Hearty and comforting, this white bean and kale soup recipe deserves a spot in your winter rotation. Crunchy homemade croutons take it over the top.
This kale soup recipe is exactly what I’m craving these days: comfort food + tons of veggies, all rolled into one. Its creamy broth (which, by the way, is thickened with blended white beans, not heavy cream) is swimming with tender kale and aromatics like onions, carrots, and celery. Rosemary and thyme add piney flavor, and a squeeze of lemon juice gives it the perfect bright finish. If you’re looking for a dish that is equal parts cozy, healthy, and delicious, look no further. This kale soup is it!
How to Make Kale Soup
You can find the complete kale soup recipe with measurements below, but here’s a little overview of the process:
First, sauté the aromatics. Heat a big glug of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Then, add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and several grinds of pepper. Cook until the veggies are soft and fragrant, 8 minutes or so.
Next, add the beans and broth and simmer for 20 minutes. You can use cooked dried beans or canned white beans to make this recipe. I definitely recommend cooking your own if you can, because beans cooked from scratch are far more flavorful than canned ones. However, if you do use canned, this first simmer will give the beans a chance to soak up some flavor. The same goes for the vegetable broth. Use store-bought, or make your own! If you cook your own beans, you could also use the bean cooking liquid instead of broth.
Then, blend half the soup. Scoop it into an upright blender and blend until smooth. Stir the creamy puree back into the soup pot.
Finally, add the kale and lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until the kale wilts. If needed, add water to thin the soup to your desired consistency. Season to taste and serve!
Kale Soup Recipe Tips
- When it comes to the kale, anything goes. I often make this recipe with curly kale, but Tuscan kale, or lacinato kale, would be lovely here too. No kale on hand? You could swap in another hardy green, such as Swiss chard.
- Adjust the consistency to your liking. This kale soup recipe requires a little tweaking at the end. The type of white bean you use (cannellini beans, great northern beans, and navy beans all work great!) and how much soup you blend will affect how thick the soup is when you stir the puree back into the pot. If it’s too thick, don’t worry about it! Add water, 1/2 cup at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Season to taste. Once the soup reaches your desired level of creaminess, don’t forget to season to taste! After you adjust the consistency, you might need to add more lemon juice, salt, and/or pepper to make the flavors sing.
- Save some for later. This white bean and kale soup keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, though it will thicken as it sits. You’ll likely need to thin it with a bit of water or stock when you’re reheating it. For longer storage, freeze the soup for up to 3 months.
White Bean and Kale Soup Serving Suggestions
Packed with protein and fiber from the white beans, this kale soup recipe is a satisfying meal on its own. Before digging in, top your bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh parsley. A little Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes would be delicious toppings too. You also can’t go wrong with homemade croutons, which offer a wonderful crunchy contrast to the creamy soup. If you skip them, make sure to serve the soup with good crusty bread instead.
Want something else on the side? The kale soup recipe pairs nicely with a salad. Serve it with any of these recipes:
More Favorite Kale Recipes
If you love this kale and white bean soup recipe, try one of these fresh kale recipes next:
Want more cozy soup recipes? Find 35 of our favorites here!
Serves 4 to 6
Filled with aromatic veggies and creamy white beans, this kale soup recipe is a hearty, comforting vegetarian meal. Vegan and gluten-free.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4½ cups cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 6 cups chopped kale leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Homemade croutons, for serving
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, rosemary, salt, thyme, and several grinds of pepper. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened. Add the beans and broth. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Transfer half the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Stir the puree back into the pot and add the kale and lemon juice. Cook, stirring, until the kale is wilted, about 5 minutes. If the soup is too thick, stir in water, ½ cup at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. Season to taste (I usually add another ¼ teaspoon salt at this point) and serve with a drizzle of olive oil, croutons, and fresh parsley for garnish.