A simple, flavorful recipe for tomato, white bean, and kale soup – perfect fall and winter comfort food! Gluten free and vegetarian-optional.

Tomato, White Bean and Kale Soup | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

Last night, I had a horrifyingly realistic dream that began with getting arranged-marriage-promised to a stranger, followed with a multi-day wedding/traveling circus performance, and finally devolved into me trying to dissolve the marriage contract while vying for the affections of my true love (and actual, real-life husband) as a woman named Sharmula attempted to seduce him away. She did a dance in the middle of the ocean and everything.

Are people actually named Sharmula? I believe it’s also some kind of Middle Eastern fish marinade…

I woke up panicked and slightly sweaty with all of the covers wrapped tightly around me. It was still dark and the Honey’s alarm had just gone off. Maybe Sharmula had just been trying to give him a blanket.

Relaxing my vise-grip hold on the edges of the duvet, bleary eyes still closed, I whispered,

“Thank you for not picking Sharmula…”

He kissed me on the forehead.

“I had a dream last night that we bought a house together on a Caribbean island. It was awesome.”

Tomato, White Bean and Kale Soup | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

Dreams can be straight-up ridiculous, but he’s been working really long hours lately and maybe my subconscious just misses him more than I’d been admitting.

With the Honey gone in the evenings, I’ve been hibernating at home, catching up on work, catching up on Scandal, covers-stealing like a champ, and eating lots and lots of soup. When it’s chilly and damp and grey, that’s pretty much all I want to be eating – flavorful, nourishing, warmth in a bowl.

Tomato, White Bean and Kale Soup | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

I made a big pot of this hearty, rustic tomato, white bean, and kale soup a few nights ago. It reheats well and makes several meals for the two of us, actually getting better after a few days of melding together, as many soups do.

What makes this white bean and kale soup so good

The base of the soup starts with quick-caramelized onions, garlic and earthy herbs, with a few pats of butter thrown in for good measure. I add some diced, fire-roasted tomatoes, a splash of dry red wine (something decent, that I would also drink), and really good chicken (or vegetable) stock.

That lovely concoction simmers away for a bit before a whole mess of white beans and handfuls of greens join the party. The perfect cozy bowl to snuggle up to in the middle of winter.

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Tomato, White Bean and Kale Soup | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon

Tomato, White Bean and Kale Soup

  • Author: Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow or sweet onion, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (I prefer fire-roasted)
  • 4 cups (32 oz) rich chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (something you would drink!)
  • kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 (15 oz) cans cooked white beans (cannellini beans, great northern beans, etc.), drained (but not rinsed)
  • 2 cups (loosely-packed) kale (or sub. spinach or Swiss chard), rough stems removed and roughly chopped or torn into bite-sized pieces


  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, about 4-5 minutes. 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 two minutes, or until the onions are lightly golden.
  2. Add the tomatoes followed by the stock and red wine and stir to combine. Cover, and bring the stock to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, and let simmer uncovered for 15-20 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.

Tomato, Kale and White Bean Soup | Fork Knife Swoon @forkknifeswoon