White Bean and Kale Soup is a hearty and seriously flavorful recipe loaded with healthy veggies and just enough bacon to keep it real. It’s ready in 30 minutes and relies heavily on pantry staples, so it’s the perfect back-pocket recipe for busy weeknights or clean-out-the-fridge Fridays. Naturally gluten free, grain free, and dairy free.
- Why You’ll Love This Soup
- My BEST Tip for the BEST White Bean Soup
- Watch: White Bean Kale Soup Video
- How to Make White Bean and Kale Soup
- Tips for Making This Recipe Perfectly
- What Kind of Beans Should I Use?
- Can I Make It Creamier?
- Can I Use Dried Beans?
- Is This Soup Healthy?
- More Hearty Soup Recipes
Why You’ll Love This Soup
There are many, many things I want you to know about this soup, but let’s roll with the highlights, m’kay?
Bacon. I’m all over the smokey, salty flavor base that everyone’s favorite cured pork brings to this party.
Kale. Lots of it. Not so much that you’re like “woah, kale, this relationship is getting a little too intimate”. But definitely enough that your body will thank you very much.
30 Minutes. One Pot. That’s the time it takes to make get this meal on the table, start to finish, and all from scratch, and in one pot. So. Many. Ands. And now I’m done.
Healthy. Yep, I went there. I’m throwing around that buzzword. But with tons of fiber, Vitamins A and C, and big punches of iron and calcium, the micronutrient list doesn’t lie. For a healthy lunch, quick dinner, or freezer stash, this is the recipe for you!
My BEST Tip for the BEST White Bean Soup
Add the canning liquid to the soup! The canning liquid is naturally starchy and salty, so it will add both body and flavor to the broth.
Watch: White Bean Kale Soup Video
Need a different visual? This recipe is also available as a story!
How to Make White Bean and Kale Soup
White bean and kale soup is the quick and easy answer to everyone’s
favorite most dreaded question “What’s for dinner?” It’s so, so flavorful, ready in thirty minutes, and loaded with protein and fiber for a filling and hearty meal. Use any variety of white beans that you love – cannellini, navy, great northern, etc.
- Cook chopped bacon until golden brown and the fat has rendered.
- Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook with bacon in rendered fat until soft. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add the white beans with their canning liquid to the pot as well as the broth.
- Simmer 10 minutes.
- Add chopped kale and simmer 5 minutes more.
- Add fresh lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Tips for Making This Recipe Perfectly
- Bacon. You may be tempted to skip the bacon, but don’t give in – it adds just the right depth of flavor and smoky hint.
- Bean Canning Liquid. Add the white beans with their canning liquid to give the broth body and a creamier texture.
- Season Mindfully. Hold off seasoning with salt until the end – both the canned beans and the bacon are salty. Taste before serving and adjust with salt or pepper if needed.
What Kind of Beans Should I Use?
Honestly, use what you love (or what you have in your pantry). I ended up using navy beans in the final version because they get super creamy and break down a bit, giving the finished soup a thick, sort-of-stew-like consistency.
I also tested with cannellini beans (aka, white kidney beans) – they hold their shape well and are meatier than other varieties, so they’re a great choice if you prefer beans that will stay completely intact.
Can I Make It Creamier?
Yes! Before adding the kale, puree one-third of the soup. Use an immersion blender to puree in the pot, or transfer a few ladlefuls to a blender, blend until smooth, then return to the pot. This will significantly thicken the broth and lend a creamy texture without any cream!
Can I Use Dried Beans?
Yes! You’ll need 1.5 c dried beans (or 3 cups cooked beans from scratch). To use dried beans beans, cook them first then keep 1 cup of the cooking liquid to add to the soup.
Follow this recipe from Love and Lemons to cook dried beans on the stovetop, or this tutorial from Simply Recipes to cook them in the Instant Pot.
Is This Soup Healthy?
This soup is perfect when you want to enjoy a flexitarian-style recipe with just a little meat. Kale is packed with antioxidants and minerals, and white beans are a great source of fiber and protein. This recipe is made from real, whole foods with no added sugars, and it’s naturally gluten free, grain free, and dairy free.
More Hearty Soup Recipes
Did you make this White Bean and Kale Soup? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 4 strips bacon, diced to ½”
- 1 medium vidalia onion, diced to ½”
- 2 medium carrots, halved and sliced to ½”
- 2 stalks celery, sliced to ½”
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 14-oz cans white beans, navy, cannellini, great northern, etc.
- 4 c chicken broth
- 1 bunch kale, steams removed, coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- sea or kosher salt, to taste
- Heat a dutch oven or soup pot over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat has rendered and the bacon is golden brown.
- Add the onion, carrots, and celery and toss to coat in the bacon fat; saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute 1 minute more.
- Add the white beans with their canning liquid to the pot. Pour in the broth and stir to combine. Increase the heat and bring the liquid to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the kale, stir into the soup, and simmer until the kale is tender, 5 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice, then taste for seasoning. Add additional salt if needed.
- Ladle into bowls and serve immediately.
- Add the white beans with their canning liquid to give the broth body and a creamier texture.
- Hold off seasoning with salt until the end – both the canned beans and the bacon are salty. Taste before serving and adjust with salt or pepper if needed.
This was delicious and super easy to make. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon with football playing on the tv in the background.
Can you make with veggie broth?
This recipe checks all the boxes for delicious, easy and healthy. That being said, I have one negative comment for you and all the other recipe bloggers that post recipes with imprecise main ingredients, which leaves amounts open to the readers’ interpretations i.e., recipe calls for 1 bunch of kale. So how much kale is 1 bunch? Is it 100 grams? is it
2 pounds? is it 3 cups? and so on. Same could be asked for the carrots, onion, and celery. I used what I considered to be 2 medium carrots. Turned out to be way too much carrots. But the recipe is so good otherwise it was still good, even with the over-abundance of carrots.
I got lucky with the kale. I used the leaves from 4 stems and it was fine.
Diane E Hamilton
I cooked this soup after my daughter didn’t want her bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich. I had lots of frozen kale from my garden and a can of canelli beans and some carrots from our garden. it was so good I ate the whole pot by myself!!!! I am making it again today but I can’t get my family to even taste it! you will be surprised that you can’t tast the kale! It just flavors it!