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Tuscan White Bean Soup with Kale

Tuscan white bean soup with kale is quick, easy and so filling! This satisfying, comfort food is ready in 15 minutes or less and perfect for weeknight meals. Naturally vegan, gluten free and dairy free, this Tuscan white bean kale soup is also great for meal prep or freezer meals!

Spoon in bowl if Tuscan white bean soup with kale with pesto drizzled over top.

Why you will love this recipe

Quick and easy – this healthy Tuscan white bean soup with kale takes just 15 minutes to make and is so simple to make. Simply sauté the veggies, add the rest of the ingredients and allow the soup to simmer until hot and all the flavors have come together. So easy!

Simple ingredients – this recipe uses easy to find ingredients that you can get from pretty much an grocery store. There are simple substitutions listed below as well if needed.

Meal prep and freezer friendly – you can easily double or triple this recipe for meal prep as the soup actually gets better the next day. This Tuscan kale soup is also freezer friendly and can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months for a quick and easy meal anytime!

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Ingredients

  • Onions and garlic – these aromatic vegetables add a ton of flavor and create a base for the soup.
  • Vegetable broth – vegetable broth helps to make a quick cooking soup taste like its been simmering on the stove for hours. Vegetable broth and vegetable stock can be used interchangeable here. You could also use chicken broth/stock or bone broth as well.
  • Pesto – pesto adds so much flavor and a creamy texture to the soup. The fresh basil paired with garlic and lemons adds freshness and a bright flavor to the soup. You can use fresh homemade basil or store bought.
  • Diced canned tomatoes – canned tomatoes are easy to find and a great pantry item to use in soups. For this recipe, you will want to drain the tomatoes so it doesn’t water down the soup. You can use regular or fire roasted tomatoes but I would not recommend using the tomatoes with added green chilies.
  • Spices: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt – these easy to find spices help to add so much flavor to the soup.
  • Balsamic vinegar – balsamic vinegar is my secret weapon anytime I’m using canned tomatoes. Balsamic vinegar helps to deepen the flavor of the soup making it taste like it has been cooking for more than 15 minutes.
  • White beans – white beans add fiber and protein to this soup and help to really make it so filling. You can use whatever your favorite white beans are (cannellini, great northern white beans, navy beans or even chickpeas).
  • Kale – for this recipe I use lacinato kale (sometimes called Tuscan kale or dino kale) as its hearty and I find it tastier than curly kale. Regardless of the kale you use, be sure to remove the thick stems from the kale as they are more bitter and won’t break down in the short cooking time.

How to make tuscan white bean soup with kale

Start by chopping all the vegetables. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Remove the stem from the kale and chop it into small bite size pieces. I like to also drain the beans and soak them in clean fresh.

Place a large pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, spray with olive oil or avocado oil and add the onions and garlic. Cook 3-4 minutes until translucent and the onions start to leave brown bits at the bottom of the pot.

Onions in a white pot before and after cooking.

White the onions are cooking, drain the soaking water from one can of beans and add them to a bowl. Mash the beans with a fork until broken down. This will help to thicken the soup. Alternatively, you can blend the beans in a blender or food processor with about 1 cup of vegetable broth.

Add about ½ cup of vegetable broth to the pot and scrape the bottom with a spoon or spatula to get off the brown bits. Add the rest of the broth, drained beans, drained diced tomatoes, pesto, spices, and balsamic vinegar to the pot.

Vegetable broth added to cooked onions, remaining ingredients added to the pot.

Bring the pot to a boil over medium high heat.

Once boiling, add the chopped kale and turn off heat. Serve hot.

Before and after stirring in kale to soup in white pot.

Top tips

  • Smashing the white beans with a fork or blending it with vegetable broth helps to create a thick, creamy soup without any cream or milk.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if needed. It freezes well and would be great for meal prep as it’s even better the next day. It’s also a great recipe to feed a crowd and would be wonderful for parties or potlucks.
  • Use fresh homemade pesto or store bought. If you need your recipe to be vegan/dairy free – be sure to use a dairy free pesto (Trader Joe’s has a great one) or make your own!

Other additions

Veggies: Can add carrots and celery to the onions and garlic for a more robust soup

Starch: Add in a box of pasta (add about 4 cups of water to the recipe and boil the pasta in the soup), cooked rice, quinoa, potatoes or sweet potatoes (boil the potatoes in vegetable broth for 15 minutes before adding the pesto and the rest of the ingredients)

Protein: Add in shredded chicken or cooked shrimp for a boost in protein

Spice: Add crushed red pepper flakes or a few dashes of hot sauce to the soup

Silver ladle spooning out a serving of tuscan white bean soup with kale.

What to serve along side of tuscan kale soup

Common questions

What is the best pesto to use?

This recipe works great with fresh or store-bought pesto.

Many store-bought brands of pesto sold at most grocery stores are not vegan or dairy free. Many brands of pesto also use pine nuts to help thicken the pesto. Pine nuts are technically a seed (not a nut) and can be ok for those with nut allergies, but some people are also sensitive to pine nuts so be sure to check the ingredients.

If you want a store bought vegan friendly pesto, I recommend Trader Joe’s Kale Cashew Basil Pesto, ROI Pesto, Amore Pesto Paste or Seggiano Fresh Basil Pesto. However most of these options are not nut free.

If you make your own pesto at home, you can control the ingredients and ensure that the pesto fits all of your needs.

Quick and easy homemade pesto recipes:

Note: in any of these recipes above, you can use hemp hearts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds in place of the nuts to make them nut free.

Spoon in bowl of tuscan white bean soup.

Other greens you can use

If you don’t have kale on hand, you can also use baby kale, baby spinach, swiss chard, collard greens or even broccolini all finely chopped.

What are the best beans for this soup

White beans are creamy on the inside and have a slightly mild and nutty flavor.

  • Cannellini beans
  • Great norther white beans
  • Navy beans
  • Chickpeas (if needed)

Can you use dried beans?

This recipe wasn’t written to cook dried beans. If you have dried beans, you can make dried beans in the instant pot in about 1 hour. Follow the same directions as those listed for black beans in the instant pot (no soaking required).

If you make a pound of beans at once, you can refrigerate (up to 5 days) or freeze for up to 3 months.

How to make soup creamy without adding cream or milk?

The trick to getting this soup thick and creamy without any cream or milk is to mash the beans with a fork or to blend 1 can of the white beans with 1 cup of vegetable stock and add that to the soup. The beans help to make the soup hearty and so creamy without needing any dairy.

Storing leftovers

Fridge: Store any leftover tuscan kale and white bean soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Freezer: Store leftover white bean Tuscan kale soup in the freezer for up to 3 months. I like to freeze the soup in individual portions using Soupercubes. Once frozen, you can pop the soup out of the cube and transfer it to a freezer safe bag. Be sure to label your soup with the name, date and use by date.

White pot filled with tuscan white bean kale soup with silver spoon in pot.

Substitutions

  • Onions and garlic – this recipe can use white, yellow, sweet onions or even red onions in this recipe. If you don’t have onions on hand, you could substitute shallots or green onions (the white and greens part of the green onion could be used). You can also use just onions or just garlic.  If I don’t have any fresh onion or garlic, I often use about a tablespoon each of dried onion flakes and dried garlic granules to give the soup some flavor. If you cannot tolerate onions or garlic, I recommend using a garlic-infused olive oil to give the soup the same flavor. You can simply stream this in with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Vegetable broth – you can use vegetable broth, vegetable stock, chicken broth, chicken stock or bone broth. If you don’t have any of these on hand, you can use water but the soup will not have the same depth of flavor.
  • Pesto – pesto provides so much flavor to this recipe. If you don’t have pesto on hand, I would recommend adding an 1-2 teaspoons dried basil and a squeeze of lemon juice to help give some brightness to the soup.
  • Diced tomatoes – you can use regular, or fire roasted diced tomatoes. If you don’ have diced tomatoes, you can also use whole canned tomatoes (that you break down yourself0 or crushed tomatoes (this will change the texture of the soup).
  • Balsamic vinegar – balsamic vinegar helps to balance out the canned tomato flavor and adds a depth of flavor.  IF you don’t have balsamic vinegar, you could use 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1-2 teaspoons of coconut aminos to help provide the same depth of flavor and brightness.
  • Spices – If you don’t have italian seasoning on hand, you can make your own (check out my go to Italian seasoning recipe) or use equal parts dried basil, dried parsley and dried oregano for a quick and easy replacement. Garlic powder adds umami to the dish. You could use more fresh garlic if you don’t have garlic powder on hand. If you cannot tolerate garlic, I would recommend adding some garlic infused olive oil to the soup to help give that same flavor profile.
  • Kale – for this recipe I used lacinato kale (sometimes called Tuscan kale or dinosaur kale) that is finely chopped. You could also use curly kale, red kale or baby kale. If you don’ have kale on hand, you can use swiss chard, baby spinach or even broccoli rabe. You could also use 1-2 cups of frozen kale or frozen spinach.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Vegan Gnocchi Soup

Spicy White Bean Stew

Mexican White Bean Cauliflower Soup

Instant Pot White Bean Soup

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Ladle in pot of tuscan white bean soup with kale.

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Kale

Tuscan white bean soup with kale is quick, easy and so flavorful! This healthy recipe is ready in about 15 minutes and is perfect for lunch or dinner! Hearty and filling, this soup is naturally vegan, gluten free and dairy free and great for meal prep or freezer prep.
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: tuscan white bean kale soup, tuscan white bean soup with kale, white bean tuscan kale soup
Prep Time: 3 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Start by chopping the onions, garlic and kale. Be sure to remove the thick stem from the kale before chopping.
  • Rinse and drain the white beans.
  • Preheat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, spray with olive oil or avocado oil spray and add the chopped onions.
  • Cook the onions for 2-3 minutes then add the garlic. Cook 1 more minute.
  • While onions are cooking, mash 1 can of white beans with a fork (or you can blend them with 1 cup of vegetable broth with a blender or in a food processor).
  • After garlic has cooked with onions for 1 minute, add 1/2 cup vegetable broth and scrape the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients except the kale. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add the chopped kale to the pot and turn off heat.

Notes

Top tips
  • Mashing the white beans helps to create a thick, creamy soup without any cream or milk. If you want a more liquid style soup, you can skip this step.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled if needed. It freezes well and would be great for meal prep as it’s even better the next day. It’s also a great recipe to feed a crowd and would be wonderful for parties or potlucks.
  • Use fresh homemade pesto or store bought. If you need your recipe to be vegan/dairy free – be sure to use a dairy free pesto (Trader Joe’s has a great one) or make your own!
Other additions
  • Veggies: Can add carrots and celery to the onions and garlic for a more robust soup
  • Starch: Add in a box of pasta (add about 4 cups of water to the recipe and boil the pasta in the soup), cooked rice, quinoa, potatoes or sweet potatoes (boil the potatoes for 15 minutes before adding the pesto)
  • Protein: Add in shredded chicken or cooked shrimp for a boost in protein
  • Spice: Add crushed red pepper flakes or a few dashes of hot sauce to the soup.
Storing leftovers
Fridge: Store any leftover tuscan kale and white bean soup in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezer: Store leftover white bean tuscan kale soup in the freezer for up to 3 months. I like to freeze the soup in individual portions using Soupercubes. Once frozen, you can pop the soup out of the cube and transfer it to a freezer safe bag . Be sure to label your soup with the name, date and use by date.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
340
Fat
 
12
g
Carbohydrates
 
45
g
Fiber
 
10
g
Sugar
 
7
g
Protein
 
15
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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