I was so tempted to write the word "DETOX" in the title as this soup works great to detox and alkalize. Kale promotes liver detoxification and celery is great to enhance (blood) alkalinity, which helps balance the blood pH. Maintaining a proper balance between alkalinity and acidity, i.e. a balanced pH is key to good health. This soup also offers loads of comfort on a snowy day/evening, especially if it happens to snow in the middle of April.
Which kale and bean variety should I use?
Kale is the star ingredient in the soup. And if you are wondering which variety of kale to use then no worries. This soup welcomes all types--green curly, red curly, Lacinato (aka dinosaur or Tuscan) and red Russian. Feel free to mix the varieties as well. I used dino kale in this version but also have used green curly and red Russian kale with equal success. If the kale has hard stalk, remove from the leafy part (as shown in the pic below).
I have tried this soup with kidney beans, two varieties of white beans--Great Northern and cannellini beans, and chickpeas. Hands down, in this soup the Great Northern and cannellini beans (the white bean varieties) offer the best affinity with kale. Chickpeas come a close second.
This soup is a one pot meal and works great with avocado or garlic toast or over a bed of brown rice. You can refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Make two batches and take the leftovers for lunch over a bed of rice. Enjoy!
Make the soup
If you make this soup or any other variation, I would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below. Enjoy!
Kale and White Bean Soup
- 1 tsp avocado oil
- 1 medium white onion (or any other type, scant 1 cup chopped)
- 1 tsp minced garlic (2-3 cloves)
- 1/2 cup celery (finely diced, 2-3 stems)
- 3/4 cup carrot (~1 medium, grated)
- 1 bunch kale (about 7oz with stems removed, chopped)
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (for 1/2 tsp dried)
- 3/4 tsp salt (or to taste; no more than 1 tsp)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper ( or to taste, freshly ground)
- 41/2 cups vegetable broth (homemade or store-bought, low-sodium)
- 2 cups cannellini beans* (home-cooked from dry or 1, 15-oz can)
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar** (can sub with white vinegar or rice vinegar)
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup (optional)
- 4 stems green onions (for garnish, optional)
- Heat (please don't smoke) avocado oil in a heavy-bottom soup pot. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add celery and carrots, cook for 5-7 minutes stirring often--until celery has softened.
- Add finely chopped kale and cook stirring often till it has halved from its original volume; about 2-3 minutes. Add ground cinnamon, freshly ground black pepper, bay leaf (if using) and vegetable broth.
- Partially cover and bring the soup to a gentle simmer over medium heat (about 20 minutes). Add fresh (or dried) thyme and cannellini beans. Cook for 10 minutes. Add white wine vinegar and maple syrup. Cook for five minutes and top with finely chopped green onions. Let the soup sit for 10-15 minutes before enjoying it with garlic or avocado toast or on a bed of rice. You can also coarsely blend the soup if desired, especially for kids. Enjoy!
My kids loved it! I substituted oregano for thyme and used black eyed peas.