It’s finally winter here in Denver after an unseasonably hot fall. That means I’m ready for soups here at House Macheesmo and this Vegan White Bean Soup with Kale is on my mind. It’s healthy, hearty, and easy to make even with canned beans.
My guess is at some point in the next 4-6 weeks you might be on the lookout for a good, hearty soup and this White Bean Soup packed with vegetables, aromatics, and herbs, is just the thing to bring some warmth to your kitchen.
The soup reheats well also and makes for great weekday lunches! If you want some extra carbs, serve it with a hearty piece of bread.
Canned Or Dried Beans for Soup
You can honestly use either canned or dried beans for this soup. If you use dried beans, I’d recommend soaking them overnight and then adding them to your pot after you saute the vegetables.
The dried beans will need longer to cook and you should add an extra few cups of liquid to make sure they have enough to cook.
For a quicker weeknight version though, I just use canned beans for this soup. Three cans is about right and I like to drain and rinse mine. Some people recommend using the liquid from the cans in the soup, but I like my soup base a little cleaner so I always drain it off.
- Need another great canned soup recipe? Check out my Easy Black Bean Tortilla Soup!
What kind of white beans work in this soup?
For my money, I like to use cannellini beans for my soup. They are a good size and are tender without being mushy. Note that Cannellini beans are often labeled as white kidney beans. They are the same thing and can be used interchangeably.
Other options for this soup would be navy beans or possibly even pinto beans, but I would only use those if I had no cannellini beans in my pantry and didn’t want to make a trip to the store.
- Need a hearty soup for New Years? Try my black-eyed pea soup for good luck!
Ingredients for the White Bean Soup
This soup is easy to stir together and I like how hearty and healthy it is. While I’m far from a vegan, it feels good to have some veg-packed meals at the ready.
The ingredients for this soup start with carrots and celery, which I keep in decent chunks for this soup. This keeps them from falling apart as they cook.
Once those have cooked for a few minutes in olive oil over meidum heat with some diced onion and minced garlic, you can add the spices along with the white beans and broth. I added some fresh rosemary as well, but you can skip it if you don’t have it or do a pinch of dried rosemary.
Let that simmer for about 20 minutes which should be long enough for the vegetables to soften.
Finishing the soup
As an optional step for this soup, remove a few cups of the soup then blend it until smooth. Then add it back into the pot. This will create a thicker, creamier base for the soup. You could also use an immersion blender to blend up part of the soup. Just be careful not to over blend the soup as it shouldn’t be completely smooth.
That will leave you with a creamy white bean soup, which some people prefer.
If that’s too much work, it’s fine! Just leave it chunky!
At the very end of cooking, add in the kale and you are almost done!
Once the kale has wilted for a few minutes, season the white bean soup with a dash of soy sauce, salt, and pepper and you are ready to serve it.
Big chunks of crusty bread is all you need to serve alongside the soup!
Substitutions for this soup
This is a pretty flexible soup. Here are some alternative versions that you might want to try.
- Add a splash of coconut milk along with the vegetable broth to make the soup even creamier, while keeping it vegan.
- For a slightly more Italian version of this soup, add some canned tomatoes and Italian seasoning while the soup is cooking.
- Clean out the fridge for veggies you can add to this soup. Zucchini is really nice in it. Substitute spinach for the kale if you have that.Get creative!
- If you aren’t concerned with keeping the soup vegan, add some parmesan cheese to the soup before serving. It gives the soup a nice salty, cheesy flavor boost.
Storing and reheating the soup
This soup reheats perfectly. You can freeze it for up to six months in an airtight freezer-safe container or just store it in the fridge for a week or so. Reheat it gently on the stove with a splash of water for best results or in the microwave in a pinch.
I love how chunky and delicious this vegan white bean soup was. Believe it or not, even my kids were into dipping the bread into the soup and picking out the veggies they liked.
Hopefully, you aren’t in quarantine, but no matter what you should serve up this warming soup during these cold days!
- Want another hearty soup option? Try this Greek Lentil Soup!
Vegan White Bean Soup with Kale
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 medium carrots, about 2 cups, half coins
- 4 celery ribs, about 2 cups, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 15-ounce cans white Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 bunch purple kale, stems removed and diced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Good bread, for serving
- In a sturdy pot, like a dutch oven, over medium heat, add olive oil along with onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 4-5 minutes until vegetables start to soften.
- Add in garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary, bay leaf, and drained and rinsed white beans. Add vegetable stock and bring to a slight simmer. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes until vegetables are soft.
- Optionally, remove 2-3 cups of the soup and transfer it to a blender. Blend until smooth and return to the pot. This will thicken the soup. You can skip this step if you want a chunkier soup.
- Add chopped kale to the soup and let cook for a few minutes to wilt the kale. Season soup with soy sauce, salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve soup with lots of crusty bread.
- Leftover soup keeps well in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop. Soup freezes well also. Store in a freezer-safe container for three months.