Italian White Bean and Kale Soup

Italian White Bean and Kale Soup

Garlic, fennel and dried red chilies combine in a simple but perfect seasoning for this beautiful hearty and warming Italian bean and kale soup. Cannellini beans — also known as white kidney beans — are essential to lightly seasoned Italian recipes like this for their own rich flavor and texture, so make sure to look for them if you don't already have some instead of substituting navy beans.

Italian white bean and kale soupItalian White Bean and Kale Soup
Recipe by
Cuisine: Italian
Published on February 13, 2008

A simple, nourishing, warming and perfectly seasoned italian cannellini bean and kale soup

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 to 50 minutes

Print this recipePrint this recipe
  • 1 1/4 cups dried cannellini beans (3 1/2 cups cooked or 2 14 oz cans)
  • 1 lb (450 g) fresh kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 dried whole red chilies, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices and toasted
  • Soak the beans overnight in a medium saucepan covered with several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a medium or large saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 to 60 minutes until the beans are tender but still firm. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

  • Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the kale and cook for just 3 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Plunge the cooked kale into the ice bath for a few moments, then drain and set aside.

  • Once the beans are cooked and set aside along with some of their cooking liquid, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, chilies and fennel seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 more minutes.

  • Stir in the vegetable stock, tomato and beans along with the reserved cooking liquids from the beans and kale. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until the beans are soft.

  • Stir in the salt and fresh ground black pepper and taste for seasoning. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the kale.

  • Serve hot or warm in wide shallow soup bowls with a piece of toasted Italian bread on top

Makes 6 servings

Italian White Bean and Kale Soup


Anonymous said...

Gosh this looks good Lisa. I do love kale and garlic, fennel, chilli and white beans are other favourite foods. We're not quite in the season for soup, here in Australia - but I shall be keeping this for a couple of months from now, when it will be perfect!

Kalai said...

Looks light and delicious, Lisa! Totally my kind of soup. :)

test it comm said...

That soup looks good. I have been wanting to try using kale more often.

Anonymous said...

What a unique combination of ingredients here! I love kale in any form, so I'm sure I'd enjoy this!

Peter M said...

Soups like this keep me friendly with still has to fill the belly, ya know!

Astra Libris said...

I am so excited to discover your fabulous blog! This soup sounds especially delicious, and your photos are scrumptious...

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

I didn't know that cannellini beans were called white kidney beans, but now that you mention it, it does make sense! Lovely!

Cakespy said...

Kale is one of my favorite, favorite things. This looks absolutely delicious.

Antonio Sabatino Broccoli said...

This recipe sounds great grandmother would make something similar but with swiss chards...brings back memories...Italian Meditteranian dishes have a wide variety of vegetable fresh and so healthy..thnx for sharing here...ciao Antonio Sabatino Broccoli (yes that is my real last name)

Anonymous said...

We love this soup!!! Loads of flavor with just a little bite!