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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

White Bean Soup with Kale and Parmesan Cheese

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This hearty and delicious White Bean Soup with Kale and Parmesan Cheese is perfect for a an easy weeknight dinner. Great for a side, but filling enough to be a healthy main dish as well. Vegetarian, gluten-free and can easily be made vegan too!

white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and spoon - top vie

Kale is a classic leafy green vegetable, and when paired with white beans it makes for a satisfying, filling main meal! The first time I ate this soup was during a trip my husband and I took to Italy — we were traveling through Tuscany and were served this amazing Tuscan white bean soup at a small cafe near one of the wineries we had stopped at. We enjoyed it in the summer, but this soup could certainly be perfect for cold winter days as well! It’s one of those healthy recipes that is so versatile it works for just about any meal, any time of year.

Latest Recipe Video!

This easy recipe is perfect when served with some crusty bread, or as a side dish when you’re feeding a crowd. It’s naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, and can be made vegan simply by omitting the cheese on top. It’s easy to make in the Instant Pot as well, if you need a “set and forget” type of recipe!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy One Pot Meal
  • Vegetarian and Gluten Free
  • Easily Made Vegan
  • Great for a crowd
  • Super healthy
  • Filling and Satisfying
  • Great for meal prep – Tastes even better the next day!

How to Make This White Bean Soup Recipe

Ingredients

This simple soup recipe calls for everyday ingredients that can easily be found at your local grocery store! See recipe card below for exact quantities of ingredients.

white bean soup ingredients

Olive Oil and Fresh Garlic: Minced garlic sauteed in olive oil creates an aromatic base for this easy white bean soup.

Onion: You can use red onion or yellow onion in this recipe.

Kale: This tuscan soup wouldn’t be the same without some hearty greens! We used kale, but you can use baby spinach or even swiss chard or collard greens chopped finely for this soup!

Vegetable Broth: You could also use chicken broth but then this dish wouldn’t be vegetarian.

White Beans: I used a combination of cannellini beans (which are basically white kidney beans) and navy beans, but you can use any type of white beans you like!

Tomatoes: Fresh tomatoes add brightness and acidity to this recipe. If you don’t have tomatoes, you can also use 1 tbsp of tomato paste but it won’t have as fresh of a flavor.

Herbs and Spices: I used Dried Oregano, Dried Basil, Salt, Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper. But you can also use dried italian seasoning or add 1-2 bay leaves for additional flavor. Fresh herbs would work equally well in this recipe, you’ll just have to increase the amount of herbs you use since dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor than fresh.

Parmesan Cheese: Shredded parmesan cheese makes for a creamy topping for this soup. Omit this if you want make a vegan version of this comforting soup.

Equipment Needed

Instructions

Step 1: Chop all your veggies. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; sauté until soft.

onions and garlic sauteeing in a pot

Step 2: Add kale and sauté over medium heat, stirring, until wilted.

kale added to pot

Step 3: Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of beans, and all of the tomato, herbs, salt and pepper (crushed red pepper + black pepper). Simmer 5 minutes.

tomatoes beans broth spices added to pot with kale

Step 4: In a blender or food processor, mix the remaining beans and broth until they have a creamy texture. You can also just mashed the beans in the broth with a potato masher (I did this and it worked great), or use an immersion blender to combine. Stir into soup to thicken.

pureed beans being added to soup

Step 5: Simmer on low heat at least 15-30 minutes – until the kale has cooked to the texture you like.

Step 6: Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with parmesan cheese. For additional spice, add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes on top as well.

white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese - top view

Instant Pot Instructions

Step 1: Add garlic and onions to your instant pot and press sauté. When onions become translucent add kale and sauté, stirring, until wilted. Stop the sauté process by pressing cancel.

Step 2: Add 3 cups of veggie broth, 2 cups of whole beans, mashed beans with broth, and all of the tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper to the instant pot.

Step 3: Set to Manual High Pressure for 2 minutes. Natural release for 10 minutes, then manual release!

What Makes This Creamy White Bean Soup Healthy?

  • Vitamins and Nutrients: Kale is considered a superfood! It’s high in nutrients, and low in calories. It’s high in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and vitamin K. These nutrients help contribute to blood sugar control, lower risk of cancer, and reduce blood pressure. It’s also known to support skin, hair, and bone health.
  • High in Protein and Fiber: This recipe is high in plant-protein and fiber thanks to the white beans and kale in this soup. One serving of this soup has 17 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber (about 40% of your daily recommended fiber intake!)
  • Low Calorie: This recipe is perfect for healthy eating! This soup has only 300 calories and less than 5 grams of fat.
white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese with spoon on the side

Recipe FAQs

Is this soup kid friendly?

This soup has a beautiful creamy flavor with the mashed beans, as well as nice added texture with the kale. If your kids aren’t big fans of kale, simply leave out the kale when you ladle their serving. You can also chop the kale super fine and let it cook down even more while the soup is simmering, so that it “melts’ into the broth and picky kids are less likely to detect it. You could also replace the kale with baby spinach, which is easier and milder for kids to eat!

What variety of white beans work in this soup?

There are four main types of white beans. You may choose whichever type you prefer to prepare this soup. 
Navy Beans: A small oval shaped bean that cooks quickly. When cooked and mashed it creates a creamy consistency, becomes creamy which is why it’s perfect for soups when mashed.
Great Northern Beans: A medium size bean, larger than Navy Beans but smaller than Cannellini beans, they retain their shape and texture and take on the flavoring of dishes well, also making them a good choice for soups and stews.
Cannellini Beans: The largest bean, it’s often used in Italian cooking. They also keep their shape and texture. They’re often found in Minestrone soup recipes. 
Butterbeans or Baby Lima Beans: Small and creamy with a buttery like flavor. They are delicious in soups and stews and are often served simply with herbs and butter.

Serving Suggestions

  • Polenta “rounds” crisped in the oven
  • Crusty Whole Wheat Bread or Garlic bread – to scoop up all the goodness around your soup bowl. 
  • Light green salad with balsamic vinaigrette – for a lighter, more refreshing addition to round out this meal

Expert Tips

  • If you don’t have kale you can use baby spinach or any leafy green.
  • You can use any white bean in this soup! Choose from navy, cannellini, butterbeans or great northern beans.
  • To save time, follow the Instant Pot instructions in the recipe card!
  • You can use dry beans instead of canned. One 15 ounce can of beans equals ¾ cup dried beans, which means you will need 1 ½ cups of dried beans for this creamy white bean soup.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash the beans in the broth with a potato masher.
  • Allow enough time for the soup to simmer on the stove to meld all the flavors together. 
white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese - side view

More Delicious Soup Recipes!

If you have tried this Mediterranean White Bean Soup with Kale, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese - top view
Print Recipe
4.91 from 11 votes

White Bean and Kale Soup with Parmesan Cheese

This hearty and delicious White Bean and Kale Soup with Parmesan Cheese is perfect for a an easy dinner. Great for a side, but filling enough to be a healthy main dish as well. Vegetarian, gluten-free and can easily be made vegan!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian, Mediterranean
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 300kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

White Bean and Kale Soup:

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 4-6 cups chopped raw kale
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 30 oz white beans, such as cannellini or navy, rinsed and drained 2 cans
  • 4 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 Tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • Fresh shredded Parmesan 1 Tbsp per serving of soup

Instructions

  • Chop all your veggies. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; saute until soft.
  • Add kale and saute, stirring, until wilted.
  • Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of beans, and all of the tomato, herbs, salt and pepper (crushed red pepper + black pepper). Simmer 5 minutes.
  • In a blender or food processor, mix the remaining beans and broth until smooth. You can also just mashed the beans in the broth with a potato masher (I did this and it worked great). Stir into soup to thicken.
  • Simmer at least 15-30 minutes – until the kale has cooked to the texture you like.
  • Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with parmesan cheese

Instant Pot Directions

  • Add garlic and onions to your instant pot and press sauté. When onions become translucent add kale and sauté, stirring, until wilted. Stop the sauté process by pressing cancel.
  • Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of whole beans, mashed beans with broth, and all of the tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper to the instant pot.
  • Set to Manual High Pressure for 2 minutes. Do not touch for 10 minutes. Allow to slowly release. 

Video

https://youtu.be/UZeAhcnRq_A

Notes

Top Tips For Making White Bean and Kale Soup

  • If you don’t have kale you can use baby spinach
  • You can use any white bean in this soup! Choose from navy, cannellini, butterbeans or great northern beans.
  • To save time, follow the Instant Pot instructions in the recipe!
  • You can use dried beans instead of canned. One 15 ounce can of beans equals ¾ cup dried beans, which means you will need 1 ½ cups of dried beans for this recipe.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash the beans in the broth with a potato masher.
  • Allow enough time for the soup to simmer on the stove to meld all the flavors together. 

Nutrition

Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.7g | Protein: 17.1g | Fat: 4.6g | Sodium: 410mg | Fiber: 10.9g | Sugar: 2.5g

Posted In…

Soups ·

Soups can be hearty enough for a cozy winter meal, or fresh and light like my summery cucumber gazpacho. My family’s favorite option is the best vegetarian chili ever!

Whether you like your soups smooth or full of healthy chunks, my recipes will help you combine fresh, flavorful ingredients into a filling, balanced meal.

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