Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale, Rosemary & Lemon - The First Messpin it!Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale, Rosemary & Lemon - The First Messpin it!Making soup via The First Messpin it!Backyard Winter rosemary - The First Messpin it!
Happy new year to you all! Just casually sauntering back in here after a month away, yikes. Hopefully this simple and satisfying recipe makes up for the absence. December was full speed for a month straight. I think most of you can relate. Lots of family get togethers, a couple weekends away, the celebrations, a general rut in creative terms, and definitely later nights than I’m used to (I’m admittedly a bit of a granny). After a couple missed weeks of posting and a general acceptance/embrace of less screen time, the slope got a bit more slippery.

But naturally the new year feels like a new start, and I’m a lot more inspired these days. I think a lot of people try to make the switch to plant-based this time of year (yay!), so these first few weeks of January always feel extra critical for making the recipes count and keeping the folks on board. I’m gonna do my best for you guys :)

I think almost every soup recipe uses the descriptors of “soothing” and “restorative,” and this one is very honestly both. I use “creamy” kind of loosely in the title. I brought in my favourite trick for a touch of richness here and pureed half of the soup. It’s lightly creamy but still broth-y. The base is really simple (onions, carrots, celery, garlic, herbs, chili) with a focus on the earthiness of the beans. Kale is added for a touch of green at the end, and lemon lifts everything up to make it sparkle.

The simplicity is what makes this soup so stunning to me. I wouldn’t hesitate to bring it to someone that was feeling under the weather, but it’s also great for everyday enjoyment. It has a little bit of zing, some spice, but it’s mellow and down to earth too.

I mention this in the recipe itself, but with a dish as basic as this one, I tend to really focus on the quality of the ingredients. I had a particularly rich homemade stock on hand and I had cooked the beans from their dried state. At a minimum I would recommend making your own stock for this recipe. I have a great recipe here and am really interested in trying this one from healthy-ish. If you haven’t made stock before, it’s one of the most relaxing kitchen tasks, especially this time of year.

That’s it for this week! Promise I’ll be back here next week though ;)

Prep for creamy white bean soup - The First Messpin it!Creaming up the creamy white bean soup - The First Messpin it!Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale, Rosemary & Lemon - The First Messpin it!Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale, Rosemary & Lemon - The First Messpin it!Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale, Rosemary & Lemon - The First Messpin it!
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: I try not to be an ingredient snob, but this recipe is quite simple with minimal cooking time, so the quality of the ingredients does make a difference. I made a particularly rich homemade vegetable stock and my beans were cooked from dried beans. I think canned beans would be fine, but I’d really encourage you to make homemade stock for this one. I happen to have a great recipe right here :)
-I finished my soup with a lemon-infused extra virgin olive oil and it was *chef kiss* amaaazing.

1 tablespoon heat-tolerant oil, such as avocado or refined coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
1 medium carrot, small dice
1 celery rib, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
chili flakes or aleppo pepper, to taste
1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
4 cups cooked navy beans (about 2 15-ounce cans, drained)
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups packed chopped lacinato kale (roughly 1 small bunch)
big handful finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat the oil in a medium-large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pot and stir. Saute the vegetables until lightly softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

To the pot, add the garlic, chili flakes, and rosemary. Stir and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the navy beans to the pot and stir. Add the vegetable stock to the pot and stir once more. Bring the soup to a boil.

Once boiling, ladle half of the soup into an upright blender. Add the lemon juice to the blender as well. Carefully bring the speed of the blender up to high and blend until this portion of the soup is totally liquified. Pour this liquified portion back into the pot. Season the soup with salt and pepper.

Add the kale to the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Once the kale is slightly wilted and bright green, season the soup once more with salt and pepper, if you find it necessary. Stir in the chopped parsley as well. Serve the soup hot.

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  • Jessica04/01/2018 - 6:33 am

    I’m making this soup today! Perfect for the blizzard weather outside – a simple hearty soup to keep me warm & cozy! Thank you Laura, xoxoReplyCancel

  • Erin at Pure Feast04/01/2018 - 9:15 am

    Lemon and rosemary is one of my favourite flavour combinations – this soup sounds perfect! I’m totally picking up an Ina Garten vibe with the quality of ingredients you’re recommending – they must be “good” quality. Now I’ll have both you and Ina in my head while I’m grocery shopping! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Sara @ Cake Over Steak04/01/2018 - 10:10 am

    I love your trick of pureeing half the soup! My husband is obsessed with it, actually. He wants to do that with every soup we make now. hahaReplyCancel

  • Jean04/01/2018 - 10:17 am

    What a gorgeous soup! You’ve made it look both rustic and luxurious at the same time. I love recipes like this where each ingredient gets its chance to shine.ReplyCancel

  • Anneliese04/01/2018 - 12:44 pm

    Hi! 4 cups of cooked beans equates to how many dred bean cups please?
    Sounds absolutely delicious!ReplyCancel

  • I have a bag of Ranch Gordo Cannellini beans just BEGGING to be turned into this soup – -thank you!!!ReplyCancel

  • Village Bakery04/01/2018 - 7:08 pm

    Amazing job with this soup. So easy to make. cannot wait to try it! -JoeReplyCancel

  • Robyn04/01/2018 - 7:45 pm

    What quantity do you mean by ‘a sprig’ of rosemary? Is that a few leaves.? …a portion of the leaves on the stalk?….an inch or two or three on the stalk?…I’m kind of hesitant because rosemary is such a strong herb. Can you clarify for me?ReplyCancel

    • Laura05/01/2018 - 9:57 am

      It was about 2 teaspoons once I chopped it up.

    • Alicia08/04/2018 - 10:14 am

      A sprig is one “twig” worth. Grab a stem from the packet of rosemary and use all those leaves (sprig)ReplyCancel

  • Brittany05/01/2018 - 2:51 pm

    Happy to have you back! Cheers to the new year!ReplyCancel

  • Kristine05/01/2018 - 5:56 pm

    Hey everyone! Just made this soup and am over-the-moon happy that I did! It is PERFECT for this cold weather here on the East coast! I have already shared the recipe with friends. Being a vegetarian has always come naturally to me, but this soup reminds me of how fun and exciting vegetarian meals can be. With each spoonful, you can feel how healthy it is. Big big fan! Stay warm! xoxoReplyCancel

  • Twood05/01/2018 - 6:00 pm

    How many cup equates to 1 stalk of celery? Do you mean cut up the entire stalk of celery or 1 rib of celery.’?ReplyCancel

    • Laura06/01/2018 - 12:55 pm

      When I say stalk, I mean a rib. I honestly had no idea people used “stalk” to mean the entire bunch of celery. Lesson learned! Thanks.

  • Diane05/01/2018 - 9:48 pm

    I made this soup tonight and it was soooo delicious!! I took the time to make the stock and prepare the dried beans which literally took it to the next level. I don’t think I will be able to go back to canned beans or boxed stock. Thank you for this recipe! It will definitely be on repeat during the winter!ReplyCancel

  • Sherry06/01/2018 - 7:46 pm

    Happy, happy new year to you, Laura! Thanks so much for this cozy and nourishing idea. Among all the dried beans in the pantry I’m pretty sure I don’t have white ones in there just at the moment, but I KNOW I have the better part of a bag of white lentils (a purchase inspired by some of your previous recipes …), and I can’t help but wonder if a white lentil soup could be nicely constructed along these flavour lines? (If yes, it ought to be relatively quick-cooking, at the very least ––) I think I may try it and let you know!ReplyCancel

    • Laura07/01/2018 - 3:04 pm

      Hi Sherry!
      I think white lentils would be great! Might add to the total cooking time, but I think they will actually be creamier than white beans (once blended). Let me know what it’s like if you go in this direction :)

      • Sherry13/01/2018 - 9:43 pm

        Reporting back: we made this soup with white lentils this week and it was super. We used about 1-1/4c of the white lentils and I think 5-6c stock. I see what you mean about the cooking time, Laura ––sorry, I had clearly scanned too quickly through your recipe and missed the ‘canned’ white beans part (assuming you were soaking and cooking the beans from scratch): yes, it probably did take longer than an essential reheat of already-cooked white beans, but even so, it wasn’t a lengthy process: maybe 20 minutes once the lentils and liquid were added? Being slightly lazy, we skipped the blender cleanup and just stuck in an immersion blender until about half was blended up, still leaving lots of nice texture. We also traded sage for rosemary and tossed some roasted butternut squash cubes on top: it was pretty delightful. Thank you again for this yummy, nourishing idea!ReplyCancel

  • Meagan Puterman07/01/2018 - 11:55 am

    Hi there- in your inages the beans don’t appear blended but I dont see instruction to add more after blending. Can you help my confusion?ReplyCancel

    • Laura07/01/2018 - 3:02 pm

      Hi Meagan,
      In the third step of the recipe, I describe blending half of the soup. You still get some whole beans in the soup with this method because only half of it is being liquified.

  • Jeanni07/01/2018 - 4:52 pm

    Just finished my first bowl of this wonderful perfection, I only wish I had more! I added a small head of cauliflower along with the kale…just because I needed to use it. I served it over white rice, and it was a total meal that my hubby and I both loved! Thank you so much for another nutritious, delicious meal. Alkaline, too!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren07/01/2018 - 9:54 pm

    So simple and delicious! Really pleased with this recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Alex08/01/2018 - 2:24 pm

    I love how simple this recipe is – always a great idea to puree half the batch for that faux-creaminess factor.ReplyCancel

  • Morgan McClelland08/01/2018 - 6:54 pm

    This was really tasty. Perfect for the rainy days I’m experiencing. I made enough soup to last me for the week #mealprep. I doubled the amount of lemon juice and I loved it, I recommend it.ReplyCancel

  • Robin clements08/01/2018 - 8:38 pm

    Delicious! Big hit with the fam. I served it over riced cauliflower.ReplyCancel

  • Tracey10/01/2018 - 8:13 pm

    I just made this last night — what an easy and delicious recipe! I loved how all the flavors blend into this lovely burst of freshness — great off-set to the gray of winter evenings. And the hot pepper adds just the right “pop” of heat right at the end of tasting everything else. This one is going into to the “keeper” file in my kitchen :) Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Esmee10/01/2018 - 8:47 pm

    Yum! This is delicious. So simple and easy. I mixed in some roasted potatoes. I admit I thought, this is too easy! But it tasted wonderful. I used Better than Boullion not homemade tooReplyCancel

  • Jessi11/01/2018 - 10:35 am

    Do you think chard would work in place of the kale? I love kale, but I just got chard in my CSA box…ReplyCancel

    • Laura12/01/2018 - 4:56 pm

      Chard would be delicious! Someone who made the soup tagged me on Instagram, and they used chard in their version :)

  • Josie15/01/2018 - 9:43 pm

    This soup is absolutely lovely, what a wonderful creation! I’m curious as to how yours looks so beautifully yellow?

    – JosieReplyCancel

    • Laura20/01/2018 - 11:20 am

      I think maybe my carrot just had a lot of pigment? Could just be the lighting too :)

  • Brittany16/01/2018 - 7:22 am


    I made this last night and for such a simple recipe it really won me over! It was incredible. I ended up just using an immersion blender for a consetvative amount of time as to not over blend. It seemed to work out well. Husband approved. He’s asking me to make it again already. Oh, and I had some leftover homemade croutons from the night before. That was a nice little addition, which I know from your posts is right up your alley. Thank you for the recipe!


  • Kate S.16/01/2018 - 6:47 pm

    you always take the simplest ingredients and turn them into something complex and delicious. i made this for lunch last weekend and was blown away by how fancy i felt and how good it tastes. thank you!!ReplyCancel

  • Cathy18/01/2018 - 9:05 pm

    I made this for dinner tonight, and my husband and I enjoyed it very much! I agree with your point about the quality of ingredients being very important. I used my homemade chicken bone broth, and the flavour came through very nicely. I’m sure I’ll be making this again.ReplyCancel

  • Heather Embree18/01/2018 - 10:43 pm

    What vegetable stock do you use? It has been so hard to find a good one because all the store bought ones have natural flavors and the only clean one I can find has the wierdest taste. Is it easy to make your own?
    This looks amazing and I would love to try this if I could find a good veggie stock!ReplyCancel

    • Laura20/01/2018 - 11:12 am

      Hi Heather,
      I mention this in the recipe itself, but I make my own vegetable stock exclusively and I would really recommend that you try doing that for this recipe. It’s very easy to do! I love making up large batches and freezing the extra stock in 1-litre containers for later. I link to my go-to vegetable stock recipe in the recipe headnotes as well.

  • Rosanna19/01/2018 - 9:49 am

    Made it last night and it was delicious! Love that it’s a simple soup but with so much flavor!.. Didn’t have the fresh rosemary so had to use the dry one.. Thank you Laura!ReplyCancel

  • Velvet31/01/2018 - 8:38 pm

    Would love to know where your black/white bowls and your two toned spoons are from.
    Can’t wait to make this soup. Yum!ReplyCancel

    • Laura09/02/2018 - 12:14 pm

      I picked up the bowls at a little shop on Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach. I can’t remember the name of it, and there’s no brand/clues on the bottom the bowls unfortunately.The silverware was a random find at Home Goods! Wish I could be more helpful :)

  • Briz04/02/2018 - 1:59 pm

    I made this soup this morning! I’m almost done. I swapped black beans for the navy beans because that was the batch I made for this week, so I pureed maybe a quarter of the soup because I wanted to keep the nice colour lol. I’m very excited to eat this!ReplyCancel

  • Cecile Laloux12/02/2018 - 7:41 pm

    WOW!!! I just finish the last sip of this soup and I’m so satisfied. Blending half of the soup? GENIUS!! I used small butter beans i couldn’t find navy beans. I also added minced sage cause it was in my fridge and I love it :)ReplyCancel

  • Zbyszek13/02/2018 - 3:40 pm

    I like all kinds of potato dumplings (distant relatives of stuffed gnocchi). Stuffed with fruits and served with syrup based sauces make great sweet dishes, with sour cabbage (e.g. kimchi) and thick savoury sauces are splendid main dish and with peanut+squash stuffing are competition to dim sum appetizers. And of course all variations one could imagine. Chases away every trace of kitchen rut !ReplyCancel

  • Amanda14/03/2018 - 2:13 am

    Experiencing the first signs of spring here in the Pacific Northwest and with the weather change Im feeling a touch of the cold I’ve been avoiding all winter! We had our first full day of rain after a nice stretch of sun so I took advantage of the chill and my sweetheart and I made this soup.
    It was everything I wanted and then some. The brightness of lemon and the heat of chili really hit the spot (I added the zest from a lemon also because I couldn’t help myself). This will definitely go on my list of regulars. I love that it is easy enough I could whip it up on a weeknight. I have two pint jars of leftovers to look forward to and I expect they will freeze beautifully. Aww I swoon!
    Thank you for sharing your creativity and passion for beautiful food!ReplyCancel

  • […] was inspired to make this soup by Laura’s recipe over at The First Mess and by Julie’s recipe over on the Simple Veganista. I took the flavors and ingredients from […]ReplyCancel

  • Sarah26/03/2018 - 11:06 pm

    This was absolutely delicious! I added quinoa to for some more carbs and protein. I am wondering if you think this would freeze well?ReplyCancel

    • Laura28/03/2018 - 2:34 pm

      I have frozen it without the greens and it was great! I just throw the chopped greens into the pot to wilt as I reheat it.

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  • […] Minimalist Baker  Spicy Broccoli Bowl with Creamy Ginger Lentils from Dolly and Oatmeal  Creamy White Bean Soup With Kale, Rosemary, and Lemon by The First Mess  Fudgy Dark Chocolate Balsamic Basil Brownies from Spice and Sprout […]ReplyCancel

  • stacey02/04/2018 - 3:13 pm

    This recipe is delicious!! Works with lime as well, in a pinch. That being said, I would definitely double the recipe for a family of four unless you are serving with another dish. My kids each devoured around 2 cups each. Thanks for posting!ReplyCancel

  • Kim11/04/2018 - 5:22 pm

    Love this recipe! I reduced it more, used seafood stock I had in the freezer and served it as the base for sous vide salmon. Absolutely delicious. Love your recipes!ReplyCancel

  • Ariane10/05/2018 - 6:40 am

    Just made this for dinner, so so good! and so simple. will definitely make it againReplyCancel

  • Shelley10/11/2018 - 11:33 am

    Has anyone made this in the instant pot? Looking for conversion recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Tammy12/11/2018 - 4:09 pm

    Made this soup today. It’s perfect for a cold, rainy day like today!ReplyCancel

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