This white bean and kale soup is so easy to make and can be on your dinner table in about forty-five minutes!
I’m not a fan of raw kale in salads, but I love it in soup recipes. This dish takes advantage of canned beans, which cuts down the cooking time dramatically. You can have this hearty and tasty soup on the table in about 45 minutes.
Cannellini beans are white kidney beans, and I’m a huge fan of them. I enjoy them in all kinds of recipes. They are delicious in my White Bean and Tuna Salad and in soups.
I used about six ounces of pancetta in my soup, but you can use less if you prefer. Or, if you prefer to use bacon, you can dice it up and use it instead.
Also, if you happen to have a parmesan rind on hand, you can add it to the soup with the beans and other ingredients. It’s amazing how much flavor it adds to the soup. Some stores even sell containers of just the Parmigiano-Reggiano rinds now in the cheese department. I know I’ve seen them at Whole Foods before.
I served some freshly made Skillet Cornbread with this White Bean Soup with Kale. You could serve yours with some crusty bread if you prefer.
*It will look like a ton of kale when you add it to the pot, but it will wilt down as it cooks.
White Bean Soup with Kale
- 2 tsp . extra-virgin olive oil
- 4-6 oz . pancetta , diced into small cubes (depending on how much you want to use)
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 medium yellow onion , diced
- 4 large cloves of garlic , minced
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2-3 cups of water , depending on how soupy you want it
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 (15 oz) can of Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large bunch of lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale), stemmed and roughly chopped
- sea salt and pepper to taste
In a 5-quart dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and place onto paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of grease.
Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot, and let cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
Stir in the chicken stock, water, beans, pancetta, dried thyme and kale. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until kale is tender, about twenty minutes. Add fresh rosemary, sea salt and pepper to taste, then serve.