White Bean and Kale Soup with Parmesan Cheese

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This hearty and delicious White Bean and Kale Soup with Parmesan Cheese is perfect for a winter’s evening. Great for a side, but filling enough to be a healthy main dish as well. Vegetarian, gluten-free and can easily be made vegan too!

white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese - top view

Kale is a classic winter green vegetable, and when paired with white beans it makes for a satisfying, filling main meal! My husband used to be a kale skeptic before he met me. Pretty much all green veggies were foreign to him. But a couple years after we got married I made him this soup and completely converted him!

white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese with spoon on the side

This recipe is perfect as an easy weeknight dinner, served with some crusty bread, or as a side dish when you’re feeding a crowd. It’s naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, and can be made vegan simply by omitting the cheese on top. It’s easy to make in the Instant Pot as well, if you need a “set and forget” type of recipe!

ingredients for white bean and kale soup

Tools and Equipment You’ll Need for This Recipe

How To Make White Bean and Kale Soup – Step by Step

Step 1: Chop all your veggies. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; sauté until soft.

onions and garlic sauteeing in a pot

Step 2: Add kale and sauté, stirring, until wilted.

kale added to pot

Step 3: Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of beans, and all of the tomato, herbs, salt and pepper (crushed red pepper + black pepper). Simmer 5 minutes.

tomatoes beans broth spices added to pot with kale

Step 4: In a blender or food processor, mix the remaining beans and broth until smooth. You can also just mashed the beans in the broth with a potato masher (I did this and it worked great). Stir into soup to thicken.

pureed beans being added to soup

Step 5: Simmer at least 15-30 minutes – until the kale has cooked to the texture you like.

Step 6: Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese - top view

What makes this White Bean and Kale Soup healthy?

  • Kale is Rich in Vitamins and Nutrients: Kale is considered a superfood! It’s high in nutrients, and low in calories. It’s high in antioxidants, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and vitamin K. These nutrients help contribute to blood sugar control, lower risk of cancer, and reduce blood pressure. It’s also known to support skin, hair, and bone health.
  • High in Protein: This recipe is high in plant-protein thanks to the white beans and kale in this soup. Yes, kale has protein too! One serving of this soup has 17 grams of protein!
  • High in Fiber: Both kale and white beans are in fiber which aids in digestions and satiety. One serving of this soup has nearly 11 grams of fiber, that’s about 40% of your daily recommended fiber intake.
  • Low in Fat and Calories: If you’re looking for a heart healthy low calorie and low fat meal that’s filling and satisfying, you’ve found it!. This soup has only 300 calories and less than 5 grams of fat.

Will kids enjoy White Bean and Kale Soup?

This soup has a beautiful creamy flavor with the mashed beans, as well as nice added texture with the kale. If your kids aren’t big fans of kale, simply leave out the kale when you ladle their serving. You can also chop the kale super fine and let it cook down even more while the soup is simmering, so that it “melts’ into the broth and picky kids are less likely to detect it. You could also replace the kale with baby spinach, which is easier and milder for kids to chew and palate.

white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese with spoon

What type of beans are considered white beans?

There are four main types of white beans. You may choose whichever type you prefer to prepare this soup. 

  • Navy Beans: A small oval shaped bean that cooks quickly. When cooked and mashed it creates a creamy consistency, becomes creamy which is why it’s perfect for soups when mashed.
  • Great Northern Beans: A medium size bean, larger than Navy Beans but smaller than Cannellini beans, they retain their shape and texture and take on the flavoring of dishes well, also making them a good choice for soups and stews.
  • Cannellini Beans: The largest bean, it’s often used in Italian cooking. They also keep their shape and texture. They’re often found in Minestrone soup recipes. 
  • Butterbeans or Baby Lima Beans: Small and creamy with a buttery like flavor. They are delicious in soups and stews and are often served simply with herbs and butter.

How do you make White Bean and Kale Soup in the Instant Pot?

Step 1: Add garlic and onions to your instant pot and press sauté. When onions become translucent add kale and sauté, stirring, until wilted. Stop the sauté process by pressing cancel.

Step 2: Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of whole beans, mashed beans with broth, and all of the tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper to the instant pot.

Step 3: Set to Manual High Pressure for 2 minutes. Do not touch for 10 minutes. Allow to slowly release. 

white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and spoon - top vie

What do you serve with White Bean and Kale Soup?

  • Polenta “rounds” crisped in the oven
  • Crusty Whole Wheat Bread or Garlic bread – to scoop up all the goodness around your soup bowl. 
  • Light green salad with balsamic vinaigrette – for a lighter, more refreshing addition to round out this meal

Top Tips For Making White Bean and Kale Soup

  • If you don’t have kale you can use baby spinach
  • You can use any white bean in this soup! Choose from navy, cannelini, butterbeans or great northern beans.
  • To save time, follow the Instant Pot instructions in the recipe!
  • You can use dried beans instead of canned. One 15 ounce can of beans equals ¾ cup dried beans, which means you will need 1 ½ cups of dried beans for this recipe.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash the beans in the broth with a potato masher.
  • Allow enough time for the soup to simmer on the stove to meld all the flavors together. 

white bean and kale soup, served in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese - side view

Check Out These Other Delicious Soup Recipes!

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White Bean and Kale Soup with Parmesan Cheese

This hearty and delicious White Bean and Kale Soup with Parmesan Cheese is perfect for a winter’s evening. Great for a side, but filling enough to be a healthy main dish as well. Vegetarian, gluten-free and can easily be made vegan!

Prep Time20 mins

Cook Time40 mins

Total Time1 hr

Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Soup

Cuisine: American

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 300kcal

Author: Anjali Shah

White Bean and Kale Soup:

  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 4-6 cups chopped raw kale
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 30 oz white beans, such as cannellini or navy, rinsed and drained 2 cans
  • 4 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 Tsp dried oregano
  • 1 Tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Fresh shredded Parmesan 1 Tbsp per serving of soup
  • Chop all your veggies. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; saute until soft.

  • Add kale and saute, stirring, until wilted.

  • Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of beans, and all of the tomato, herbs, salt and pepper (crushed red pepper + black pepper). Simmer 5 minutes.

  • In a blender or food processor, mix the remaining beans and broth until smooth. You can also just mashed the beans in the broth with a potato masher (I did this and it worked great). Stir into soup to thicken.

  • Simmer at least 15-30 minutes – until the kale has cooked to the texture you like.

  • Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with parmesan cheese

Instant Pot Directions

  • Add garlic and onions to your instant pot and press sauté. When onions become translucent add kale and sauté, stirring, until wilted. Stop the sauté process by pressing cancel.

  • Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of whole beans, mashed beans with broth, and all of the tomatoes, herbs, salt and pepper to the instant pot.

  • Set to Manual High Pressure for 2 minutes. Do not touch for 10 minutes. Allow to slowly release. 

Top Tips For Making White Bean and Kale Soup

  • If you don’t have kale you can use baby spinach
  • You can use any white bean in this soup! Choose from navy, cannelini, butterbeans or great northern beans.
  • To save time, follow the Instant Pot instructions in the recipe!
  • You can use dried beans instead of canned. One 15 ounce can of beans equals ¾ cup dried beans, which means you will need 1 ½ cups of dried beans for this recipe.
  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can mash the beans in the broth with a potato masher.
  • Allow enough time for the soup to simmer on the stove to meld all the flavors together. 

Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 49.7g | Protein: 17.1g | Fat: 4.6g | Sodium: 410mg | Fiber: 10.9g | Sugar: 2.5g