October 30, 2014

Lemony Kale and White Bean Soup

Lemony Kale and White Bean Soup | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

In the late afternoon, before the ever-earlier evenings steal the last bits of our luminous, Northern, blue light, I’ve been in the habit of taking the pup to the off-leash dog park near our house.

Yesterday, the Honey was home a bit early from work and we bundled up to go; me in thermal tights, a long sweater, down jacket, thick cashmere/wool socks, fleece boots, and double-wrapped scarf, him in jeans and a t-shirt. Only slight hyperbole.

We walked the perimeter of the park – a mile or so through tall grass, past fading, wild, blackberry bushes and overhanging lichen-flecked pines. The pup ran spastic, looping circles ahead of us, stopping every few yards to look back and make sure we were following. We’d hit the park a little later than usual, and with the sun quickly setting, had it mostly to ourselves. The air was still and chilly. Peaceful. The scent of pine linger-

“Noooooooo… not in the – ughhhhh.” The Honey sighed, defeatedly.

Lemony Kale and White Bean Soup | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

The pup had stopped. The mud puddle his paws stood planted in extended across both edges of the path, and looked at least a few inches deep. As if to signal with full certainty that this was not in fact an accident, he plopped down into it, legs outstretched, and happily wiggled, properly covering his entire belly in the dark, murky goo. He wallowed there, looking particularly pleased with himself, until we caught up to him, and ruined all of the glorious fun.

As we made our way back to the parking lot, the pup dripping with sludge water, and planned our tag-team, backyard, freezing water hose-off, I took some consolation in the fact that we had several clean dog towels, and, more importantly, dinner was already cooked and waiting for us – and it was this flavorful, nourishing, kale and white bean soup.

Lemony Kale and White Bean Soup | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoonLemony Kale and White Bean Soup | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

The base of this white bean soup starts with quick caramelized onions, which are layered upon with garlic, lemon and dried herbs – rosemary, thyme and Greek oregano – before simmering away in a rich chicken stock. You’ll want to use the most flavorful stock you can find – or better yet make your own – as it forms a bulk of the soup’s flavor.

For time and convenience’s sake, I used canned (precooked) beans, but you could certainly substitute dried beans (simply increase the volume of stock and cooking time). I generally prefer Lacinato kale – the more delicate, darker-hued, flatter-leafed, Italian variety – also sometimes called Tuscan kale or Tuscan cabbage. It can also be referred to as dinosaur kale, due to the bumpy, reptilian quality of the leaves, which, is probably my favorite moniker.

If kale isn’t your thing (it took me awhile to jump on the bandwagon), try using subtler greens. Spinach and Swiss Chard come to mind, but really any dark leafy green will be well suited to this lemony, garlicky soup.

Lemony Kale and White Bean Soup | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

5.0 from 8 reviews
Lemony Kale and White Bean Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe by:
Yield: 4 Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow or sweet onion, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 small lemon, juiced
  • 4 cups (32 oz) rich chicken or vegetable stock
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 (15 oz) cans cooked cannelini beans, drained (not rinsed)
  • 1-1/2 cups (loosely-packed) kale (or sub. spinach or Swiss chard), removed from rough stems and torn into small pieces
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add the butter, and as it melts, stir in the herbs. Let cook for another minute or two until the onions are lightly golden.
  2. Add the lemon juice followed by the stock and stir to combine. Cover, and bring the stock to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, and let simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Add the white beans and torn kale leaves, and continue to simmer until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes. If using a more delicate green, such as spinach, add right before serving. Serve warm with crusty bread.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 324g, Fat: 6.4g, Carbohydrates: 46.75, Fiber: 13g, Protein: 22.3g

 

 

 

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64 Comments

  • Reply
    April
    March 9, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    Great base recipe! It’s so versatile. I added a can of roasted tomato, a red bell pepper, and some Greek lamb sausage. The lemon really brightens the dish. I also added fresh parsley at the end.

  • Reply
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    […] Forkknifeswoon.com said to add butter, onion, garlic and herbs. Then some lemon juice and stock, stirring to combine. Add the white beans and torn kale leaves, and continue to simmer until warmed through, about 3-5 minutes. […]

  • Reply
    SophieMTL
    October 19, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    This soup is amazing !! I just eat this the moment i type it ! the lemon juice change everything !! Thanks for the recipe !!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks so much, Sophie!!

  • Reply
    Cat
    October 16, 2016 at 8:35 am

    I was craving a twist on this hearty soup, and I love the citric *twist* the lemon adds!!
    Reading your story was just as nourishing. I’m a Seattle Native, living in LA and feeling nostalgic for my drizzly Northwest on this cool, cloudy weekend… that will, of course, be followed by an unseasonably nasty heatwave.

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 16, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      Thanks, Cat! So happy to hear that!

  • Reply
    Carrie
    October 11, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Made this for lunch. Amazing! It is perfect and quick as written but next time I will make my beans from scratch as I think they are much more flavorful than canned. Thanks for a keeper!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 11, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      That’s so nice to hear! Thank, Carrie! 🙂

  • Reply
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    […] Forkknifeswoon.com’s Lemony Kale and White Bean soup gave me ideas for the types of herbs and spices I could use to add flavor to the base. Sidebar: what is up with the price of lemons and avocados right now? A regular size lemon was $1.25 the last time I went to the grocery store and a haas avocado is $1.99! […]

    • Reply
      Johanna
      September 19, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Whoa! I just stopped by your post again to leave a comment and let you know this recipe helped me come up with my own and that I mentioned your post on my blog 🙂

      Thanks for the inspiration!

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  • Reply
    Danah
    August 16, 2016 at 8:52 am

    This was SO delicious! I added cubed sweet potato as the broth was simmering, along with cumin (I love cumin with lemon) and it was incredible. Served it alongside bread and it was a huge hit! Thank you for sharing (:

    Danah

    • Reply
      Laura
      August 16, 2016 at 9:58 am

      I’ve never thought to add sweet potatoes, but that combination sounds so cozy and delicious! Thanks, Danah!

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  • Reply
    Jesús
    March 6, 2016 at 9:18 am

    Muy buena ls presentación

    • Reply
      Laura
      March 6, 2016 at 1:02 pm

      Thank you, Jesús!

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  • Reply
    Meryl
    February 17, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    This soup recipe is perfect! I have made this soup five times in the past 12 weeks–I can hardly get enough of it. It’s rich in flavor, nourishing, but not heavy on the tummy.

    • Reply
      Laura
      February 24, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      Thank you so much, Meryl!! So glad to hear you are enjoying this one – it’s one of my very favorites this time of year, too.

  • Reply
    Londsey
    January 24, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Yum! I didn’t have an onion or chicken broth, so I used dried onion and veggie broth with a chicken bouillon. I also added chunks of cooked dark chicken meat with the kale. My kids gobbled 2 servings each! Perfect winter soup while watching the NFC Championship game!! Thank you!

    • Reply
      Laura
      January 26, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Thanks, Londsey! So glad to hear you and the little ones loved the soup!

  • Reply
    Barbara
    November 12, 2015 at 6:03 am

    I made this yesterday. It was a perfect soup for a fall day. I think the ratio of ingredients was very thoughtful. I usually approach soup and salads as an artistic “no recipe required” endeavor. That ends up great sometimes and sometimes the result is heavy handed on the herbs and just a muddy concoction. This soup is bright and lemony and earthy at the same time. No overpowering flavors. Thanks for sharing. I’m so happy I found your blog!

    • Reply
      Laura
      November 13, 2015 at 12:47 pm

      Thanks so much, Barbara! I’m so happy to have you as a reader!

  • Reply
    Lisa
    October 10, 2015 at 9:50 am

    My mom made a vegan version of this for some bands we were hosting. It was so popular at lunch, they asked us if they could have it again with dinner. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 10, 2015 at 10:17 am

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks, Lisa!

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  • Reply
    Sherry
    April 20, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    I think the secret it to let it sit a few days before eating. I tried some right away after making it and did not like it at all, tasted very flat. But after a few days, it transformed, infused with lemon, and now I can’t eat enough of it. Very yummy and I’m so happy I found another great recipe for kale/garden greens!

  • Reply
    Amy
    March 29, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    What is the serving size of this soup to match the nutritional info? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Melissa
    January 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    So delicious! I added some sliced fennel that I had on hand which was so yummy. Thanks for this simple, hearty recipe!

    • Reply
      Laura
      January 31, 2015 at 9:02 am

      Thanks, Melissa! Will definitely have to try with fennel!

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  • Reply
    Ellen G
    December 20, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I only had 1 can of beans. Since it’s too cold and I am too lazy to go to back the store, I used sliced mushrooms to substitute for that missing can. Delicious.

    • Reply
      Laura
      December 20, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Thanks, Ellen! So glad you enjoyed!

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Appu
    December 8, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Just read about ur blog. Immediate and instant fan. Loved the way u write. And express. All the best.

  • Reply
    Kelly - A Side of Sweet
    November 8, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Oh.my.gosh. This soup looks absolutely divine. Pinning this so I can make it this week!

    • Reply
      Laura
      November 10, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Thanks, Kelly! Hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Christine // my natural kitchen
    November 3, 2014 at 10:02 am

    This sounds like the perfect dinner on a chilly day! I love warming and hearty soups now that the temperatures are dropping (we even had our first snow on the weekend!).

    • Reply
      Laura
      November 3, 2014 at 11:32 am

      Thank you, Christine!!

  • Reply
    Oriana @Mommyhood's Diary
    November 3, 2014 at 7:11 am

    I love beans!!! This soup sounds like dinner tonight. Pinned!

    • Reply
      Laura
      November 3, 2014 at 11:32 am

      Me too! Thank you, Oriana!

  • Reply
    Rachel @ Bakerita
    November 2, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Soup is the best during the winter, and this kale and white bean soup sounds amazing! I especially love the lemon in there.

    • Reply
      Laura
      November 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks, Rachel!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    November 1, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Perfect fall/winter comfort food. Just pinned! Beautiful photos too!

    • Reply
      Laura
      November 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you, Kelly!

  • Reply
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    October 31, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Bean and kale soup is one of my absolute favorites! With this being a chilly night I’d love to curl up with this!

    • Reply
      Laura
      November 2, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Thanks, Pamela!

  • Reply
    Laura
    October 31, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Me too! Soup is just about all I want to eat for dinner this time of year…

  • Reply
    Kim Ramseyer
    October 31, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Thanks Laura! I’m trying to cook/eat/grow more beans.

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 31, 2014 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks, Kim! What kind of beans are you growing?

  • Reply
    Patty B
    October 31, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Oh, looks yummy! I love bean soups but especially navy bean soups, so I ‘m going to try this with navy beans soon!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 31, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Thanks, Patty!! I hope you enjoy!

  • Reply
    Chris @ Shared Appetite
    October 31, 2014 at 8:34 am

    This soup is gorgeous! Perfect fall weather comfort food. Pinned!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 31, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Thank you, Chris!!

  • Reply
    Lydia Plunk
    October 31, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Love the imagery …. if the soup is half as good as the dog story, it’s a winner. Definitely cooking this weekend.

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 31, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Thanks, Lydia! The pup just turned two and is going through a resurgent puppy/teenager phase. He’s a handful sometimes! I hope you like the soup 🙂

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    October 31, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Love how simple this is. It would be perfect after a fall hike with a cup of tea. Delightful!

    • Reply
      Laura
      October 31, 2014 at 9:02 am

      Thank you, Katrina!!