Tomato, White Bean and Kale Soup

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

Scale

Ingredients

  • 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

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, 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

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27 Comments

  1. 2.26.21
    Kelley said:

    This was SO GOOD! I didn’t have red wine, so I used beef broth. I also didn’t measure the kale and just put in a very large bunch. I also had some frozen parmesan rind, so I tossed that in there too. It was excellent, and I will definitely make this again! Thank you for the recipe!

    • 2.27.21
      Laura said:

      Thanks so much, Kelley!! Love the tip about adding a parmesan rind, too – that’s one of my favorite soup tricks 🙂

  2. 9.15.20
    Sheila Fejeran said:

    This soup is AMAZING!!!! I am trying to lose weight so I was hoping to get more specifics of serving size, calories, etc. Would you be able to provide that? Thank you so much for creating such a yummy, healthy meal!!!

    • 9.20.20
      Laura said:

      Hi, Sheila! Thank you so much! We don’t provide calorie info, but there are lots of online calculators you can plug the ingredients into! The soup serves 4-6, and I would consider it a healthy option 🙂

  3. 12.11.19
    Chaya said:

    THis soup looks delicious and i cant wait to try it! Can it be frozen?

    • 12.18.19
      Laura said:

      Thank you, Chaya! Yes, but I like to add the kale right before serving. Enjoy!

  4. 5.22.18
    Jennifer said:

    Making the soup right now. Can’t wait to try it Got fresh kale from my garden! Yum!

    • 5.22.18
      Laura said:

      Oh, yum! Hope you enjoy! 🙂

  5. 4.4.17
    Mike said:

    I made this this evening, pretty much as written. Very easy, very good. Whole family loved it, including my not-fond-of-kale wife.

    I rinsed the beans. I suppose the unrinsed beans might yield a thicker stock, but we avoid the can fluid if possible.

    If you’re dreaming about buying a Caribbean island, and you like kale soups (you have this and the lemony version posted), then look up the various recipes for callaloo. We just got back from a sailing vacation in the BVIs, with stopover to/from on St. Thomas. The hotel served a “kallaloo” and I’ve been hankering for kale soups since we got back. Your recipes looked good. Lemon or tomato? Maybe the lemon next week…

  6. 12.12.16
    Sarah said:

    LOVED this soup. Very easy to make. I added shredded chicken in it which I baked and seasoned with paprika and a South African smoke seasoning (trader joes). I also added some red lentils, artichoke hearts and used fire roasted diced tomatoes. Paired with a red wine on a cold snowy night, it was delicious! recipe is printed and will definitely be used again many times. Thanks!

    • 12.17.16
      Laura said:

      Thanks so much, Sarah! So happy to hear it 🙂

  7. 11.29.16
    Naomi said:

    This soup is delicious. Comes together quickly and tastes fantastic. Thanks for the great addition to my weekday dinner repertoire!

  8. 7.17.15
    John said:

    A soup with umani is quite nice, and I am ready to try your others. Just discovered your site and was hoping that comments might be more about the outcomes of the recipes, rather than social commentary on the photos. oh well–must be a thing of the past.

  9. 1.17.15
    Aysegul said:

    I hate those realistic nightmares.
    This soup looks and sounds divine. Love love love your photography! 🙂

  10. 1.16.15
    Kelly said:

    Dreams can be so strange sometimes! It is super cold here and I all I want is soup! Thanks for another yummy recipe!

  11. 1.16.15

    This soup sounds SO GOOD right now! I’m sitting at my desk watching snow fall and thinking I need something warm and cozy for dinner tonight. I think I’ll give this a try!

    • 1.16.15
      Laura said:

      Ooooh I kind of wish we had some snow! Hope you enjoy!!

  12. 1.15.15

    I hope Sharmula doesn’t make another appearance tonight! I feel like we’re soup soulmates. When it’s this cold out all I want is a huge bowl of warm and hearty soup. Actually, before I moved from 115 degrees a few months ago all I wanted was a huge bowl of warm and hearty soup. Regardless, white bean and kale soup is just magical together. Pinning this now, I can’t wait to taste your version!

    • 1.15.15
      Laura said:

      Oh man, she better not! I am seriously so obsessed with white bean soup, of all kinds right now! Thanks, Christina!!

  13. 1.15.15

    First of all, I love when I remember my dreams. Even when they are super crazy and incoherent. But I’m glad you didn’t have to go through with your arranged marriage and are still married to your husband.
    Second, this soup looks amazing. I’m all about soup (and kale salads) these days even when it’s a “hot” 30 degrees here in Minnesota.

    • 1.15.15
      Laura said:

      Thank you, Jenna!! I’m always happy to remember my dreams too, it doesn’t happen all that often, but I swear it’s always the really weird – and super realistic at the time – ones that stick. We’ve been practically boiling here in WA compared to you – it’s in the balmy high-30’s/low-40’s!

  14. 1.15.15

    I love soup like this!! Definitely hearty and yummy for winter 🙂

  15. 1.15.15

    My wife loves soups in the winter… she would totally flip over this. Pinning so I remember to make it for her!

    • 1.15.15
      Laura said:

      That’s so sweet of you, Chris! (Keep her and the baby cozy!!) 🙂

Hi! I'm Laura, the food-obsessed cook, writer, and photographer behind Fork Knife Swoon, where you'll find mostly sweet, seasonal recipes and stories from my Northern Virginia kitchen.

All photography and content copyright Laura Bolton ©2021, and may not be used without permission.