Nothing is better in the cool winter months than a large bowl of white bean kale soup! It’s thick, rich, hearty, and seriously filling. Plus, it easily feeds a large family or group of friends (or even just takes care of lunch all week if you meal prep ahead of time!).
Depending on the type of stock or broth you use, this soup recipe is vegan and Whole30 compliant! It’s also naturally gluten-free, which we love. And beans are such a great source of fiber and protein already, you can be sure that a big bowl of this soup will fill you up for a good, long time!
Love white beans? Be sure to try our Spicy White Beans with Tomatoes next!
- Extra virgin olive oil: To sauté the mirepoix.
- Classic mirepoix: Made from diced onion, carrot, and celery to provide the base flavor of the soup.
- Garlic: We’re using lots of garlic — about 4 cloves garlic, or 2 Tbsp chopped — to flavor the white bean kale soup.
- Canned crushed tomatoes: Economical and available year round!
- Tomato paste: To add depth of flavor and a rich, deep tomato flavor throughout.
- Chicken stock or vegetable broth: The base of the soup is made with stock or broth.
- Fresh rosemary: If substituting with dried herbs, use 1 tsp dried rosemary.
- White beans: Canned white beans are great, no need to soak dried beans overnight. Look for navy beans, cannellini beans, or great northern beans.
- Lacinato kale: You can use any type of fresh kale variety you like, but lacinato is our favorite.
- Fresh lemon juice: To brighten and round out the flavors. Make sure to add this just at the end!
- Parmesan rind: Totally optional, but if you tend to buy fresh Parmigiano Reggiano and keep the rinds when you’re finished, add one to the soup while it simmers. It’ll add a lovely Parmesan cheese flavor throughout the soup, and is a great use for the rind!
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper: To season everything!
How To Make White Bean Kale Soup
As with most soups and stews, start by sautéing a mirepoix made from sautéing carrots, onion, and celery in some extra virgin olive oil until tender. Add a little minced garlic for good measure (and because garlic is welcome in every dish we make!).
Next, you’ll add the ingredients that make up the base of the soup: canned tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth or stock (veggie stock is perfect too!), and some fresh herbs. We’re using rosemary, but thyme, sage, or oregano are also delicious and work well with these flavors. Stir it all together and realize how delicious your kitchen smells!
Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to medium low heat and simmer. Add a Parmesan rind, which will slowly impart the flavor of parmesan cheese throughout. Let this hang out for about 20 minutes, then blend and purée the soup (either in a blender or right there in the pot with an immersion blender). This step is totally optional, but we like the smooth, creamy texture you get when it’s puréed. If you want a chunkier soup, simply remove the fresh rosemary and discard, then move onto the next step.
After puréeing, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, then add the canned white beans, chopped kale, and cook another 10 minutes. Just until the kale has softened. Finish with some fresh lemon juice, taste and season again, then serve immediately.
How To Serve
- Homemade croutons, a crusty baguette, or even a drizzle of heavy cream stirred in right at the end would be delicious!
- Our favorite garnishes: a sprinkle of fresh parsley or… if you want to add some meat, browned crumbled Italian sausage! So delicious!
Can You Freeze Tomato White Bean Kale Soup?
Yes, soup is super freezer-friendly! Cook, then allow to cool down completely to room temperature. You can store it in gallon sized Ziploc bags, then lay flat in a freezer until frozen. Alternatively, store in these souper cubes or other freezer-safe containers. When frozen properly, white bean kale soup will keep for up to 6 months.
To defrost, either thaw overnight in a refrigerator or place in a large soup or stock pot, then heat over medium heat until the soup has defrosted, melted, and is hot again.
Do I Have To Drain And Rinse White Beans First?
This step is optional, but we like to drain and rinse before using. Nothing bad happens if you don’t. That thick liquid surrounding beans in a can is called aquafaba. It’s got a lot of starch, so using it in soup recipes generally results in a thicker soup.
So why don’t you add it in this recipe? In addition to thickening the soup, it also can lead to a saltier overall dish. We like to control the level of salt in our recipes, which is why we almost always rinse and drain first.
I Don’t Love Kale – What Else Can I Use?
Any chopped leafy greens will work! Swiss chard, mustard greens, dandelion greens, even collard greens! Just make sure to simmer the soup long enough that the leaves are tender. We love kale and swiss chard best because they don’t have a super long cook time.
Thick, rich, healthy, and sure to warm you up on a cold day! If you make this White Bean Kale Soup recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
If you love this recipe, be sure to try our Roasted Tomato Soup next!
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More soup recipes to try!
- Creamy Cauliflower and White Bean Soup
- Hungarian Mushroom Soup
- Crab Bisque
- Mozzarella Caprese Gazpacho (a cold soup, best enjoyed in warmer months when tomatoes are in season!)
- Lemon Chicken Soup
Hearty Tomato, White Bean, & Kale Soup
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive il
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped, about 2 Tbsp
- 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
- 4 rosemary sprigs
- Parmesan rind optional
- 2 cans white beans drained and rinsed
- 1 bunch lacinato kale stems removed, leaves finely chopped
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 ½ tsp Kosher salt divided
- ¼ tsp Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano optional, for sercing
- Sauté the mirepoix. Heat 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive in in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery, then cook until tender, stirring often, about 6-8 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp Kosher salt, then cook 1 minute more.
- Add liquid, then simmer. Add 1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes, 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth), 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, and a Parmesan rind, if using. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce soup to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
- Purée the soup. Remove the rosemary and parmesan rind, then discard. Use an immersion blender or carefully transfer the mixture to a blender, then process until very smooth and creamy. Return the soup to the pot, stir in ½ tsp Kosher salt, ¼ tsp black pepper, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- Stir in remaining soup ingredients. Add the drained, rinsed white beans and the chopped kale. Allow the soup to simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Squeeze the juice from ½ a lemon into the soup, then stir and taste one final time. Add salt or pepper to taste. Serve immediately! Optional topping: freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
- To freeze: Cook, then allow to cool down completely to room temperature. Store in gallon sized Ziploc bags, then lay flat in a freezer until frozen. Alternatively, store in these souper cubes or other freezer-safe containers. When frozen properly, soup will keep for up to 6 months.
- To defrost, either thaw overnight in a refrigerator or place in a large soup or stock pot, then heat over medium heat until the soup has defrosted, melted, and is hot again.