This slightly spicy vegetarian White Bean Soup recipe is simple, hearty, and ready in under an hour, making it the perfect weeknight meal.
This 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 flakes, 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.
🍽️ Why This Recipe Works
Only 10 minutes of prep – Don’t you just love foods that you can throw together quickly? I know I do and this soup is always a success.
Nutritious – Not only does this soup taste awesome, it’s actually good for you too. Filled with potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C you should for sure eat it!
It’s a frugal meal – You won’t need to spend much money buying ingredients for this. It’s made with items that you probably already have in the pantry, so there isn’t a lot of shopping needed either!
I can’t wait for you to sit down to a hot bowl of this. It’s an unforgettable soup that will keep you filled up, warm and cozy all winter. Here are some of the main ingredients:
White Beans: You will need two cans of your favorite white beans. They are the real star of the show and happen to be packed with protein and other important nutrients.
Seasonings: We use crushed red pepper flakes, dried Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, bay leaves, and fresh parsley to add lots of flavor to this soup.
Kale: If you are looking for a nutritional powerhouse, then kale is what you need! It’s packed with vitamin C, manganese, potassium, copper, and more.
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.
Step One: 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.
Step Two: Cook the onion and celery in a large pot with olive oil. Allow it to simmer until the onion is translucent (about seven minutes) and add a dash of salt for flavor.
Step Three: Add in olive oil, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, and kale. Reduce the stove to medium heat and allow it to cook for two minutes.
Step Four: 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.
Step Five: Add the orzo to the soup. Drizzle in the lemon juice and add parsley, salt, and pepper. Let the soup simmer for two more minutes and remove the bay leaves. Pour into bowls and serve hot and enjoy!
🥘 Meal Prep
This soup is excellent for meal prepping. If you are always hunting for meals you can meal prep, I highly recommend adding this one to your list. Prepare the soup as directed and store it in the fridge for up to four days. We like to keep it in individual sized containers to grab as an easy lunch.
📌 Expert Tips
- 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.
If you are feeling like having a bit of fun, add in some extra ingredients. 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’ll 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!
Yes, there are so many amazing nutrients in this recipe. 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.
It’s best to rinse the beans before using them in your recipes because you get rid of the extra starch and saltiness. You don’t have to do this, but I think the flavor is better when you do. Even if you don’t rinse them, you should drain the liquid off.
If you have run out of white beans and still want to make this soup, no worries, simply replace them with cannellini beans, great northern beans, or even navy beans.
They will all offer a slightly different flavor, but will still be delicious. You can even use a medley of beans to add some extra visual interest.
Yes, you can use dried beans. Cook 1 ½ cups of dried beans to equal the beans needed for this recipe.
Once you have finished cooking the soup, allow it to cool down. Once it’s cooled, pour it into an airtight container and place a lid on it. Store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
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 to defrost.
Heat the soup up in the microwave or in a soup pan on the stove on medium-high heat.
Tried this recipe? Please leave a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card below and/or a review in the comments section further down the page. You can also stay in touch with me through social media by following me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook!
White Bean Soup
- ½ cup Orzo uncooked
- ½ 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 Pre-washed Kale de-stemmed and roughly chopped
- 32 oz Vegetable Broth
- 2 can Cans White Beans 15 oz, drained and rinsed
- 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 of 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. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
- Reduce to medium heat, then add 1 tbsp. olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, kale, and sauté 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.