Kale, white beans and tomatoes combine in this super healthy soup to create a simple, easy, low-fat lunch or even dinner.
This recipe is a great way to start the New Year, with a nutrient dense, hearty soup.
Table of Contents
Healthy Nutritious Soup
I use canned cannellini beans, to make this a quick and easy soup that does not require hours of simmering on the stove to soften dried beans.
White beans add hearty, filling substance to this meal, and they go great with kale.
No flour needed to thicken this soup since it’s a vegetable broth, non-creamy stew. This makes a good gluten-free choice for anyone sticking to a gluten free diet.
Coeliac disease is very prevalent in Ireland, making gluten free soups very popular. This is not a traditional Irish recipe. It’s origins are in Italian cooking. However, kale grows extremely well in the winter months in Ireland, so many Irish cooks incorporate kale into winter soups.
This soup also contains no meat. I make it with vegetable broth, so it’s a good vegan choice, if you omit the Parmesan cheese garnish. A dairy free alternative could be used.
For non-vegetarians chicken broth or stock can be used, but I prefer keeping this recipe strictly vegetarian.
White cannellini beans are high in protein, making this a meat free option for dinner. Its protein and fiber rich nutrition profile makes this a very popular soup for vegetarians.
I count this soup as one of my go-to, easy-to-make, tasty and nutritious recipes. This recipe only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. In fact, this winter soup recipe is one of my favorite cheap and healthy meals.
Secrets to Making A Flavorful Vegetable Soup
This one-pot dish is simple, yet bursting with flavor and a taste of Italy. It could be called a ‘poverty food’ since it’s pretty inexpensive to make, and is actually really delicious.
The key to this depth of flavor in my opinion, is keeping the added seasonings as simple as possible. Some say fresh is best, but I love the ease of using dried Italian seasoning mix for this recipe.
Chock full of basil, oregano, thyme and marjoram this seasoning mix makes prepping this soup a breeze, while adding oodles of extra flavor.
Feel free to use fresh herbs, but when speedy soup is the name of the game, then reach for a jar of dried herbs.
Homemade vegetable broth adds flavor, but if using store bought, don’t skimp on price. I like to buy a good organic broth.
I also like to add a knob of butter to the olive oil when sweating the onions and garlic. This transforms this soup to non-vegan, so only do so if you're okay with dairy in your diet.
The other key to keeping the flavor profile in this soup is to know the cooking times for the vegetables used. The beans should be added before the kale. If you add the kale too soon, it will lose its color and look unappealing in the soup.
Ingredients for Kale and White Bean Soup:
Here you’ll find a quick list of what you’ll need for this recipe. Check out the printable recipe at the bottom of this post for US and Metric equivalent versions of the recipe. There you can choose the measurement system that works best for you.
- olive oil (plus add a little butter for flavor if you're not vegan)
- red onion
- dried Italian herbs
- canned white cannellini beans
- Tuscan green kale
- vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to season
I use Tuscan kale for this recipe, but curly kale or lacinato kale will work well.
Great Northern beans or navy beans can be substituted for the cannelini beans if that's what you have in your pantry or larder.
This is a textured soup, so no need for a blender.
If you like to spice up your soups feel free to add some red pepper flakes while simmering the soup, or alternatively they make a nice garnish.
If you have a leftover parmesan rind it can be added to the soup as it simmers, and removed before serving.
Also, a dash of fresh lemon juice before serving, can add a unique flavor, but I have not included lemon in the basic list of ingredients.
If you are not concerned about keeping this soup vegetarian, some sliced and cooked Italian sausage is a nice addition.
Directions for White Bean, Kale and Tomato Soup
You'll need a nice big soup pot for this recipe. A Dutch oven works great, but I have a tried and trusted soup pot, that's had plenty of use over the years.
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat. You can add a knob of butter to the oil to infuse flavor to the soup, but only do so if your non-vegan.
Add the onion and garlic. Cover the pot and let the onion sweat for 8 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally.
Next toss in the dried Italian herbs.
Feel free to use fresh basil, oregano, thyme and marjoram if you have time to prep them, but for me dried seasoning is just fine.
Add the vegetable broth and diced tomatoes next.
Let the broth simmer for 5 minutes so that the flavors infuse through the liquid.
Toss the beans into the soup and let them simmer for 5 minutes without the kale.
Wash and chop the kale.
Toss into the soup and let simmer for 5 more minutes. Stir the soup as the kale wilts. Do not overcook the soup after the kale is added.
The kale will lose its colorful appeal if it cooks for too long.
Allow the soup to cool a little before serving in individual bowls.
If you're okay with dairy, then garnish the soup with a little grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley. Simply delicious and nutritious.
Recipe Card For White Bean and Kale Soup
Here's the printable recipe card for your kitchen files.
White Bean and Tuscan Kale Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes 1 can
- 1 tablespoon Italian herb mix dried
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 60 ounces cannellini beans 4 cans
- 4 cups Tuscan kale washed and chopped
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese grated for garnish
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley to garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cover the pot and let the onion sweat for 8 minutes, shaking the pot occasionally.
- Add the broth, tomatoes, Italian herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add the kale and simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the kale has wilted.
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before serving in bowls. Garnish each serving with Parmesan cheese and parsley.
Nutrition Information is estimated based on the ingredients and cooking instructions as described in each recipe and is intended to be used for informational purposes only. Please note that nutrition details may vary based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients used.
Video for Tuscan Tomato and Bean Soup
Here's a short video showing how to make this soup.
Storage of Leftovers
Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Allow the soup to cool a little before storing in the fridge. This soup will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Reheat in a large pot over medium high heat on the stove top for 5 to 10 mins.
Can Bean Soup Be Frozen?
This is a broth based soup so it freezes very well. It makes a wonderful protein packed meal to have in the freezer and ready to go whenever you're in a hurry.
It's best to freeze soup in single portions. Use sturdy zip-top freezer bags or freezer-safe containers. Fill them to about 90% full then press out the excess air. Seal the bags and then lay them flat on a baking sheet to freeze. Once they're frozen hard they can be taken off the baking sheet and stacked in the freezer.
For thawing these packets of soup I recommend putting each packet inside a container in the fridge. As the soup thaws it will lose its shape and a bowl or plastic container helps ensure that any leaks are under control.
Once thawed, you can reheat the soup in a pot on the stovetop, or simply pop it in a microwave safe bowl and reheat in the microwave.
I hope you enjoy this soup. Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
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