White Bean and Kale Soup Recipe

An easy recipe for White Bean and Kale Soup ready in just 30 minutes! Mash half the beans for thickness in the soup and leave the other half whole for added texture. Make it on the stove top, in a slow cooker, or in an InstaPot. Great for jump-starting your healthful eating habits. Also naturally vegan and gluten free!

An easy recipe for White Bean and Kale Soup ready in just 30 minutes! Mash half the beans for thickness in the soup and leave the other half whole for added texture. Make it on the stove top, in a slow cooker, or in an InstaPot. Great for jump-starting your healthful eating habits. Also naturally vegan and gluten free!

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Feeding an army of bean lovers? Click and slide the number next to “servings” on the recipe card below to adjust the ingredients to match how many you’re feeding—the recipe does the math for you, it’s that easy.

Can I use dried beans instead of canned?

Yes! One 15 ounce can of beans equals ¾ cup dried beans, which means you will need 1 ½ cups of dried beans for this recipe.

There are 2 cups dried beans in a 1 pound bag, so why not make the whole bag and store the leftover beans in an airtight container in the fridge for another use.

The beans will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

An easy recipe for White Bean and Kale Soup ready in just 30 minutes! Mash half the beans for thickness in the soup and leave the other half whole for added texture. Make it on the stove top, in a slow cooker, or in an InstaPot. Great for jump-starting your healthful eating habits. Also naturally vegan and gluten free!

Why do you soak dried beans before cooking?

First: Soaking beans is always optional. People argue a lot about whether you should or not, but it’s really up to you.

Soaking beans before cooking can help remove some of the indigestible sugars. It also reduces the total cooking time of the beans.

There are two methods – the overnight soak and the quick soak.

How do you soak dried beans overnight?

  1. Sort through the beans for any debris, rinse under cool running water, and place the beans in a large bowl.
  2. Cover with 2-3 inches of water and set aside at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight, then drain well.

How do you quick soak dried beans?

  1. Sort through the beans for any debris, rinse under cool running water, and place the beans in a large pot.
  2. Cover with 2-3 inches of water, bring to a boil, and boil rapidly for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside for 1 hour, then drain well.

How do you cook dried beans?

If you soaked the beans:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

If you didn’t soak the beans:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

How do you cook dried beans in an Instant Pot?

  1. Combine 1 pound dried beans and cool water in your InstaPot until just under half full (do not go past the halfway mark).
  2. Place the lid on and close valve to seal.
  3. Cook on HIGH Pressure for 30 minutes. When the InstaPot is done, wait at least 20 minutes before doing a quick release so that the beans retain their shape.
  4. Vent, unlock, and drain off any remaining liquid.

Since there is no pre-soaking required, you can add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the pot to help aid in the digestion of beans.

An easy recipe for White Bean and Kale Soup ready in just 30 minutes! Mash half the beans for thickness in the soup and leave the other half whole for added texture. Make it on the stove top, in a slow cooker, or in an InstaPot. Great for jump-starting your healthful eating habits. Also naturally vegan and gluten free!

How do you make white bean and kale soup on the stove top?

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and onions and cook until translucent.
  2. While the onions are cooking, mash one can of the beans in a small bowl.
  3. Add the mashed beans, broth, and water, and bring to a boil.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, add the whole white beans and kale, reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the kale is tender.

How do you make white bean and kale soup in a slow cooker?

  1. Combine the olive oil, onions, mashed white beans, whole white beans, broth, water, salt, and pepper in your slow cooker and stir.
  2. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  3. During the last 20 minutes of cook time, stir in the kale and cook until tender. Serve warm right from the crockpot!

How do you make white bean and kale soup in an Instant Pot?

  1. Add the olive oil to your Instant Pot and press SAUTE. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions and saute 2-3 minutes until slightly tender, then press CANCEL.
  2. Add the mashed white beans, whole white beans, broth, water, salt, and pepper, close and lock lid, and turn steam knob to sealing position.
  3. Press Manual, High Pressure, and set timer for +2. When the cycle ends, do not touch the Instant Pot for 10 minutes.
  4. hen, with an absorbent towel, cover steam knob and turn to venting position to release all steam. When steam is fully released, unlock and remove lid.
  5. Stir in kale, close and lock lid, and continue in KEEP WARM position for 20 minutes. Serve soup warm right from the InstaPot!
White bean and kale soup in a white bowl with a silver spoon.

White Bean and Kale Soup Recipe

An easy recipe for White Bean and Kale Soup ready in just 30 minutes! Mash half the beans for thickness in the soup and leave the other half whole for added texture. Make it on the stove top, in a slow cooker, or in an InstaPot. Great for jump-starting your healthful eating habits. Also naturally vegan and gluten free!
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 328kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed (no salt added)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or low-sodium chicken broth (see notes)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups kale stems removed and torn into 1” pieces
  • 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 1/2 teaspoon pepper).

Video

Notes

  1. I prefer the flavor of chicken broth here, so unless you are vegetarian or vegan, that's what I recommend. 
  2. For more flavor, you could stir in minced garlic or dried herbs with the onion in step 1. Or, add a bay leaf or fresh herbs with the broth in step 2. Good herb choices include thyme, oregano, or basil. I also like to add red chili flakes.

Nutrition

Calories: 328kcal
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  1. Sebastian

    The perfect use for my Kale! So tasty! 5 stars

  2. Puja

    So quick and easy. I’m not a fan of kale, but I will eat in this soup.
    I also added garlic and crushed red pepper flakes as some commenters suggested. I recommend.
    I added two soft boiled eggs to my leftovers for extra protein. Went great with the soup.5 stars

  3. Courtni

    This is so delicious! I added garlic and red pepper flakes! I made it again and substituted one cup of water with coconut milk… yum yum yum!!!!5 stars

  4. Joanne Jannetta

    This looks like a great soup recipe! I’m concerned about the amount of sodium. If I were to use low sodium stock, rinsed the canned beans and omitted seasoning with salt would it taste totally bland?

    1. meggan

      Hi Joanne, I have updated the recipe and nutrition label to reflect low-sodium chicken broth and canned beans-no salt added. Those two changes reduced the sodium significantly. I think you may want to still add some salt, but blandness is really a personal preference. If you are used to watching sodium in your diet and don’t regularly pile on the salt, you might be perfectly happy with the soup as-is. Another thing you could do is try to boost the flavor with other non-salt ingredients. You could stir in some garlic while you sauté the onion, for example. Or add a bay leaf at the same time you add the chicken broth (maybe simmer it 30 minutes total to give the bay leaf time to work its magic). Or add other spices you like, or some red chili flakes if you like spicy food. There are a lot of ways you could add flavor without salt. I bet fresh lemon juice would taste good too. If you need more ideas just let me know! And take a look at the new nutrition label if you get a chance so you can see how the sodium has changed. Thank you! -Meggan

  5. Nancy

    Awesome recipe! Reminds me of my mom’s Italian cooking. I used vegetable broth and it was delicious. I smushed more beans in the pot before I served the soup and that gave it a thicker texture. Delicious! Thank you for sharing.5 stars

    1. Meggan

      Thank you so much Nancy! A reminder of mom’s cooking is the best compliment you can give!! :) -Meggan

  6. Anthony Treacy

    Just made it stove top method. Delicious. I added a touch of garlic, just because we like garlic.
    Nice easy recipe. thanks.

  7. Brian Lafayette

    Is it better to do it in a slow cooker. If so, how do you go about doing that?

    Thanks

    Brian

    1. meggan

      Hi Brian, I don’t think it would be “better” in a slow cooker, but it would be just fine.
      Here are the instructions:
      1. Combine the olive oil, onions, mashed white beans, whole white beans, broth, water, salt, and pepper in your slow cooker and stir.
      2. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
      3. During the last 20 minutes of cook time, stir in the kale and cook until tender.
      Thank you! -Meggan

  8. Susan Moll

    Love, Love, Love this soup. made it the other night for a quick meal with garlic bread. It was so quick and so easy and SO Delicious!! Thank you for the recipe. Making it again today.5 stars

    1. Meggan

      This made my day! Thank you so much Susan! -Meggan

  9. Chelsea

    Super yummy for a rainy day!5 stars

  10. Jake

    This is my go-to kale soup recipe! I sometimes add chopped up chicken sausage/meatballs. Such a simple and flavorful recipe! Thank you!5 stars

  11. Amy

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

    1. meggan

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

  12. Erin

    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!5 stars

    1. meggan

      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.

  13. laura

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

  14. Patricua

    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!

  15. BEVERLY

    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. 5 stars

  16. Sam

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

    1. meggan

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

  17. Johanna

    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. 5 stars

  18. Sally Knyvett

    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!

    1. meggan

      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! :)

  19. Courtney

    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?

    1. meggan

      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.

  20. Laura

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

    1. meggan

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

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