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Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup

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“This is my vegetarian variation of the standard Italian zuppa di fagioli soup (of which there are hundreds). If you are looking for a hearty winter soup, this is the one for you!”
2hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 cup dried cannellini beans
  • 12 cup dried borlotti beans (aka cranberry beans)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 (14 ounce) can plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 (32 ounce) container low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch kale, preferably black palm, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper


  1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse.
  2. Heat 3T of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, leek, celery, carrot, and garlic and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add half the rosemary, half the thyme, all of the parsley, all of the vegetable broth, and the chopped plum tomatoes with the juice from the can. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the dried beans. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 2 hours or until the beans are soft. If the soup gets too thick, add a little water to thin it.
  4. If you have a hand-held blender, process until about half of the beans are smooth. Otherwise transfer half of the soup to a blender and process. Pour the puree back into the soup pot, add salt and pepper to taste, and then add the chopped kale. Cook for another 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile in a microwave safe small bowl, add the remaining 3T olive oil, the rest of the chopped rosemary and thyme, and microwave on high for about 1 minute.
  6. When the soup is done, drizzle the olive oil mixture on top. Serve with a rustic bread and (if you eat cheese) plenty of parmesan.
  7. Note: When using dried beans, the cooking times can vary widely depending on how old the beans are. Younger beans might be done in an hour. Older beans could take 3 hours. So keep your eye on the soup!
  8. To substitute canned beans, use 1-15oz can of Cannellini Beans and 1-15oz can of Borlotti beans. You'll also need to adjust the cooking time: Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, puree, add the Kale, and simmer for another 20 minutes.

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