This slightly spicy White Bean Soup recipe is simple, hearty and ready in under an hour, making it the perfect weeknight meal.
This white bean soup is a warm hug on a chilly winter day… and man have we had more than a few of those lately! The slight spiciness of the broth, thanks to the crushed red pepper, gives it an extra kick of warmth to make each bowl even more comforting.
Now full disclosure… when I say “spicy” I mean on my own personal scale of I don’t even like medium hot salsa spicy. So if you have a penchant for heat, you may be like “girl, where?” But I promise it’s there.
Tips for Making this Soup:
- You may substitute spinach for the kale.
- If you prefer an even spicier broth, add in a little more crushed red pepper. A little does go a very long way!
- If you don’t like spiciness, you can skip the crushed red pepper altogether, but it’ll affect the overall flavor of the soup. I’ve made it both with and without, and the broth is more flavorful with the extra kick.
How To Make White Bean Soup
White bean and kale soup is so easy to make and will leave a lasting impression on you. I love to serve it to friends and then enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day! Check out these easy steps to make your own batch of this delicious soup.
First Step: Follow the directions on the packaging and prepare the orzo. You want it to be cooked al dente, so it doesn’t become slimy. Drain and add it to a bowl with olive oil and set aside for later use.
Second Step: Cook the onion and celery in a large pot with olive oil. Allow it to simmer for 7 minutes and add some salt for flavor.
Third Step: Add in olive oil, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, kale after reducing it to medium heat. Allow it to cook for 2 minutes.
Fourth Step: Pour in the vegetable broth, beans, and bay leaves. Sprinkle salt and pepper and give it a stir, then cook for 25 minutes. Make sure to stir it occasionally, so it doesn’t burn.
Fifth Step: Add in the orzo to the soup. Drizzle in the lemon juice and add parsley, salt, and pepper. Let the soup simmer for 2 more minutes and remove bay leaves. Pour into bowls and serve hot and enjoy!
White Bean Kale Soup Variations
Feel free to make and eat this white bean soup the way that I have written it. Or, if you are feeling like having fun, add in some extra ingredients. Either way, it’s scrumptious, and there won’t be a drop left. Take a look at these ideas:
- Ham – If you are a ham fanatic, it makes sense to toss in some. Chop it up and add it in for some extra protein and flavor.
- Carrots – When you put in some diced carrots, you will add some extra nutrients, color, and sweetness to the soup.
- Parmesan Cheese – Sprinkle just a little touch of grated cheese on top of the white bean soup right before serving.
- Bacon – Cook some bacon and crumble then add it to the soup. You can add as little or as much as you want for some yummy flavor.
- Italian Sausage – Add some Italian sausage if you want some protein and Italian flavors. It’s so good!
Is White Bean Soup Healthy
Yes, there are so many amazing nutrients in this white bean kale soup. Check out all the reasons to sip on this soup:
- Onion – Many people don’t realize that onions are actually really healthy. They have folic acid, fiber, and vitamin C. Plus; they even have iron, protein, and calcium.
- Celery – Every bite of celery is filled with potassium, vitamin K, folate, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and water. Eat up!
- Kale – There is an excellent reason that kale is known as a super-food. It’s packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, and more.
- White Beans – You will find potassium, zinc, vitamin B, protein, and iron in white beans.
Should You Rinse Canned Beans?
I find that it’s best to rinse the beans before cooking them because you get rid of the extra starch and saltiness. You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, but the flavor is much better when you don’t skip this step. Even if you don’t rinse them, you at least need to drain the liquid off.
What Can I Substitute For White Beans?
If you have run out of white beans and still want to make this soup, no worries, you can simply replace them with cannellini beans, great northern beans, or even navy beans if you want.
They will all offer a slightly different flavor, but will still be delicious. You can even use a variety of beans if you want to.
Can I Use Dry Beans Instead Of Canned?
Yes, you can use dried beans if you would rather. You will need to cook 1 ½ cups of dried beans to equal the beans needed for this recipe.
How Do You Store White Bean Soup?
Once you have finished cooking the white bean soup, allow it to cool down. Once it’s cooled, pour it into an airtight container and place a lid on it. Then you can store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Can I Freeze White Bean Soup?
Yes, you can freeze this soup. It’s easiest to store the soup in a freezer bag because you can lay it flat. When you’re ready to serve, place the bag or container in the refrigerator the night before.
Heat the bean soup up in the microwave or in a soup pan on the stove on medium-high heat.
If you enjoy this white bean soup recipe, here are some other vegetarian dinners:
- Slow Cooker Taco Soup – Easy freezer friendly slow cooker taco soup that’s ready in just three hours.
- Mexican Stuffed Peppers – Easy dinner idea for busy weeknights. Great for taking leftovers to work!
- Puerto Rican Habichuelas Guisadas – My take on an old family recipe for Puerto Rican Beans.
- 20 Vegan Dinner Ideas – Tons of tasty vegan dinner ideas from Chow Mein to Bolognese.
White Bean Soup
- 1/2 cup Orzo uncooked
- 1/2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil divided
- 1 Sweet Onion chopped
- 1 Individual Stalk of Celery thinly sliced
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
- 2 tsp. Dried Italian Seasoning
- 3 Cups packed, Pre-washed Kale de-stemmed and roughly chopped
- 32 oz. Vegetable Broth
- 2 15 oz. Cans White Beans drained
- 2 Bay Leaves
- Juice of 1 Large Lemon Fresh Squeezed, about 4 tbsp.
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. Fresh Parsley chopped
- Prepare orzo to al dente in a medium sauce pan according to package directions. Drain. Pour into a separate bowl and mix in 1/2 tbsp. olive oil. Set aside.
- In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and celery. Season lightly with salt. Saute for about 7 minutes.
- Reduce to medium heat, then add 1 tbsp. olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, kale, and saute for additional two minutes.
- Add vegetable broth, white beans and bay leaves, season with salt and pepper. Stir. Cover. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add orzo to soup. Then stir in lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper. Cook additional two minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.