White Bean and Kale Soup

adapted from The Curvy Carrot

1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped (1-2 medium carrots)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
5-6 red potatoes, chopped (leave the skins on)
2 15-oz cans cannellini beans (white kidney beans), or 5 cups fresh cooked beans
One large bunch kale
1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage, browned (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Strip kale leaves from stems. Slice stems into ¼” pieces (like celery). Chop leaves coarsely.
  2. In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
  3. Add the celery, carrots, onion and kale stems, and cook, until the onions are softened, about 4-5 minutes or so.
  4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for another minute or so.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the water and the broth to a boil.
  6. Add the cooked vegetables and the potatoes to the boiling mixture.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
  7. Add the beans, kale leaves, (and sausage if desired) and cook, stirring frequently, until completely heated through and the kale is wilted, about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • I left out the cream listed in the original recipe.
  • I used chicken broth instead of the vegetable broth in the original recipe, because that was what I had on hand – if you want it to be vegetarian, go with the vegetable broth.
  • The first time I made this, I added 1/2 lb spicy Italian sausage & left out the potatoes (I didn’t have any). The second time I left out the sausage and I thought it was still excellent, but my husband prefers it with the meat.
  • You can discard the kale stems if you prefer, but with a little extra cooking they taste great & I hate to waste them.
  • You can substitute Swiss chard or spinach for the kale.
  • You can substitute white / great northern beans for the cannellini beans.

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