White Bean Soup

A hearty bean soup, which is substantial enough to fill in as main course, also can double as an appetizer.

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A hearty bean soup, which is substantial enough to fill in as main course, also can double as an appetizer.



  • 8 leaves fresh kale, or 1 small bunch
  • 3 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 cup peeled and diced baking potato
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 bouquet garni: 1 large sprig thyme, 4 sprigs parsley with stems, 1 bay leaf, 8 peppercorns and 4 whole cloves tied in 2 leaves of leek or wrapped in cheesecloth
  • 2 15-oz. cans navy beans or cannellini beans, or 4 cups home-cooked beans with 11/2 cups liquid
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • Lemon juice to taste

Vegetable stock

  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 cups diced, peeled carrots
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 cup diced leek, white and pale green parts only
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 bunch parsley stems


1. Remove and discard tough kale ribs. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add kale leaves, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from water, and plunge into ice-cold water. Remove from water, and lightly squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely, and set aside.

2. In medium-sized saucepan, combine stock, potatoes, onion, garlic and bouquet garni. Bring to simmer over medium-low heat, and cook, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add beans and liquid. Reduce heat to low, and cook about 10 minutes more, or until soft.

3. Add chopped kale, and cook 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bouquet garni, and discard. Season with lemon zest and juice. If soup is too thick, add water as needed. To make soup creamy, blend 1/2 cup potatoes with broth when potatoes are softened, and stir into saucepan. Serve hot.

Vegetable Stock

Combine all ingredients in large pot. Add cold water to cover, about 6 cups. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat. Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, and set aside to cool. Strain before use.

Wine Suggestions

Here’s a dish you can use to test different wine pairings and further your discovery of wines. The kale and potato will be highlighted by an earthy Italian regional red or Pinot Noir. The creaminess of the beans and potato will be highlighted by a New World Semillon, a Chardonnay or a blend of the two.

Nutrition Information

  • Calories 280
  • Carbohydrate Content 53 g
  • Cholesterol Content 0 mg
  • Fat Content 1 g
  • Fiber Content 15 g
  • Protein Content 15 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Sodium Content 390 mg
  • Sugar Content 5 g