe couldn't have been expanded to allow all the chicken stick to be used. Who doesn't like leftover soup?

    • bethbochnak

    • New Orleans

    • 10/19/2016

  • This recipe looks great, but 1100 calories for chicken soup? How can this be?

    • Anonymous

    • Falls Church, VA

    • 10/19/2016

  • I'd love to try this but I'm GF; any suggestions from anyone re: another grain that might work but still hold up? Rice, I suppose? (PS gave it a four because it sounds amazing! but have not made it yet)

    • elizabe3

    • MPMMMmmoafijapsdfiuapsfisadfMmm

    • 10/19/2016

TagsSoupSoup/StewChickenPoultryFarroWhite BeanBean and LegumeVegetableKaleLeafy GreensMainDinnerDairy FreeNut FreeSimmerEpicurious

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Lemony Chicken Soup With Farro, White Beans, and Kale (2024)
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