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.
Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. White Bean and Kale Soup Recipe

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.

More brilliant bean recipes

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.
5 from 34 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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Meggan Hill

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Comments

  1. Delicious! When it starts getting chilly outside – this is on the stove simmering away! We do add a clove of minced garlic ( because we love garlic:) to the onions and serve the soup with homemade foccacia- yum!5 stars

  2. This has become a go to in my house. My kids love it, and I’ve taken to sautéing some small cut andouille before the onion to up the protein content (my husband is on a high protein diet, so we add meat wherever we can XD).5 stars

    1. Hi Phyl, YES. That would be excellent. It reminds me of Italian Wedding Soup. In that recipe, the meatballs go in uncooked and they cook in 5 to 10 minutes in the broth (165 degrees on an internal thermometer). Great idea. We have an excellent turkey meatball recipe on the site if you’re interested: https://www.culinaryhill.com/turkey-meatballs/

      Thank you so much! -Meggan

  3. My sweet dear friend brought me this soup while I was sick with a bad flu. She added lemongrass and chicken to the recipe, and it was superb! Thankful for people who share such healing recipes! Blessings to you all.5 stars

  4. Wow! So simple and so yummy. We used 1 part garlic bouillon to 3 parts chicken bouillon for the broth. Will DEFINITELY be making this again. Thanks so much for sharing this!

  5. Hi Erin! Can I use frozen kale?? If so, how much and would you alter liquid ingredients to account for liquid content in frozen kale or would you defrost and squeeze excess liquid out of kale first?? Also, I’d like to add minced garlic and red pepper flakes. How much of each would you recommend? Thanks so much!!

    1. Hi Rachel, sure! Sounds like a great idea. One 10-ounce package of frozen kale is about 1 1/2 cups fresh, so use at least one package. What’s lovely with this soup is you can season to taste, I would start with one clove of garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, and go from there. I hope you enjoy this! – Meggan

  6. This recipe looks fantastic – I can’t wait to try! Just wondering, you have 11.6g fat listed in the nutritional value. Where does the fat come from?

    1. Hi Eden, our nutrition label was a little off, I’m sorry about that. I ran it again, and now it’s saying 7g fat. It comes from the olive oil. You could omit that if you wanted to cook the onions in nonstick spray or in a little broth or water. I think it would work. I hope this helps! Sorry about that error. Thanks for letting me know. -Meggan

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