White Bean Soup is a classic favorite, perfect for warming you up on cool fall and winter evenings. It showcases creamy cannellini beans, hearty greens, and aromatic herbs, resulting in a filling and flavorful bowl. Pair it with some crusty bread for a simple yet satisfying meal!Jump to Recipe
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Budget-friendly: This white bean and kale soup is made with everyday pantry staples, meaning you don’t need to spend a small fortune on ingredients!
- Packed with nutrition: You can feel good about fueling your body with protein and fiber-packed beans and nutrient-dense kale and veggies.
- Quick & easy: This white bean soup recipe is ready in 40 minutes! It’s perfect for busy weeknight dinners when you’re short on time.
Heartwarming white bean soup
Whipping up this white bean soup has become one of my go-to moves, especially on busy weekdays. It’s incredibly easy to make and perfect for meal prep too! The combination of creamy cannellini beans and rich Yukon gold potatoes is pure comfort in a bowl.
Plus, carrots, onions, and celery lend a subtle touch of sweetness and texture that balances the other flavors. And if you’re a heat lover, this soup has the perfect kick from red pepper flakes. You can feel free to add more or less based on your preference!
Serve your soup with a side of crusty bread, Spanish tomato bread, or spicy cucumber salad for a well-rounded meal. Or, freeze it to enjoy later! Just portion it out into freezer-safe containers, and you’ll have ready-made meals for any hectic weeks ahead.
Ingredients & substitutions
- Olive oil: To sauté the veggies and add richness. If you prefer, you can substitute olive oil with butter or other neutral vegetable oils.
- Mirepoix: White or yellow onions, carrots, and celery lay a foundational flavor in this white bean and kale soup. You can also try leeks, shallots, or bell peppers.
- Garlic: Provides a savory aroma and depth of flavor. Garlic powder can be used in a pinch if you don’t have any fresh cloves on hand, but I highly suggest fresh garlic here.
- Cannellini beans: Have a creamy texture and a mild flavor that works perfectly in soup. No cannellini beans on hand? Try great northern beans, lima beans, or navy beans.
- Yukon Gold potatoes: Add body and a buttery mouthfeel to the soup. Feel free to use russet or red potatoes, depending on what you have available.
- Seasonings: Oregano imparts an earthy flavor, bay leaves add aromatic depth, and red pepper flakes give a slight kick. You can also try thyme, basil, rosemary, or cayenne pepper if you prefer.
- Vegetable broth: Builds the soup base. Both homemade or store-bought will work. Or, chicken broth will also work as a substitute.
- Baby kale: I prefer baby kale for an extra tender texture, but regular kale, spinach, or Swiss chard can be used instead.
- Parsley: To add a pop of color for the garnish. Cilantro or chives are also great choices.
How to make white bean soup
- Cook the aromatics: Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot, then cook the onions for a few minutes followed by the carrots and celery. Lastly, add salt and garlic to the mixture.
- Build the base: Pop the potatoes, seasonings, and broth into the pot. Let the soup come to a boil before lowering the heat to a simmer for around 10 minutes.
- Add the beans: Gently add the drained and rinsed beans, letting them cook and absorb the flavors for a few minutes.
- Final touches: Turn off the heat, then add in the baby kale and let it wilt. Garnish this white bean and kale soup with chopped parsley for a vibrant finishing touch.
White bean soup is filling enough to enjoy on its own, but who doesn’t love a good soup and bread pairing? Try yours with a slice of sourdough, homemade focaccia, or any crusty bread.
Frequently asked questions
If your soup is too watery, let it simmer uncovered for a little longer to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Alternatively, you can blend a portion of the soup to create a thicker base.
If you’re using canned beans, a hard texture shouldn’t be an issue. However, if you started with dried beans that you soaked and cooked yourself, they might not have been cooked long enough. You can continue to simmer the soup until they soften.
Storage & reheating
If you have any leftover white bean and kale soup, follow these storage and reheating tips:
- Fridge: Store the cooled white bean soup in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: This soup freezes extremely well! Portion it into airtight single-serving containers and freeze it for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: If frozen, thaw the soup in the fridge overnight. Then, warm it on the stovetop over medium-low, adding a splash of broth or water if needed.
- Protein-packed: Add diced chicken or sausage to increase the protein content.
- Tex Mex: Mix in corn, black beans, and cumin for a hearty Tex Mex flavor.
- Creamy: Add a splash of coconut milk or cream for a richer broth.
- Grains: Stir in some cooked quinoa or barley for a more filling meal.
- Veggies: Mix in zucchini, bell peppers, or peas to increase the veggie count.
- Seafood: Add shrimp or clams for a seafood variation.
- Soak dried beans: If you’re using dried beans, soaking them overnight can help reduce the cooking time and make them more digestible.
- Let it simmer: Allow enough simmering time to meld the flavors together.
- Avoid overcooking: You want to ensure the veggies are tender while still maintaining some texture. Check them frequently to avoid overcooking them.
- Prevent browning aromatics: Mirepoix vegetables (onions, carrots, and celery) are meant to be softened, not caramelized. Adjust the heat as they cook to prevent them from browning.
Looking for more soup recipes?
If you enjoyed this white bean and kale soup recipe, be sure to check out some more warming soups like these:
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- Chicken and Dumplings Soup
- Keto Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup
- Sausage Tortellini Soup with Kale
If you try this White Bean Soup let me know what you think! Rate and review this recipe in the comments below. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me on Instagram @lenaskitchenblog!
Hearty White Bean Soup
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium carrots chopped into coins
- 2 celery stalks diced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt more to taste
- 3 15 ounce cans cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 2 large yukon gold potatoes diced
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cups baby kale
- 1 tablespoon parsley finely chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for about 3 minutes.
- Turn up the heat to medium. Add the carrots and celery and sauté for another 5 minutes. Season with salt. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the potatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, and vegetable broth.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Rinse and drain the beans, add them to the pot, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Remove the lid and discard the bay leaves.
- Add in the baby kale and stir until it's wilted.
- Garnish the soup with chopped parsley and enjoy with crusty bread.