Garlic and Kale Soup Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Garlic and Kale Soup

This brothy soup provides heart-healthful nutrition on many levels: kale and garlic are good for the cardiovascular system; wheat berries are high in fiber; and shiitake mushrooms contain eritadenine, an amino acid that speeds up processing of cholesterol in the liver. Once the wheat berries have been presoaked, the soup can be ready in under an hour.



Ingredient Line: 
½ cup wheat berries
Ingredient Line: 
2 Tbs. olive oil
Ingredient Line: 
3.5 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (1 cup)
Ingredient Line: 
10 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
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¼ cup brown rice vinegar
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4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
Ingredient Line: 
1 bunch kale (10 oz.), stemmed and coarsely chopped


1. Soak wheat berries in large bowl of cold water overnight.

2. Heat oil in 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, and season with salt, if desired. Sauté mushrooms 10 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Add garlic, and sauté 2 minutes more. Stir in vinegar; simmer until vinegar is almost evaporated, stirring to scrape up browned bits from pan.

3. Drain wheat berries, and add to mushroom mixture with vegetable broth and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes. Add kale, and cook 10 to 20 minutes more, or until kale is tender. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Nutrition Information: 

4 g
Total Fat: 
5 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
20 g
0 mg
103 mg
3 g
4 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

It's not my favorite soup ever, but the small amount of calories for the amount of soup you get equals a winner in my book! I skipped the vinegar altogether this time around (made it another time a few years ago) and enjoyed it much better this time around. Paired with a good veggie sandwich and this can make a low-fat, low-cal, high fiber meal. Who doesn't love that!

Amazing! Don't be afraid of the amount of garlic. It mellows as it cooks and creates a delicious broth.

I was really looking forward to making this soup last night and was disappointed in the result. I wondered why it called for vinegar and think I'll leave it out next time. I could barely taste any garlic or mushrooms over the strong taste of vinegar.

Awesome! Made this with red quinoa because I didn't have access to wheat berries and used "chikn" flavored veg broth. So delicious. Nothing but compliments on this one.

I omitted the vinegar. The garlic makes a great broth that's even better as left overs.

What could I use instead of mushrooms? Not a fan of them at all..

The soup is delicious as it is and sometimes, I add carrot and corn to "sweeten" the soup. If I run out of wheat berries, I use wild rice and I am sure the soup is great with other grains.

I liked the soup but also found it a little sour from the vinegar. I would still us it but maybe not as much.

This soup was ok. We halved the amt of vinegar, as suggested, then found we needed to add tamari at the table. I wouldn't make it again.

The soup is awesome! I used barley and it was fantastic!! I did use the vinegar and had no problems I tasted everything! The garlic does make the broth super yummy!

Made this twice - the 1st time according to the recipe (using about 1/8 the vinegar) and it was good. The second time I sauteed onions until they just caramelized, added fresh rosemary, and garlic to saute down some. Added some additional mushrooms to the mix, some baby portabellas, crimini and a lot of white button mushrooms. I had no wheat berries so I subbed in cracked wheat (same thing?) and instead of the vinegar called for, I used some balsamic vinegar along with some "chikn" veggie broth. The results were outstanding.

With a few minor changes, this soup was delicious! Because of the comments, I used only 1/8 cup seasoned rice vinegar instead of the 1/4 cup. For the broth, I used half concentrated mushroom stock (Better Than Bullion brand) and half "chicken" stock. I also added a little less than 1/4 cup nutritional yeast to boost up the flavor, and it really made this soup fantastic!

I made this using the comments from others users as guidance. I only used 1 Tbsp of rice vinegar, and I added some other ingredients for more flavor: 3 thinly sliced leeks, 2 minced shallots, 1 bunch chopped green onions, 1 inch cube of fresh ginger (grated), and then I topped it with some chopped roasted unsalted peanuts. Very good!

oh my goodness this soup was awesome. i used full vinegar and found it was just right. the broth is simple, sure, but theres beauty in its simple deliciousness.

This was excellent. I didn't use the wheat berries, instead I used barley. I, also, used less garlic since I didn't have enough. I used dried shiitake instead of fresh. My family loved it. Thanks.

this is my new favorite soup. simple and full of flavor. i added a little more liquid than it called for and let simmer a bit longer to soften the garlic a bit more.

What a yummy, hearty and slurpy soup! I didn't have wheat berries or barley so I added cannelini beans and I also didn't have the viniger so that was omitted as well. Turned out fantastic!

This is an awesome rainy, fall day soup. I added cranberry beans, various types of kale and mushrooms. Whole foods has an awesome selection of mushrooms and kale.

I've not tried it yet but will add dried cranberries when I do. Headed for the coop today.

Has anyone tried it without the mushrooms? I can't eat them, but love the other ingredients...:)

Great! I made this with cremini mushrooms, barley, and with red wine vinegar (stuck home w/ sick people, so i couldn't go to the store! ha ha!) Turned out great! The broth is so smooth and flavorful. Delish! a winner, for sure! If I would have had cannellini beans, I would have added them.

My husband and I absolutely love this soup! We've made it several times. It tastes so healing and we crave it after traveling and eating out. We make it exactly as the recipe states. We have no aversion to the vinegar like some comments have noted. YUM!

Made it but omitted the Vinegar and substituted the wheat berries for tofu cubes. OMG!!! So delish!

I made this tonight and it really is delicious. I wonder if those who complained that it was too sour did not reduce the vinegar as the recipe suggested. Ours had a lovely subtle sour undertone.

Goodness in a bowl! I didn't have wheat berries on hand, so used barley instead. Used baby bella mushrooms instead shiitake. Reduced the rice vinegar and also added fresh grated ginger with the garlic. Delicious!

This is my current favorite soup. The vinegar sweetens and mellows when it is reduced all the way, so it's important to follow that step through for that flavor to develop -- it compliments the garlic and kale so elegantly. It reminds me of a hot and sour soup that can be so comforting on a chilly day. I love the textures and the "chew" of it all....excellent soup!!

I love this soup! Of course, I never have the exact ingredients, and I use far more mushrooms, several cups; mostly crimini, but some dried shitake. I don't have rice vinegar so I use dark balsamic vinegar (it gives the soup a nice rich flavor). And, I never have wheat berries (but I think they would be really good), so I use short-grain brown rice. Everything else is as in the recipe.

This is a fantastic soup- has anyone tried freezing it?

I was SO disappointed with this recipe!! It sounded very yummy to me, since I like all the ingredients, and the comments were so positive... But I almost hated it. You'd better be a real kale lover to enjoy it. And like many others, I think the amount of rice vinegar is too large.

Delicious! I swapped cooked brown rice for the wheat berries and apple cider vinegar for the rice vinegar. I hope to keep this on hand through much of the winter.

Used lentils instead of wheat berries. Delish!

A tasty nutritious alternative to chicken soup on sick days. Substituted white beans for wheat berries. Next time, I will be sure to fully brown the garlic and mushrooms and to reduce the vinegar more thoroughly. I also added about 3/4 tbspn salt.

The 4 cups of broth, plus the cup of water added with the wheat berry mix, doesn't seem to make very much broth. Did anyone else have trouble with this?

This is souper! I use Better Than Bouillon Mushroom Base, barley instead of wheat berries, and throw in a few milliliters of liquid smoke. Amazing! However, if vegan the mushroom base does contain some butter.

This a wonderful soup AS WRITTEN. Worth finding the berries and using all the vinegar (which adds a good flavor). Yes, kale is an acquired taste - NOT spinach, although I guess one could substitute. Shitakes are an earthly flavor - marvelous. Adding more broth washes out the blended flavors. We love this soup!

I wish their were more low fat or nonfat recipes included in the magazine and on your website. My wife and I are vegetarians with a maximum of 3 grams of fat per recipe.

Delicious. I made it exactly as written. My husband and I both loved it. However, if making as the main meal, I would say this only serves three modest portions.

My wife and both enjoyed this soup. I rather enjoy this as an accompaniment with Avocado-spinach panini, by itself it is not to filling.

This is a very good and very healthy soup. It's not my favorite, but good enough to make again. I made it as written, but I like one commenter's idea of adding rosemary. May try that next time. I also agreed with another commenter that there wasn't enough broth, but I was very generous with the kale so I probably threw the proportions off. I added an extra cup of water to compensate. Another big plus for this soup: very little prep time. I buy prepped kale, so all I had to do was peel and slice the garlic. And most of the cooking time is unattended simmering, which allowed me to deal with my kids while I was cooking.

I love kale in all forms and this recipe turned out great! I also like this kale soup recipe:

Fabulous soup! It has become a family favorite. We throw the kale in the bowl and ladle hot soup over the top to keep the texture nice and crunchy. The kids devour kale this way, so buy lots extra. Also, since we are gluten free, we sub whole GF oat berries which make the soup extra thick and rich! In fact the kids love this soup the next day when the oat berries have absorbed and thickened nearly all the broth- yes, we too need to add more liquid to the recipe. Delicious and fast soup. Whats not to love?

I am on disability and need some really good and healthy foods for my imune system and these are recipes I would love to try they sound good.

Yummy and easy

I've made this recipe three times in the last two months. It is so delicious and feels like it could knock a cold out quickly, I haven't made it while sick yet so I can't attest to that for sure. The only change is that I garnish with some low sodium tamari to serve.

Definitely not enough water here to make a decent amount of broth. I doubled the amount and added even an extra cup. I subbed carrots for wheat berries as I didn't want a very heavy soup today. I may add some brown rice at the bottom in the future. And will add in extra mushrooms to add more depth. We liked it!

I have made this twice now, it's so good. It's so much better if you use organic kale. I also used barley instead of wheat berries. My whole family loved this.

I added a lemon wedge to each serving to offset the sweet vinegar flavor. I may try balsamic vinegar next time. I used barley instead of wheat berries. Tasty and satisfying soup on a cold day.

This soup sounds delicious, but for anyone out there who, like us, prefers to get their fats from whole foods rather than the processed, empty calories of oils and margarines, sautéing mushrooms without oil is easy. I use a high-quality non-stick pan (I know others who cook without oil in stainless steel) and simply lightly salt the mushrooms (this draws out their moisture), cover and cook over low-medium heat for about 10 minutes, then remove the cover and allow them to brown (if desired). You could also just sauté them in water or vegetable broth.