White Bean and Kale Soup

White Bean and Kale Soup

This time of year I’m normally ready to begin to transition to my cooler weather wardrobe and recipes. However, we’ve had nothing but smoky skies and record breaking temperatures lately. It’s a haunting reminder of the October 2017 Tubbs wildfire that took our home and everything we owned. I feel a dichotomy of normalcy as I sit here in my newly rebuilt home. Same lot, different house, same neighborhood, no trees, same hot wind of that night, when it should be cooler. The new normal for September and October in Northern California, of fires and grey smoke-filled skies, doesn’t feel like the evenings of this time yesteryear but does feel like Halloween is around the corner. So the question is what to cook? Do I transitions to soups, stews and pumpkin pie just because the weather should be transitioning? Well… I’m pretty darn traditional so my answer is a resounding yes!

white bean and kale soup
White Bean and Kale Soup

I chose this savory bowl of beans, potatoes, kale and herbs to make for dinner tonight. This soup cooks quickly so won’t heat up the house. The flavor is so robust that it’s hard to believe it didn’t sit on the back of the stove simmering all day.

This recipe calls for cannellini beans. If you have the time I would recommend using dried beans, over canned, because they are more cost effective, will produce less gas and are tastier. They have a fuller and butterier flavor. The drawback is the time it takes to prepare the beans before you start the actual recipe. If you’re like me and forget to soak the beans the night before, here is a quick-soak method:

Rinse the beans, then put in a saucepan, cover with an inch of water, and bring to a boil. Boil for a few minutes and then let them soak for an hour off the heat, drain and rinse, and then add fresh water and continue cooking. Soaked cannellini will cook in 60 to 90 minutes.

White Beans, Kale, Lemon Zest
white beans, chopped kale, lemon zest

Beans are high in fiber, nutrients and antioxidants. Unfortunately they can be difficult to digest. To make them easier to digest (and produce less gas) it’s important to rinse the beans three times and very, very well each time. This will help to remove a good amount of the enzymes and sugar coating from the beans that causes the gas. Rinse, with a colander, once before you soak them, once after soaking and once after cooking/before using them in a recipe.

Whether you choose to soak or use canned beans the end result will be a delicious, savory soup to enjoy this night as the leaves begin to turn and we transition to fall.

White Bean and Kale Soup

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Recipe by Jackie’s Veggie Kitchen Course: Dinner, Lunch, Soup

2 -3

Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 Tbs. butter (I use Earth Balance Soy Free)

  • 1 cup diced yellow onion (I use a food processor)

  • 4 cloves fresh garlic minced

  • 3 cups vegetable broth (I use Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base)

  • 2 cups red potatoes diced

  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary

  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme

  • 3 cups chopped kale (stem removed)

  • 2 cups cannellini beans (1 15oz can)

  • 1 tsp. lemon zest

  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  • In a stockpot over medium heat, cook onions and garlic in butter, stirring occasionally, until onions start to turn translucent, 3 minutes or so.
  • Add vegetable broth, potatoes, rosemary and thyme to pot. Increase heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes
  • stir in cannellini beans, lemon zest and kale. Cook until kale has wilted. Season with plenty of salt and pepper.


  • For variation try hot sauce to taste.

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  1. Teri Conrad (Brown)

    Hi Jackie. I am enjoying your stories and have printed several recipes to try. I didn’t realize that you were affected by the Tubbs Fire. I am so sorry to hear this. My aunt Sheila also lost her home and everything she owned in this fire three years ago. I recall sending her many supplies and clothes to help tide her over as she was beginning to rebuild her life. I hate that you guys are going through this again with the current wildfires. It will begin cooling down here in north central Arkansas (the Ozarks) where I live. So I am looking forward to making this soup recipe. Plus, I have a ton of kale that I really don’t like and think this will be a good use for it. I hate throwing things away.

    • Teri,
      Thank you for your comment! I hope your aunt is back in her home and doing ok. It is unnerving having so many fires lately. I’m glad you like my posts and recipes. I would love to hear how the soup turns out. I’m curious, how did you come across my blog? It’s so new so I’m excited to have someone as far away as the Ozarks find it!

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