White Bean and Kale Soup

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This homemade White Bean and Kale Soup recipe is affordable, easy, and the epitome of comfort food no matter what season you serve it. My simple soup recipe proves that you can coax loads of flavor out of 5 ingredients in just 30 minutes.

White bean and kale soup in a bowl.

Recipe ingredients

White bean and kale soup ingredients.

Ingredient notes

  • Cannellini beans: 3 cups cooked beans can be substituted for the 2 cans (that’s about 1 cup dried beans before cooking). You can use any type of canned or cooked bean instead of black beans.You’ll mash half of the beans to thicken the soup and stir in the other half whole.
  • Chicken broth: Chicken broth adds the best flavor to this soup. Substitute vegetable broth to make the soup vegetarian or vegan.
  • Kale: Any hearty, leafy dark green like escarole or chard will do. Just be sure to remove the thick stems and tear into 1-inch pieces for spoon-sized bites that wilt down wonderfully.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Onions cooking in a saucepan.
  1. Meanwhile, mash one can of beans in a small bowl. Add mashed beans, broth, and water to saucepan. Bring to a boil.
White Bean soup in a saucepan.
  1. Stir in the remaining whole beans and the kale. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer about 20 minutes, until the kale is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper).
White bean and kale soup in a saucepan.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes 4 hearty servings, 2 cups each.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Make ahead: For company, this soup is best served the day it is prepared because the beans tend to break down over time.
  • Freezing: Cool within 2 hours, then portion, label, date, then freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Flavor boosters: I love the light, clean flavor of this soup and I think it is delicious as written. But if you are seeking more flavor, try a clove of garlic (minced), a bay leaf, a leftover Parmesan rind, or some leftover chicken.
  • Garnishes: Top with croutons, pieces of toasted baguette, or grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Slow Cooker: Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and stir. Cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours. During the last 20 minutes of cook time, stir in the kale and cook until tender. Enjoy warm, ladled into bowls straight from the slow cooker.
  • Soup and sandwich: White bean and kale soup is delicious paired with my Ultimate veggie wrap, turkey roll-ups, or tuna salad on toast.

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White bean and kale soup in a bowl.

White Bean and Kale Soup

This homemade White Bean and Kale Soup recipe is affordable, easy, and the epitome of comfort food no matter what season you serve it. My simple soup recipe proves that you can coax loads of flavor out of 5 ingredients in just 30 minutes.
Author: Meggan Hill
5 from 103 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 4 servings (2 cups each)
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Calories 198

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed (see note 1)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (see note 2)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups kale stems removed and torn into 1” pieces (see note 3)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions 

  • Heat the oil in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mash one can of beans in a small bowl. Add mashed beans, broth, and water to saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in remaining beans (left whole) and kale. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer about 20 minutes, until kale is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I like 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper).

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Cannellini beans: 3 cups cooked beans can be substituted for the 2 cans (that’s about 1 cup dried beans before cooking). You can use any type of canned or cooked bean instead of black beans.You’ll mash half of the beans to thicken the soup and stir in the other half whole.
  2. Chicken broth: Chicken broth adds the best flavor to this soup. Substitute vegetable broth to make the soup vegetarian or vegan.
  3. Kale: Any hearty, leafy dark green like escarole or chard will do. Just be sure to remove the thick stems and tear into 1-inch pieces for spoon-sized bites that wilt down wonderfully.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes 4 hearty servings, 2 cups each.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Make ahead: For company, this soup is best served the day it is prepared because the beans tend to break down over time.
  7. Freezing: Cool within 2 hours, then portion, label, date, then freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  8. Flavor boosters: I love the light, clean flavor of this soup and I think it is delicious as written. But if you are seeking more flavor, try a clove of garlic (minced), a bay leaf, a leftover Parmesan rind, or some leftover chicken.
  9. Garnishes: Top with croutons, pieces of toasted baguette, or grated Parmesan cheese.
  10. Slow Cooker: Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and stir. Cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours. During the last 20 minutes of cook time, stir in the kale and cook until tender. Enjoy warm, ladled into bowls straight from the slow cooker.
  11. Soup and sandwich: White bean and kale soup is delicious paired with my Ultimate veggie wrap, turkey roll-ups, or tuna salad on toast.

Nutrition

Serving: 2cupsCalories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 10gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 1169mgPotassium: 393mgFiber: 7gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 3352IUVitamin C: 59mgCalcium: 155mgIron: 4mg
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. We loved this soup! I included diced carrots and added cooked orzo before serving, along with parmesan cheese.5 stars

  2. this is really great, especially with fall kale , i added some smoked sausage for the hubby, and a little garlic. the only changes i would make is to double the kale amount next time. due to kale shrinkage. thanks5 stars

    1. Hi Rita, it might take a little longer in the slow cooker, but yes. You’ll need about 1 cup dried beans. Take care! – Meggan

  3. I love your recipes, but don’t want to waste 15 sheets of paper to prin t one. How can I reduce to 1 sheet?JudyJ

    1. Hi Judy, if you print on both sides it will only be one sheet rather than two. Hope this helps! – Meggan

  4. This recipe is so good! I make it once a month :) thank you for allowing us to have the recipe.5 stars

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