To make ahead don’t reserve any bacon in the first step and at the end of step 3 don’t add the kale, let the soup cool, cover and chill for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Reheat until piping hot, add the kale and continue as above. You may need to add some extra stock when reheating.
You can make this vegetarian by using veggie stock and omitting the bacon. You can also use any winter greens for variation.
I often use pre-cooked grains for ease, add these in step 3 for the last 15 minutes. Use any grain you like that is larger to add volume.