Recipe for chicken minestrone with winter vegetables

Sally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Serves 8

Chicken and an abundance of winter vegetables — celery root, rutabaga, green beans, cauliflower, and kale — make this a deep, flavorful pot. Use leftover cooked chicken, or cook a whole chicken breast in the stock to make the liquid more intense.

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1 whole chicken breast with skin and bone intact or
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
3 quarts chicken stock
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, cut into ½-inch dice
3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1 small celery root (celeriac), cut into ½-inch dice
1 small rutabaga, cut into ½-inch dice
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 handfuls green beans, trimmed and cut into
¾-inch pieces
1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained
1 small bunch kale, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1. If using uncooked chicken in a large soup pot, place the chicken breast skin side up and add the stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and rest for 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate to cool. Discard the skin and bones, and shred the meat.

2. Add the onion, carrots, stalk celery, celery root, rutabaga, salt, and pepper to the stock. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 12 minutes. Add the green beans, cauliflower, and cannellini beans. Simmer for 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

3. Stir in the kale and chicken. Simmer for 3 minutes, until the chicken is hot and the kale wilts. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Sally Pasley Vargas