Kale and White Bean Soup
A simple, flavorful recipe for kale and white bean soup, with plenty of veggies to nourish the soul – hearty comfort food at its best. This veggie loaded white bean soup is just what I’m craving and know you will be too especially when the temperatures drop and you want something that is filling but also delicious. This version uses canned white beans (I used lima beans in this one but any white beans are fine) but I have also included tips for using dried beans if you wanted to use those instead. There are layers of flavours in this soup from the veggies to the rosemary and chili flakes, but I also love to build a nice flavour base by adding sausage to this soup. I used spicy Italian sausage (cause I love the heat) but you can use mild sausage or even a vegan sausage alternative to add some extra texture and flavour to the soup.
Like any other soup - this one also tastes even better the next day. That is why I usually make a huge batch to freeze portions of it or to have extra to enjoy for a few days if it lasts that long. It usually doesn’t though. I like to keep this soup ‘brothy’ as opposed to thick and creamy but if you prefer thick and creamy all you have to do is mash up or blend a third of the white beans before adding them to the pot. This adds a nice creamy rich texture and body to the soup without adding a thickener to it. I love to add a bit of lemon juice to mine too - feel free to serve with some lemon wedges if you like yours with a touch of lemon juice. I also like adding a Parmesan rind to any sauce or soup including this one which instantly kicks up the flavor. The rind won’t melt (though it will get soft); it will just sit in your sauce or soup and infuse it with extra umami and savor.
This is a soup that I have on repeat. I tend to always have sausage in the freezer, kale in the crisper and white beans in the pantry. It’s versatile enough that you can easily swap out the veggies for ones you may have on hand and even omit the sausage if you want to keep it meat free. If kale isn’t your thing try using spinach or Swiss Chard or any dark leafy green. It’s quick and easy and all its needs is a bit of crusty bread served on the side.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb of sausage causings removed (I used spicy Italian)
- 1 onion peeled chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic peeled and minced
- ¼ tsp of chili flakes
- 2 clery stocks chopped
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup white wine (optional)
- 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed (or your choice or white beans - I used Lima beans here)*
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth plus more if you want a bother soup
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp of dried Rosemary
- 2 cups kale stems removed and torn into 1” pieces (I used Tuscan kale but any kale is fine)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 piece of Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add sausage and cook until golden breaking it up into pieces. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery and chili flakes and cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Deglaze pan with white wine if using and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the beans, bay leaf, rosemary Parmesan rind (if using)and broth. Bring to boil and then reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer about 15-20 minutes, until veggies are tender.
- Stir in the kale and simmer a few more minutes (approx 5min) until it’s tender.
- Test for seasoning and serve warm with crusty bread. I also love to squeeze in a bit of lemon juice too.
- If you would like your soup a little creamier and thicker versus brothy - mash ⅓ of the beans before adding them to the pot - this will add some creaminess and body to the soup.
- If you want to use dried beans instead of canned here are some tips:
- Sort through the beans for any debris, rinse under cool running water, and place the beans in a large pot.
- Cover with 2-3 inches of water, bring to a boil, and boil rapidly for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside for 1 hour, then drain well
If you soaked the beans
- After the overnight or quick soak, place the beans in a large pot and cover with 2-3 inches of water. Don’t add salt as this slows the softening of the beans.
- Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface, reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for about 1 hour, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Then enjoy as is or add to any recipe
If you didn’t soak the beans
- Place the beans in a large pot and cover with 2-3 inches of water. Don’t add salt as this slows the softening of the beans.
- Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that comes to the surface, reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Then enjoy as is or add to any recipe