Although my fall garden greens were taken under siege by cabbage worms earlier this season, they managed to survive and are now flourishing. I helped them win the battle with a dusting of baking soda here and there to ward off the evil green creepy crawlies.
There are so many things you can do with kale, but the weather has been wet and chilly and all I want is soup! This white bean soup is simple and kale lends a beautiful, tasty, and nutritious addition to your bowl. I also added some of my dwarf collard greens and arugula to my soup pot because I have them on hand in the garden, but kale is the star green of the show in this dish. I made this recipe with navy beans, which are high in fiber and a great source of protein, but also added some sausage because I had some in the fridge that I needed to use. However, this soup has enough flavor that the sausage really isn't necessary.
White Bean Kale Soup
- 4 16oz cans navy beans
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 quart chicken or veggie stock
- 1 small yellow onion
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1-2 bay leaves
- A couple sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 bundle of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dry)
- 1-2 cups chopped kale
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
If you are adding sausage, start by browning sliced pieces with a tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Stir frequently.
While the sausage is browning, remove rosemary and thyme from their stems and chop the herbs and veggies. Add chopped onions and bay leaves to the pot with the sausage and continue to cook about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions start to become translucent.
Add garlic and cook another 1-3 minutes.
Add kale and cook for 1-3 minutes, or just until kale has wilted.
Add all remaining ingredients except the lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium low. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Take a spoon and use the back to mash some of the beans against the inside of the pot. I usually just work my way around the pot once and then stir well. This will give the soup a creamier texture. Skip this step if you would like more of a broth soup. Add lemon juice and simmer another 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!