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White Bean Kale Soup

This White Bean Kale Soup is hearty and healthy thanks to creamy cannellini beans and a handful of deep, dark and beautiful Tuscan kale. It’s a quick and easy vegetarian soup recipe ready in less than 30 minutes for a satisfying meal throughout the week.

white bean kale soup in yellow and white bowl with gold spoon

Why you’ll love this Tuscan kale soup

Takes use of pantry staples! I love that this soup is a mix of fresh veggies and pantry ingredients that I know are hanging about in your kitchen. We start off with a good dose of onions, carrots and celery (the mirepoix, to be exact), then stir in some canned beans, broth and that gorgeous Tuscan kale. Colorful, eye-catching and incredibly delicious.

Filling and satisfying! This recipe uses 2 whole cans of white beans so it’s loaded with plant-based protein and fiber, which is certainly going to fill us up and keep us satisfied. Feel free to keep this recipe entirely vegan by using vegetable stock as the base and omitting the cheese at the end, or go vegetarian if cheese is your thing. Chicken stock is also a great option if not a dietary concern.

A wonderful make-ahead! Just like all soup recipes, the flavors develop much more depth and nuance as the ingredients have a chance to marry together after each passing day. I love to make this soup on a Sunday afternoon or evening just before the crazy week begins and enjoy it as a light lunch or late-night dinner when time always seems to get away. Prep and portion the soup and toppings while you’re in the kitchen and you have a meal prep dream stashed away in your fridge.

tuscan kale soup in large pot

Ingredients for bean and kale soup

The ingredient list for this homemade soup can be broken down into two bits – the soup and the cheesy and crunchy toppings! Let’s take a look at what we need:

Kale bean soup:

  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Red chili flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • White cannellini beans
  • Vegetable or chicken stock
  • Lacinato kale

chicken stock, white beans, kale, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, red pepper flakes

Optional toppers:

  • Parmesan
  • Croutons
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Fresh parsley

grated parmesan, crushed croutons, red pepper flakes, chopped parsley

How to make Tuscan bean soup with kale

  1. Saute aromatics: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add in onions, celery and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and have softened.
  2. Sprinkle in seasonings: Add in garlic cloves, rosemary, chili flakes, salt and a few turns of cracked black pepper. Cook mixture for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. 
  3. Add beans and stock: Add in cannellini beans and stock. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a simmer. 
  4. Stir in kale: Stir in the chopped kale until it is slightly wilted. Taste test for salt and pepper and season accordingly.
  5. Top and enjoy: Serve in bowls with grated parmesan, crushed croutons, and red pepper flakes.

four step grid preparing tuscan kale soup

Serving suggestions

I serve this soup piping hot with a boatload of grated Parmesan, crushed croutons, more chili flakes and chopped fresh parsley. My favorite part is getting to the very bottom of the soup and finding those last bits of croutons that have soaked up all the soup goodness.

How to store

The kale cannellini bean soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To freeze, transfer to a freezer-safe container, cool completely, label, date and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before enjoying.

Reheating instructions

Microwave: Place the soup in a microwave-safe bowl and reheat in 1-minute increments in the microwave, stirring each time in between, until warmed through.

Stovetop: Place a large batch of soup in a saucepan over medium heat and bring up to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

gold spoon dipped in bowl of white bean soup

Recipe variations

  • Sausage: Up the protein content with 1 pound ground Italian sausage (either sweet or spicy) and saute it right along with the onions, carrots and celery.
  • Herbs: Use a blend of herbs, such as 1 teaspoon each oregano, thyme and sage.
  • Cream: For an added dose of luxury, stir in 1 cup heavy cream, coconut milk or coconut cream at the very end.
  • Blend: If you’d like a thicker white bean soup, blend a few ladlefuls before adding the kale and add it right back into the soup for a thicker texture.

White bean soup FAQ

Are Great Northern beans the same as white beans?

Great Northern beans are a variety of white beans, along with cannellini, Navy and baby lima beans. Feel free to use any variety you have on hand. Butter beans would offer an even greater Italian vibe.

What is lacinato kale?

Lacinato kale is a deep, dark and sturdy variety of kale that goes by multiple names in the grocery store – Tuscan, Cavolo Nero or Dinosaur (!). It has slightly thinner and more tender leaves and ribs than the widespread curly kale. Plus, the flavor is much milder, so it’s a great option if you are not yet into kale. Use whichever variety looks good at the store that day – baby kale or spinach would be a great substitution.

How do you thicken white bean soup?

White bean soup can be thickened in one of two ways – adding a cup of cream at the very end or blending a few ladlefuls of the soup base (prior to adding the kale) and stirring it right back in.

two bowls of white bean soup with toppings

Looking for more soup recipes? Check these out!

If you make this White Bean Kale Soup recipe, be sure to tag me on Pinterest and Instagram!

I seriously love seeing what you guys are making and sharing your creations with the College Housewife community!

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white bean kale soup in yellow and white bowl with gold spoon

White Bean Kale Soup

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This White Bean Kale Soup is hearty and healthy thanks to creamy cannellini beans and a handful of deep, dark and beautiful Tuscan kale. It’s a quick and easy vegetarian soup recipe ready in less than 30 minutes for a satisfying meal throughout the week.


Ingredients

Scale

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 celery ribs, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp minced rosemary

1 tsp red chili flakes

1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste

Cracked black pepper

215 oz cans white cannellini beans, drained

46 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 head lacinato kale, ribs removed and chopped

Optional toppers:

Grated parmesan

Crushed croutons

Red pepper flakes 

Chopped parsley


Instructions

  1. Saute aromatics: In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add in onions, celery and carrots and cook for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and have softened.
  2. Sprinkle in seasonings: Add in garlic cloves, rosemary, chili flakes, salt and a few turns of cracked black pepper. Cook mixture for 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. 
  3. Add beans and stock: Add in cannellini beans and stock. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture comes to a simmer. 
  4. Stir in kale: Stir in the chopped kale until it is slightly wilted. Taste test for salt and pepper and season accordingly.
  5. Top and enjoy: Serve in bowls with grated parmesan, crushed croutons, and red pepper flakes.

Notes

Store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Reheat: Microwave on high in 1-minute increments until warm or bring a larger batch up to a simmer on the stovetop.

Nutrition info does not include toppings.

Keywords: beans, Tuscan, easy

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