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.
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).
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.
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.
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.