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Kale and White Bean Soup

Mash the beans, and use them to thicken the broth; leave some whole for added texture.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Kale and White Bean Soup

Source: Everyday Food, January/February 2003


  • 1 pound kale, stems (and veins, if desired) removed and leaves washed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, (14.5 ounces each), drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock, or reduced-sodium canned broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 thick slices country bread
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, (optional)


  1. Cut or tear the kale into 1/2-inch strips. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add about half of the beans, and lightly mash with a fork. Add water and stock, and bring to a boil. Stir in kale, remaining beans, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer until kale is tender, about 20 minutes.

  3. Toast bread. Ladle soup into bowls, top with toast, and drizzle with remaining tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan, if desired.

Reviews (16)

  • Nancy Pants 24 Sep, 2014

    YUM! I used butter beans because I didn't have any cannellini and threw in some pickled jalapenos. And a can of cream of celery. So good!

  • Rebecca1407 30 Jan, 2014

    Made this tonight for the first time and was concerned about the lack of herbs. So, after reading a lot of reviews I added some things. Carrots, garlic, a Parmesan rind, and finally herbes de Provence. First, the smell was mouth watering and it didn't disappoint the taste buds. Next time I will try it with Italian sausage.

  • turtlegrins 9 Jan, 2013

    I didn't use the bread or Parmesan, and I didn't feel like it was missing anything. (I was afraid of it turning out bland, however, so I did add a bay leaf, 1 large chopped stalk of celery, and large handful of sliced baby Portabella mushrooms. I also swapped the amounts of water and broth, using twice as much broth than water). My family loved it! Excellent the next day too! Thanks M.S. for a tasty, yet simple recipe!

  • samandroux 16 Dec, 2012

    I added red and white potatoes, a handful of thyme sprigs, red pepper flakes, a parmesan rind, and garlic to the onions. All of the suggestions below were very helpful. The recipe itself is a little bland, but turned out amazing with all of those additions.

  • jperles 2 Oct, 2012

    Good mostly in that it's very quick simple. Used pre-washed bagged tuscan kale from Trader Joes to make this prep time about 2 minutes. I added a couple parmesan rinds from my freezer. Potatoes are nice for a bit of bulk, but I think the toasted bread is perfect for a light lunch. Also added a couple cloves of sliced garlic to the onions.

  • Wolf Hunter 27 Sep, 2012

    This is a great healthy recipe-It is not BLAND unless you are used to processed food or HIGH sodium recipes. It is good!!! and....very easy.

  • mllechocolatier 25 Sep, 2012

    As much as I agree w/ Anj8326 that this recipe can be a little bland, there are plenty of suggestions other readers have provided if you prefer a soup with more punch.
    I've made this soup a handful of times and would suggest adding a couple of garlic cloves, thyme or rosemary sprigs, and if you'd like a few potatoes i.e. Red skin or Yukon gold potatoes hold much better in soups.

  • Anj8326 16 Aug, 2012

    nothing special...pretty bland...would not recommend this recipe to anyone

  • Rhiannon_ 3 Jun, 2012

    It's a decent soup. Nothing extraordinary, just fine. I recommend adding extra beans.

  • KateHenckel 7 Oct, 2011

    This is a fantastic soup! So easy too! Mashing half the beans in any bean soup/chili/red beans and rice recipe is the take away here. I added 3 cloves of garlic, a couple sprigs of rosemary and of thyme and some crushed red pepper flakes. I might also try a squeeze of lemon next time. Enjoy!

  • HungryLawyer 27 Jun, 2011

    I loved this soup! I am not ashamed to admit that I ate nearly the entire pot the night I made it.
    It gets better the longer it sits on the stove--the beans melt a bit and thicken the broth, and the kale imparts a subtle flavor that develops as it sits.
    The soup is even better with the toasted bread, some good extra virgin olive oil, and shaved parmesan. In fact, the topping is crucial to turn it from a good soup to a fantastic one.

  • Vgunslinger 2 Mar, 2011

    We added a couple sprigs of fresh Rosemary, the garlic suggested by another reviewer, and a cup of corn. Made this an even tastier dish!

  • staceann 22 Mar, 2010

    This was delicious

  • staceann 22 Mar, 2010

    This was delicious

  • rem3266 17 Jan, 2010


  • klm98 18 Nov, 2009

    This soup was very bland. Suggestions for spicing it up?

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