January 14, 2011

White Bean and Kale (or Mustard Green) Soup

This is a new favorite (and quick) soup I threw together the other day with some cooked navy beans I had in the freezer, kale and mustard from the garden, and some other stuff. It was great so I'll try to reconstruct it for you. As with all my recipes, amounts are approximate... if you love greens, put more in. If I call for too much garlic, use less. And if you want your soup more or less soupy, adjust the amount of beans or liquid. 

While you could make this soup with spinach or cabbage I really recommend mustard and kale. Unlike spinach or cabbage, mustard and kale are bitter and they make a nice foil for the creamy ingredients in this soup.

White Bean And Kale Soup

1 onion, diced
1/2 head garlic, minced
Mustard greens soaking in the sink.
3 tbl. olive oil and/or butter
2 stalks celery, diced
1 qt. cooked white beans, undrained
2 qt chicken broth, beef broth, water or a combination
ham or bacon to taste (optional)
1 bunch kale, mustard, or other greens, cleaned and chopped
grated Parmesan cheese or Parmesan rind to taste
pinch freshly grated nutmeg

In large soup pot saute onion, garlic, and celery in oil and butter until just golden. Add undrained beans and broth. Simmer while cooking bacon or dicing ham... how much you use depends on how much meat flavor you want. Add ham or bacon to the soup and Parmesan rind if using. Simmer 15 minutes. Stir in greens, grated Parmesan, and nutmeg. Continue simmering until greens are just wilted, about 5 minutes.

This recipe is also a part of Pennywise Platter Thursdays at The Nourishing Gourmet :-)


  1. Your recipe sounds yummy - nice and warm for a cold day!

  2. Your soup sounds wonderful.I like the idea of greens in the soup. I remember to add them into so many other things, never remember to add to soup. I also like soups because the recipes are so so versatile. I discovered earlier this fall the the nice thick spicy green in the mesclun lettuce mix I planted is actually Red Russian kale. When I looked, I saw that the back of the package told me that it was red russian kale, but I wasn't paying attention. I have ordered a package of the kale through seed savers and look forward to eating it more in other things besides just salads.

  3. Thanks guys!
    Emily - are you sure the spicy green in the mix wasn't Japanese giant red mustard? Kale isn't normally spicy. And the picture I have with this recipe is actually of mustard. I'll put up a picture of the Red Russian Kale later so you can compare.

  4. My "kale" doen't look like your greens in your photo. I remember someone else telling me that it shouldn't be spicy, so I went and found the package again. The ingredients are: arugula, endive, red kale, red & green romaine and Salad Bowl and Lolla Rossa lettuce.Some how I came up with Red Kale being Russian Red Kale. When I search both on internet I get photos of the leaves that look like what I have growing. I know arugula (rocket) can be spicy, but it definitely isn't that. Here a link to a photo I found. http://www.flickr.com/photos/33341718@N08/3125865769/. Mine is not that abundant as what is shown in the photo, but the leaf shape and colors are the same turning more purple in colder weather.

  5. That definitely looks like kale to me. Man, I wish mine was spicy! That would be great!