This White Bean and Kale Soup with Potatoes is flavorful, comforting, and easy to make in only 1 pot. It tastes even better the next day, but I doubt you'll have much leftover.
There's nothing better than a bowl of soup filled with healthy ingredients with some crusty bread on a cold or rainy day. I frequently use beans in my soups as they are filled with protein and are so versatile. There are so many different kinds of beans but in a soup, I love using white beans. If you puree soup made with white beans, it develops a creamy texture without using any milk.
I love using leafy greens in soups as it's a great way to get many health benefits and they taste delicious. This white bean soup recipe uses kale which I think is the best choice. However, if you don't like kale there are a couple other options. You could substitute in spinach and follow the recipe the same.
Another choice is collard greens. However, collard greens take much longer to cook so I would recommend adding the greens but holding off on the beans and the potatoes until later. Cook the greens for about 20 minutes in the soup and then add the beans and potatoes for an additional 20 minutes. Like kale, make sure you removed the stem from the collard greens before chopping and cooking as they are far too tough.
Making the Soup
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and the spices, stir and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add in the vegetable broth, water, 2 cans of beans, kale pieces and diced potatoes. Make sure you've removed the stems from the kale as they are too tough to enjoy in a soup. Bring the soup to a boil, cover and lower the heat. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and take out the bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to puree about half of the soup to your desired consistency. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender and puree in batches. Be very careful not to get splattered with the hot soup. Another option is to use a potato masher or a wooden spoon to mash some of the beans and potatoes.
Blending soups has a couple benefits. First, it makes the soup thicker and creamier. Second, it hides some of the ingredients that young kids might not be fond of. My youngest claims not to like beans. But if they're pureed in the broth she's perfectly happy to eat them. In this recipe, there will still be whole beans but a lot of them are blended right in to the broth.
Finally, sprinkle with red pepper flakes if you're using them. If any non-vegans are eating the soup, they can top with some parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty bread, tortilla chips, crackers or whip up a batch of Vegan Herb Drop Biscuits.
Can I use a slow cooker for this recipe?
I love using a slow cooker for making soups. You can use one in this recipe in two different ways. You can make the recipe as written and then pour the soup in the slow cooker and set to warm until you are ready to eat. I do this if I'm home around lunch time and have some time to put it all together.
Another option is to sauté the onions and garlic first. Add them and the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Use the blender right before you're ready to serve it. The best thing about using the slow cooker this way is that it takes only minutes to put together.
What's the best way to store this hearty soup?
Let the soup cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This soup will last around 4 days in the fridge.
Is it better to use canned or dried beans?
To me, there isn't even a question of which is better to use. I only use canned beans. Yes, some people prefer to soak dry beans but I don't think there's enough difference to warrant the time it takes. Plus, I've had several instances where some of the dried beans never softened no matter how long they soaked. Perhaps they were a little old but I'm not willing to take the chance anymore. I'd much rather open a can of beans, strain and rinse them. They're ready to use in seconds!
While soup is perfect on a chilly day, I make this easy recipe any time of year. Even though it's creamy, it still feels light enough to enjoy even in the summer months. This vegan recipe one that the whole family loves! Pair with a salad and some bread and you have a flavorful and healthy meal.
Looking for more vegan soup recipes? Check out:
Interested in other 1-pot recipes? Check out:
- Easy Vegan Mexican Casserole with Rice - It's made with black beans, rice, corn, green peppers and Mexican spices.
White Bean and Kale Soup with Potatoes (Vegan)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups kale pieces, stems removed
- 2 potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and spices and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth, water, beans, kale, and potatoes.
- Bring the pot to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Remove and discard the bay leaves.
- Use an immersion blender to puree some of the soup to desired consistency.
- Season to taste and serve.
- If you don't have an immersion blender, you can use a blender to puree in batches carefully. You can also use a potato masher.
- I prefer using canned beans for ease of use but you can also prepare dried beans in advance and use 4 cups worth.
- If you don't have cannellini beans, you can also use great northern beans.