For the ultimate healthy comfort food, indulge in a bowl of this easy Kale Soup. It’s a one-pot meal made with a nourishing, yet flavor-packed blend of kale, white beans, tomatoes, and Italian seasonings. Plus, it’s so hearty and satisfying, you’ll never know it’s vegetarian!
If you hate wasting leafy greens as much as I do, then you’ll love this vegetable kale soup recipe. It’s a hearty and nourishing meal, and the best way to use up the bunches of kale in your fridge!
This vegetarian kale soup is made with simple, wholesome ingredients, but you’d never know that it’s healthy from taste alone. Made with a blend of white beans, kale, tomatoes, Italian herbs, and aromatics, its flavors are almost addictively comforting and will always warm you up on chilly days.
Best of all, it’s an easy one-pot meal that makes for delicious leftovers or a healthy meal prep option. Serve it with a hearty Prime Rib Sandwich on the side, and you have a well-rounded and satisfying meal!
Why You’ll Love this White Bean and Kale Soup
- It’s unbelievably easy to make. Just toss the ingredients in a pot, let them simmer, then serve!
- The wholesome and nourishing ingredients make this white bean kale soup deliciously satisfying.
- Whip it together for a quick and comforting dinner or save the leftovers for later. It’s perfect for meal prep!
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion and garlic – Two aromatics that start the soup with a savory baseline of flavor.
- Kale – This recipe for kale soup works with any type of kale you like. Use curly kale, lacinato kale, or purple kale! Anything goes.
- Vegetable broth – Or use chicken broth or beef broth if you don’t need the soup to be vegetarian/vegan.
- Diced tomatoes
- White beans – I used canned cannellini beans but chickpeas and Great Northern beans are just as tasty.
- Potatoes – Russet potatoes soften nicely, but hold their shape when simmered in soup. Yukon Gold potatoes are another great choice.
- Italian seasoning – Use store-bought or make your own homemade Italian seasoning.
- Bay leaf – A bay leaf works its magic to upgrade the herbaceous flavors. Just remember to take it out of the soup at the end!
- Salt and pepper
How to Make Kale Soup
For the detailed instructions, please see the recipe card.
- Sauté the onions and garlic in a large oiled soup pot over medium-high heat until they’re soft.
- Stir in the kale and let the leaves wilt.
- Pour the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, carrots, potatoes, Italian seasoning, and bay leaf into the pot. Bring the mixture up to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Cover the pot with a lid and let the soup simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender.
- To finish, adjust the seasonings as needed and discard the bay leaf. Serve and enjoy!
5 Star Review“This soup is delicious and I plan on making it again.” ~ Patricia
Tips and Tricks
- Wondering how to cook kale for soup? Tear the leaves off of the stems, give them a coarse chop, and throw them in the pot. There’s no need to steam or blanch kale for vegetable soup because the simmering broth perfectly tenderizes and cooks the leaves.
- Give it a somewhat creamy, smooth, and luxurious texture by blending half of the batch with an immersion blender or regular blender.
- To take this delicious soup a step further, sprinkle every bowl with Parmesan cheese, add buttery croutons on top, and serve crusty French bread or a comforting Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwich on the side. Totally satisfying!
Bulk it up with meat
Cannellini beans pack this soup with plant-based protein, but if you’re looking for more, add diced or shredded chicken breasts, sliced Italian sausage, meatballs, bacon, or leftover roasted turkey into the batch.
Add more vegetables
The amount of vegetables you can add to this soup is almost limitless. Besides kale and the other veggies, add in zucchini, celery, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, green peas, corn kernels, or any other veggies you like or have on hand.
Make it a kale noodle soup
Just like classic chicken noodle soup, egg noodles or short-cut pasta noodles are always welcome in vegetable soup with kale.
Pro tip: Cook the noodles separately from the soup, especially if you plan on saving the leftovers for later or if you’re making this for meal prep. When the noodles and soup are ready, store them in separate airtight containers in the fridge. It’s the best way to avoid soggy noodles!
Cook the white beans yourself
Freshly cooked dried beans are much more flavorful than canned beans. If you have the time, I recommend cooking them yourself on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot before stirring them into the soup.
Upgrade it with fresh herbs
Substitute the dry Italian seasonings for a bouquet of fresh basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, and/or sage. Tie your bouquet garni (herb bouquet) with kitchen twine and let it simmer in the soup to infuse it with vibrant restaurant-quality flavors.
Give it a fiery kick
If you like a little heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne when you add the Italian seasonings, substitute the diced tomatoes for a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, or saute spicy Italian sausage in the pot before cooking the soup. These fiery flavors pair well with the Italian-inspired ingredients but are mild enough to please picky eaters or sensitive palates.
- Refrigerator: Once it’s cooled, transfer the leftover soup to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- Freezer: Freeze the soup in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Before serving, let the leftovers defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a pot on the stove or in the microwave.
More Vegetable Soup Recipes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 bunch kale (8 to 12 ounces) rinsed, large stems removed and coarsely chopped
- 1 (32 ounce) container vegetable broth
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained
- 2 (15.5 ounce) cans cannellini beans undrained
- 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots (sliced ¼ inch thick) 3 to 4 carrots
- 3 russet potatoes peeled and sliced into bite size pieces (about ½ inch cubes) about 4 cups
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon salt more or less, to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper more or less, to taste
- Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a 6 quart Dutch oven or soup pot. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until onions are soft, stirring constantly.
- Add kale and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, carrots, potatoes, Italian seasoning and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer (medium low to low).
- Cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Season with desired amounts of salt and pepper. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving.
- This recipe yields approximately 14 cups.
- Cannellini beans can be substituted with great northern beans.
- Vegetable broth can be substituted with chicken broth, but will not be vegetarian.
- Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
- Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and reheat.
If provided, nutritional info is a courtesy, is not guaranteed and should only be considered as a guideline.
This recipe was originally published February 2016. Photos and text updated September 2023.