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

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

Lemony Kale and White Bean Soup

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • 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

  • Calories: 324g,
  • Fat: 6.4g,
  • Carbohydrates: 46.75,
  • Fiber: 13g,
  • Protein: 22.3g

 

 

 

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75 Comments

  • Reply
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    […] and garlicky greens – Shawarma cauliflower steak w/chutney and collard greens – Lemony kale white bean soup (sub veg broth and veg butter) w/bread – Tofu, carrots and broccoli in green curry simmer […]

  • Reply
    MG
    January 22, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Holy moly was this good. I tweeked it a bit by using vegetable broth and adding butternut squash and extra lemon. Then topped it off with a little evoo. Served with roasted garlic crusty bread. It blew me away. Keeper recipe!

  • Reply
    KVC
    December 29, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Great recipe! Delish, easy & inexpensive! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Hannah
    December 5, 2017 at 9:36 am

    This is my favorite soup to make! It’s tangy and hearty and delicious. I’ve made it with spinach as well, and it’s just as good. Perfect served with a piece of warm, crusty bread.

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    JJ
    October 24, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I added carrots and a pinch of paprika powder. Will eat this with quinoa tomorrow for lunch. Can’t wait!!

    • Reply
      Laura
      November 11, 2017 at 9:24 pm

      Thanks, JJ!!

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  • Reply
    Claudia Phillips
    July 4, 2017 at 8:00 am

    I made this two days ago and I love it! I added extra lemon juice because I love the taste of lemons. It needed lots of salt and pepper. The texture is great. I think that’s because the beans are not rinsed so there is a little bit of thickness added. It is delicious and heartier when served with a little brown rice which I usually keep in the freezer (pre-cooked). This soup is just as good leftover. I’ll be making this often. Thanks.

  • Reply
    The hungry mum
    April 25, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    I have so many tins of white beans and was looking for a way to use them. Thanks for the recipe 😁

  • 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.

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