Kale and Chard Potlikker Soup

Dinner, Soups

Kale and Chard Potlikker // www.acozykitchen.com

December is for cookies and pies and appetizers, specifically meatballs. I love meatballs.

January is for recovery. Honestly, I always feel a little silly and cliche posting healthy recipes at the beginning of the year, but right now I’m actually craving vegetables and broth and nourishing foods. December wrecked my body. I ate and drank a lot and thoroughly enjoyed it (no regrets!), but this state of recover is really necessary.

Enter: this potlikker (pot liquor?) soup.

Kale and Chard Potlikker // www.acozykitchen.com

I first learned about potlikker while watching PBS’s A Chef’s Life with Vivian Howard. Have you seen it? Oh man, she’s my new obsession. Every show ends and I’m so inspired to make the stuff she’s making. She’s fun to watch, too. Vivan strikes this perfect balance of being knowledgeable, relatable, and vulnerable. And all her ideas are really smart and interesting…even if she doesn’t think they are at first.

Kale and Chard Potlikker // www.acozykitchen.com

While I wrapped presents in January, I plowed through the first and second seasons. Her latest episode, which aired last week, was all about turnip greens and using them for potlikker.

I took the potlikker idea, using chard and kale, and turned it into a soup by adding more water and throwing in sliced chicken sausage (healthish?) and a boiled egg.

Kale and Chard Potlikker // www.acozykitchen.com

Potlikker is basically boiled down greens. The broth leftover is called potlikker. This potlikker broth has tons of vitamins and flavor–it basically tastes like good health.

You can use a variety of greens for this recipe, but since I used kale and chard, I removed the leaves and chopped up the stems. I figured the stems needed to cook for longer so I started the recipe with sautéing them, along with diced shallot. Lots of shallot!

Kale and Chard Potlikker // www.acozykitchen.com

Then the leaves were added, along with water. And that’s sort of it! It couldn’t be simpler.

Crushed red pepper flakes, garlic and onion really give this a ton of flavor. It’s light and nourishing-tasting and really really healthy.

If you want to keep it vegetarian, by all means leave out the chicken sausage. Either way it’s a good way to start off the year.

Happy New Year, guys. It’s gonna be a good one.


Kale and Chard Potlikker // www.acozykitchen.com

Kale and Chard Potlikker Soup

0 from 0 votes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 2 big leaves red kale
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard
  • Olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Water
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 chicken sausage link, sliced (optional)
  • 1 egg, boiled and halved (optional)


  • To prep the kale and swiss chard, tear the leaves from the stems. We’re going to sauté the stems first: they hold a ton of flavor and tend to be more fibrous so they need a bit of extra care and love. Cut the stems into a small dice and set aside. Loosely chop up the kale and swiss chard leaves and also set aside.
  • In a dutch oven or large pot, heat about three tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. When the oil hot and visibly glistens, add the shallot and reserved kale and swiss chard stems. Sprinkle the stems with a teaspoon of salt and red pepper flakes and mix. Saute for about 8 to 10 minutes, until they’ve become softened. If needed, add a bit more oil and turn the heat down to medium-low. Give them a stir every so often.
  • Add kale and swiss chard leaves along with 6 cups of filtered water. Add an additional teaspoon of salt; cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes, until the leaves are wilted and soft. Give it a taste and stir in more salt to taste (I added about 1 teaspoon). Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.
  • While the pot likker is cooking, sauté the sausage and slice (if using). Stir in the sausage and divide the soup between bowls. If adding an egg, place an egg into each bowl. Serve immediately. Soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Bonus: This soup heats up really well. It’s a good one to make at the beginning of the week and eat throughout.


*To boil an egg, here's how I do it: Fill a small saucepan with about 3 inches of cold water. Add the egg (shell on, of course) and place the saucepan over high heat. When the water comes to a boil, immediately turn off the heat, cover and pan and allow the egg to sit for 8 to 10 minutes (8 min for a runny yolk; 9 min for a soft yolk; 10 min for a firm yolk). At the 8-10 minutes mark, remove the egg, run it under lukewarm water and crack and peel.
Serving: 4g
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Leave a Reply

  • Reply Ursula March 19, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Awesome. I love that show too. I just watched the Pot Likker episode online & it inspired me to make it. I can’t wait to use your recipe!

  • Reply Catherine January 22, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Such a lovely, healthy and comforting meal to enjoy.

  • Reply Brittany January 22, 2015 at 10:08 am

    This looks so delicious! Would you mind sharing the method of boiling your egg (is it soft-boiled?) Your yolk looks so soft and creamy. Thanks!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 22, 2015 at 10:17 am

      Yes! I just updated the recipe to include how I boil my eggs. FYI, the one you see pictured is a 10 minute egg.

  • Reply Georgia January 10, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Mmmm, made this last night and it was so good! Added quartered cremini mushrooms and used organic vegetable broth instead of water. Perfect on a frosty January night!

  • Reply Marina January 7, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    I just made this today for dinner and man, was it a hit! My entire family loved it. If only all healthy cooking was this good, haha.

    My mom’s allergic to garlic so I had to omit that, and I had to use kashmiri chilli powder instead of the red pepper flakes, but it still turned out delicious!

    Thanks so much for the recipe!

    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 7, 2015 at 6:07 pm

      Oh man, yesss!! It’s not the most photogenic meal but it’s so good! Haha. This makes me so happy everyone loved it. YAY!

  • Reply francesca January 7, 2015 at 2:22 am

    Not cliche, clinch.
    om nom nom.

  • Reply Courtney January 6, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    This sounds great. Quick question – is it two leaves of red kale or two bunches of red kale?


    • Reply Adrianna Adarme January 6, 2015 at 6:48 pm

      Two leaves! If you don’t want to buy a bunch of kale and use only two leaves (I had some in my fridge for another recipe), feel free to skip it. It shouldn’t affect the overall recipe very much at all.

  • Reply Lauren January 6, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    This is exactly what is in order right now. I indulged a little too much over the holidays, but this soup is a great dose of all of the nutrients I missed out on. I love adding kale to winter soups. This looks like delicious (healthy) perfection!

  • Reply EB January 6, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I am so excited to make this tonight! I see you mention shallots and garlic but I didn’t see how much in the ingredients. Would you mind letting me know?

    Thanks for all the great recipes and adorable stories as always.

  • Reply April @badgerkitchen January 5, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Beautiful way to keep all the healthy goodness of the kale by making its cooking liquid into the broth! I love Vivian’s show too! May I ask where you watched all the seasons? PBS?

  • Reply Findia Group January 5, 2015 at 5:00 am

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Belinda @themoonblushbaker January 5, 2015 at 3:02 am

    Rainbow chard? My favourite! The use of colour in soups is the only way to a healthy vibrant soup. With you on the meatball thing, not even detox season can not stop me from eating them.

  • Reply June Burns January 5, 2015 at 2:55 am

    Mmm that sounds delicious! So warm and comforting 🙂

  • Reply Millie l Add A Little January 5, 2015 at 12:14 am

    I love the beautiful colour of the chard Adrianna!