This easy winter kale white bean soup with lemon soup is light, healthy, and still cozy, just right for a quick weeknight dinner. About 30 minutes from start to finish and a meal in a bowl! Skip to the recipe →
Another simple seasonal soup for you guys! I’m all about soups at the best of times, and especially now while we’re in the midst of renovations. This is an easy vegan kale white bean soup, with household staples like lemon, carrots, celery, and onion. It’s a lighter variation of a traditional eintopf – literally just ‘one pot’ – a German soup or stew that uses what’s in the refrigerator or cupboard.
Since celery, carrots, onions, and garlic last forever, kale or other greens can be frozen, and a can of beans is easy to keep, this is a good bare-cupboards meal. At this time of year, all of these ingredients are in season or over wintering. Despite it being near the end of winter without much fresh produce, plenty of lemon zest and juice brighten the soup up, and its low carb nature keeps things light. You probably have just about everything you need to make this kale and white bean soup already in the house, and if not, it’s all inexpensive and easy to find.
The only thing you may not have in your house is herbes de Provence, a dried herb mix usually featuring herbs like marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and other herbs in various combinations. Sometimes it includes lavender and/or fennel, so take a peek at the ingredients if you’re not a fan of those stronger items. I don’t mind fennel but lavender not so much.
Herbes de Provence is a great addition to your spice cupboard if you don’t already have it, and I recommend picking some up! Add it to roasted potatoes or veggies, different soups and stews (it’s great in my potato lentil stew), or even to things like scrambled eggs. More traditionally you’ll see it with meat and fish but it’s delicious in plenty of different dishes.
About substitutions, because I know you’ll make them anyway! Any fresh or frozen greens can be used in place of kale. I’m not sure how easy it is to find frozen kale in North America these days, but if you’re going with frozen, spinach works great. Just know that frozen greens will look a little different than the pictured soup. Other than the greens, you might want to sub out the herbes de Provence, but just toss in equal parts dried oregano, rosemary, and thyme if you do that.
I’m a big fan of serving this kale soup with some crusty overnight bread, but if you hate carbs it’s fantastic without, too. Just make sure you add enough salt. If your soup doesn’t taste good, 99% of the time all it needs is some salt.
And hey, this is the first recipe I’ve tested and shot from scratch since moving into our new place! Let me tell you, it was hellish. The space is full of insulation, drywall, and construction wood, plus being where we live/eat/sleep while we add insulation and drywall to the upstairs. But it was nice to get back to work properly.
Looking for more seasonal soup recipes? Take a look at my top 18 vegetarian winter soup recipes and get cozy!
- 1 teaspoon oil (olive, sunflower, etc.)
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 3 stalks celery, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 litres / 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 150 grams / 2 cups little white beans, cooked
- 70 grams / 3 cups fresh kale, chopped (1 cup frozen)
- Zest and juice of a lemon
- In a large pot, heat the oil over low-medium. Once hot, add the onion and sauté for a minute or two, until soft and fragrant. Add the carrots and celery, and cook for another couple of minutes or until slightly softened. Stir in the garlic and cook briefly.
- Pour the vegetable broth over the vegetables and stir in the salt, herbs, pepper, and red pepper. Add the beans, increase the heat to high, and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to simmer for about 10-15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the kale and lemon. Taste and season as necessary, and serve hot. Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator or freezer.
* If you want to use cayenne pepper, cook it along with the garlic before adding the broth.
** If you're using frozen greens, add them when the soup is finished cooking, but let them thaw for about five minutes with the lid on the pot. Using this method instead of cooking keeps the greens bright, tasty, and nutritious.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227 Total Fat: 2g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Sodium: 941mg Carbohydrates: 43g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 10g Sugar: 8g Protein: 12g