Tuscan Bean Soup with Kale

  • Yield 6 servings
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Cook 88 mins

White Italian kidney beans make a delicious, hearty base for a soup. Add a dollop of pesto and some freshly grated Parmesan for an extra punch of flavor.


2 cups dried cannellini or great Northern beans
2 fresh rosemary sprigs, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon fresh sage, or 1/8 teaspoon dried
2 fresh thyme sprigs, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 3/4 cups yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups celery, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon shallot, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, or 1/8 teaspoon dried
1/8 teaspoon fresh sage, or 1 pinch dried
1/8 teaspoon fresh oregano, or 1 pinch dried
8 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch kale or Swiss Chard, stemmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
prepared pesto
Parmesan cheese


  1. To cook the beans: Sort out any debris and broken beans and rinse the beans well in a strainer. Place in a bowl or pot, cover with water and soak for at least 8 hours or overnight. Rinse beans well before cooking. Place soaked and rinsed beans in a pot and cover with 3 inches of water; add rosemary, sage, thyme and garlic. Bring to a boil and decrease the heat. Cook the beans at a low simmer (bubbles will occasionally break the surface) for 45 minutes to 1 hour; begin tasting after 30 minutes. When the beans are tender but still al dente, add 1 teaspoon salt to the pot. The last 15 minutes are important, as the beans start to cook faster; taste to ensure the beans don’t overcook and fall apart.
  2. To cook the soup: In an 8-quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Sauté until golden. Add the carrots, celery, shallot and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 3 minutes more. Add the garlic, thyme, sage, and oregano and sauté for 2 minutes more.
  3. Deglaze the pot with 1/4 cup of the broth. Allow the liquid to evaporate. Add 6 cups more broth, and the beans, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add more broth if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Add the greens and a pinch of salt and simmer until the greens have wilted. Serve in soup bowls with a dollop of prepared pesto and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

Used with permission from One Bite at at Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and Their Friends, by Rebecca Katz




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