White Bean and Kale Soup

Jump-start your healthful eating habits with my easy White Bean and Kale Soup. It only takes 4 ingredients and 30 minutes. Naturally vegan and gluten free.

My son recently turned 4, so I’ve been baking overtime recently.

I made treats for preschool, treats for his birthday party, and a cake for his Birthday Weekend.

Just like Christmas, Calvin prefers the wrapping to the actual presents, metaphorically speaking (and please apply this metaphor to birthday desserts). He really just wants some pretzels and a juice box for his Birthday Dinner.

A portrait photo of a white bowl with White Bean and Kale Soup!


And even though I don’t have a massive sweet tooth, it seems I made all my own favorite sweets for his various birthday occasions (go figure).

Which brings me to this glorious White Bean and Kale Soup: A promise for a better tomorrow.

Even when you’re not celebrating a birthday, life gets busy (and over sugary/salty). I like to have just a couple of fast recipes I can fall back on, preferably ones with minimal fresh ingredients. These Turkey Tacos come to mind. So does this White Bean and Kale Soup.

An overhead photo of a saucepan with the white bean and kale soup. There is a hand on the right side holding a metal spice container, sprinkling in seasoning into the soup.

In under a half hour, you can enjoy a warm, filling, healthful bowl of white cannellini beans and fresh green kale.  It’s easy to make and your stomach will thank you for it.

I mashed one can of beans to help thicken the soup, but I leave the second can whole  so I can actually see and enjoy the beans.  One of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten, always says that food should look like it’s ingredients.  This soup is really a testament to that ideal.

An overhead photo of a white bowl with White Bean and Kale Soup!

Save this White Bean and Kale Soup to your “Soups” Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest! I’m always pinning tasty recipes!

A square photo of a white bowl with White Bean and Kale Soup!
5 from 3 votes

White Bean and Kale Soup

Jump-start your healthful eating habits with my easy White Bean and Kale Soup. It only takes 4 ingredients and 30 minutes. Naturally vegan and gluten free.
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 327 kcal


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


  1. Heat the oil in a 3 quart saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mash one can of beans in a small bowl. Add mashed beans, broth, and water to saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in remaining beans (left whole), kale, 1 tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer about 20 minutes, until kale is tender.
  4. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe Notes

Chicken broth may be substituted for the vegetable broth.

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  1. i often make this. it’s so healthy. i am having some kale soup tonight. i think it’s a necessity in between holiday cookies!

    • I completely agree with you. Even as I sit here and eat a chocolate bar, my gut is telling me to eat some beans and kale. It’s a bowl of all good stuffing, none of the bad. Sometimes I just need a little dietary recovery.

  2. I love making soups in the winter, especially because they are so easy and so comforting. I also love that I can get a bunch of veggies and protein in a healthy meal! It’s a win all around!

    • Well said, Luci! I like this soup because it has beans but it’s not overly beany, either. And I’m always looking for more ways to eat kale. :)

  3. What a lovely, wholesome dish, perfect for fall!

  4. I was wondering if you could substitute spinach for the kale? If it would cook the same?

    • Hi Tiffany, I’m sure you could substitute spinach for the kale. I think it would probably cook a lot faster though, possibly in as little as 5 minutes. I haven’t tested it, but that’s what comes to mind when I think about it. So I’d definitely go for it, but just plan on it being done faster!

  5. Your “See what we’re sharing” banner is blocking much of the recipes.  After following you on Pinterest, I still cannot get rid of it.  You should have some way to turn it off if you are ot interested.

    • Hey there, I’m so sorry about that! Could you please tell me more about this? Is it an ad? What is it a box for following me on Pinterest? I will deactivate it if that’s the case (that’s what it sounds like). I am really sorry about that.

    • Hit the  arrows at the bottom of the box, and the banner will disappear. 

  6. It doesn’t seem to be there now.  It must have been some kind of glitch.  It was a big colored box that said something like “see what we are sharing,” and when I clicked on it, it took me to your Pinterest boards where I followed you and returned and the box was still there blocking the recipe on the right, so you couldn’t see it and you couldn’t move past it.  Thanks for your response.  At least you are paying attention, unlike some others who never respond.  

    • I think I know what it was, so I disabled that on my site. So no one will see it ever again! Obviously I don’t want you to have a bad experience if I can possibly help it. :) Thanks for getting back to me and letting me know the issue is resolved.

  7. Just found your blog and am not only intrigued by your food but your history as well. I live in So Cal and was raised in mid Wisconsin. My dietary preferences are light years different from what I was raised eating and am so grateful for the food choices and healthy restaurants that are seemingly on every corner here in San Diego. Keep up the good work. 

    • Another Wisconsin transplant! It always so fun to meet someone in SoCal who is from Wisconsin. My recipes on this blog are starting to shift more towards the food I grew up with, but I do really appreciate the diverse food available in LA. The culture around food is SO different than the way it is in the Midwest as I’m sure you know. The stereotypes aren’t all that far off sometimes, with regards to both places! People joke that when they hear “Wisconsin” the just think of brats and cheese and, well, that’s about right. :) So glad you stopped by the blog, thank you so much! And I hope you enjoy the soup if you try it. It’s one of my favorites. It doesn’t look like much when you read the recipe, maybe, but the flavors are so clean and light. I just love it!

  8. Can you do more chicken broth in place of the water?

    • Yes, absolutely! It’s probably better that way. I’m going to give it a try myself – great suggestion!

  9. Great soup. Added garlic, thyme and a Parmesan rind. Put it over rice. Yum.

    • That sounds AMAZING Laura! Great idea. I cannot wait to try that, I may even post the recipe. Credit to you of course! :D

  10. I’ve been using this recipe for over a year, but when I look at it today, I remember there being a lot more kale. Has the recipe been updated? I usually buy a 1 pound bag of kale and use the whole thing – I’m guessing this is way more then two cups. Thoughts?

    • Hi Courtney, YES. The recipe has for sure been updated. It used to be one pound of kale, but I feel like when I wrote that, I was confusing weight and volume. I’ve been making this a lot lately and I feel like 2 cups is more than adequate for the amount of kale, and that a pound is way too much. I guess I’m curious what you think. Do you prefer it with one pound? I’ll make a note to say the recipe has been updated. Sorry for the confusion!!! Thanks for your comment.

  11. I was informed yesterday that my vegan son and girlfriend are coming for a meal today so I made this along with a vegan wholegrain loaf. After I had commenced preparation, I was informed their plans had changed and will come next week. (grrr kids!) I had a bowl myself and it is delicious! I know what I will be cooking next week!

    • Yay, thank you so much Sally! At least you enjoyed it too, although how frustrating that you went through so much trouble only to have the plans change. Thank you for leaving a comment, it means a lot! :)

  12. Hi! I found this recipe on Pinterest while trying to come up with my own recipe. Mashing up another can of beans is such a good idea. Hope you check out my blogpost. I hyperlinked your post. Thanks :) 

  13. Can I substitute white beans with black beans? My stomach doesn’t like white beans.
    Thank you

    • Hi Sam, yes absolutely of course! Substitute any beans that you want. :) Thanks for your question and take care!

  14. I added two chopped carrots and two chopped celery stalks in with the onion,  a can crushed tomatoes, and some cumin, celery seed, red pepper flakes, and oregano to the salt and paper. It was fantastic!  Mashing one can of beans and leaving the others whole was a great tip I’ll be using again and again .  Thanks for sharing there recipe. 

  15. I made this as stated except I aded red pepper flakes for a little kick. Next time I would chop kale a little smaller. But it was fabulous! Will definitely make again. Thanks for the recipe!

  16. Yum! This was fabulous! I added chopped garlic, leeks, carrots, and a parmesan rind from my freezer. Great recipe – thank you!

  17. I just made my first batch of this and this soup is hearty, healthy & tasty! A few variations I made, mostly from everyone’s comments – I added 2 cloves of garlic, grated parmesan + pecorino, red pepper flakes, used chicken broth instead of vegetable and for the one can of mashed beans, I kept the bean juice for extra flavor in the broth. I will definitely make this again – next time, I may add sausage. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • I need to add sausage next time!! That sounds perfect Erin. Thank you so much. And everything else you said – TWO CHEESES, awesome. You’re so my kind of girl. :) My stomach is literally growling at your ideas.

  18. Hi. This soup sounds amazing! Once I’ve made it how long can I keep it in the fridge???

    • Hi Amy! 4 days in the fridge. Standard CDC guidelines for leftovers. If you need anything else, just let me know!

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