Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale, Rosemary & Lemon

Created by Laura Wright
4.99 from 282 votes

This creamy white bean soup with kale is simple and quick to make. It has a little bit of zing and spice, but it’s mellow and down to earth too. I have a simple trick for making it creamy!

An overhead shot of a pot of creamy white bean soup with kale, rosemary and lemon. The pot os off white with bowls and spoons to the side, over a grey linen tablecloth.
An up close overhead shot of creamy white bean soup with kale, rosemary, and lemon. It is in a large pot with a ladle. Red Aleppo pepper is sprinkled on top.
A shot of my kitchen’s open shelving and countertop. On the counter: a container of white beans, vegetable stock, chopped kale, a carrot, celery, and a dish towel.
Chopped prep for making soup. On a white platter with red leaf detail on the edges: chopped celery, onions, carrots, garlic, chili flakes, and a lemon half. To the side, there’s chopped kale and white beans.

This creamy white bean soup with kale, rosemary, and lemon is cozy and vibrant, and just the right thing to turn to for keeping us warm and satisfied. I enjoy this recipe all year though. I also love that it comes together in 40 minutes.

It’s a new year and it feels like a new start. 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.

More Vegan Soup Recipes:

  1. Ginger Sweet Potato & Coconut Milk Stew with Lentils and Kale
  2. Quick, Smoky Red Lentil Stew
  3. Smoky Chickpea, Lentil & Cabbage Stew with Kale
  4. Lemony Chickpea Soup with Spinach & Potatoes

I think almost every soup recipe uses the descriptors of “soothing” and “restorative,” and this one really is both. The descriptor “creamy” is used somewhat loosely. I use one my favourite tricks for a touch of richness here and puree half of the soup. It’s lightly creamy but still broth-y. The base is really simple 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.

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.

With a dish as basic as this creamy white bean soup, I like to really focus on the quality of the ingredients. I had a particularly rich homemade vegetable stock on hand and I had cooked the beans from their dried state. I would recommend making your own stock for this recipe! We have a great vegetable stock recipe here. I’m also 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.

That’s it for this week! I’ll see you on here soon.

An overhead shot of puréed white bean soup being poured back into the pot.
A 3/4 angle shot of a ladle of white bean soup with kale, emerging from an off-white pot.
An overhead shot of 2 bowls of creamy white bean soup, with the big pot of it to the side. There is a beige table linen rumpled nearby and everything is set over a grey linen tablecloth.

Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale

This creamy white bean soup with kale is simple and quick to make. It has a little bit of zing, spice, but it’s mellow and down to earth too
4.99 from 282 votes
Up close, overhead shot of a creamy white bean soup with rosemary and lemon. The soup is in an off-white pot and there is a ladle in the pot as well.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings 5

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 medium carrot, small dice
  • 1 stick celery, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • chili flakes or aleppo pepper, to taste
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
  • 4 cups cooked navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups packed chopped lacinato kale (roughly 1 small bunch)
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped

Equipment

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 delicious!
  • For freezing this recipe: I recommend leaving the kale out. That way, when you reheat the soup for serving, you can add chopped kale as it comes up to a boil. Not a grey, overcooked leaf of kale in sight! ;)

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a medium-large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pot and stir. Sauté 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.
A 3/4 angle shot of an individual serving of creamy white bean soup. A beige napkin is nearby.
03/01/2018 (Last Updated 14/08/2023)
Posted in: autumn, creamy, earthy, gluten free, kale, main course, nut free, quick, refined sugar-free, soup, sour, spring, vegan, white beans, winter

178 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Tiffani Vega

    Wow its an amazing soup I added mushrooms in mine and water it got a bit thick. 

  • Susan

    I followed your soup recipe yesterday.  I really enjoyed making it…great ingredients.  I wrote a note to myself that the next time I make it that I’ll be sure to take your suggestions to leave the kale out before freezing.  That soup base is delicious all by itself.  Thank you. 

  • Jennifer

    5 stars
    I made this soup tonight with Rancho Gordo Marcella beans. It was delicious and simple. I used as much broth as I could from the beans and some additional store bought veggie broth to top it off. It was still perfect. It goes well with some homemade focaccia!

  • Jeanah

    5 stars
    I made this last night and it was delicious! I used your recipe’s vegetable stock (from like tofu recipe) and soaked/cooked cannelloni beans from scratch. perfection.  Healthy and hearty, even my meat eating kale hating husband loved it! Thanks for the great tip about not adding the kale to freeze; I removed half to freeze before adding the kale. 

  • Maya

    Can I use baby kale or any type of kale?

    • Laura

      Baby kale or any other type of kale is totally fine!
      -L

  • jess

    5 stars
    This one was one of my favorite soups I have made in a VERY long time. It was simple and absolutely delicious! 

  • Janina

    Such a good recipe. I have made this soup several times and my boyfriend keeps asking me to make it. I tweaked it a little bit to my preference (i add a few potatoes in chunks and i add a piece of lemon peel to the blender because it can’t be lemony enough for me) and it is really phenomenal. Thanks so much for it!

  • Sheila

    5 stars
    Forgot to rate it!

  • Sheila

    SO delicious! This one will be on regular rotation this winter, thank you for another awesome recipe!

  • Leah

    4 stars
    If you’re using cans of beans, 2 cans comes up just short of 4 cups. I’d recommend reducing the broth because my soup came out yummy but a bit watery.

  • Kate

    5 stars
    This is fantastic! Just creamy enough without feeling heavy. I added extra lemon juice and served with sourdough bread. Delicious! 

  • Paula Moore

    This soup was so good! My husband doesn’t like the texture of rosemary so I kept the sprig whole as the soup cooked for flavor.  I served it with extra lemon wedges (and I added some of the rosemary leaves to my bowl!).  Yum!

  • Danielle

    5 stars
    This soup is delicious!! Do you know if it freezes well? I live alone and don’t want any to go to waste! 

  • Heidi P

    5 stars
    Just made this soup and it’s delicious!

  • Wendy

    4 stars
    I didn’t plan to unvegetarianize (is that a word?) this soup but I had leftover chorizo sausage so I threw it in. So delicious. I will make it again, with the sausage because I found it bland without it. I like a lot of flavor. Veg broth just doesn’t give me that. 

  • Lisa Wendling

    5 stars
    I love this soup!  What is the nutritional information- particularly the calories per serving?

  • CC

    I made this for the first time tonight. OMGOSH. Unbelievable! So quick and easy, and absolutely delicious! Even my 9 year old boy loved it. I added nutritional yeast and topped off with evoo. Perfection in a bowl! 

  • Meredith

    This is a really good simple weekday meal :-) my mum loves it too

  • Vickie Davis

    I made this beautiful soup yesterday and it was beyond awesome! Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I will be making it lots more. Next time with my homemade artisan bread…yum

  • Theresia Andrews-Maas

    This is a seriously delicious soup. I love the combination of fresh rosemary and lemon. It is the middle of July and one would ask oneself why I eat a soup like this for dinner in a heat wave…. Because it is so delicious!
    This soup and a fresh salad make for a great Meal! I am happy!

    Theresia from Toronto

  • Rhona

    This soup is insanely delicious. I did add in the zest of 1/2 lemon.

  • Megan

    This is a lovely soup. I used one rounded cup of dried local navy beans. Post blend, I added some thin sliced cooked zucchini and re-added the lemon juice (I think the blended beans neutralized some of the flavor). The rosemary was a total background player, I should probably add more next time, but with the mellow lemon, slight chili flake spice, and garished with parm & parsley – I didn’t miss it!

  • Karly

    This sounds amazing and I am hoping to make it tomorrow but I am using dried beans. Any directions for dried beans? I’ve never actually done dried beans so I guess I just soak overnight? Thanks!

  • Tabrina

    Holy Moly this is a delicious soup! I’ve made a “fancy” soup each night for dinner over the last two weeks of self-isolation. This one was hands down the favourite. I doubled the recipe (halved the lemon based on preference) and used a store-bought organic veggie boullion powder. It was somehow creamy AND brothy — the dream combo. I had to really convince the vegan there was no cream added.
    Thanks Laura!

  • Katherine Gipple

    I’m making this now!Thank you! Rosemary in the windowsill.

  • Jocelyn

    This was delicious, came together easily!

  • Elizabeth

    So lovely and simple! Left pepper for topping so it’d be toddler friendly – he loved it as did we and our guests! I was thinking how can such a simple ingredient list be so amazing – it just is! I added a small leek. Thanks for yet another keeper!

  • Carla Zamiska

    I made this after a heavy lunch and I was low on my allotted calories for the day (I’m on a weight loss journey). This was fresh, yummy, and easy. Thank you very much for the recipe!

  • DP

    I made this recipe tonight and it turned out great. Thank you!

  • Joel Barranger

    This is one of the best soups ever. I took it into work and many loved it. I brought it in for our annual Souper Bowl competition and won 1st!!! I give you full credit.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Karen L.

    Made this yesterday – honestly, it’s one of the best soups I’ve ever made or tasted. I think the fresh rosemary is key to the flavor. Thank you for the recipe!

  • Tara

    I made this last night! It was perfect for a stormy winter evening. I quick-soaked the beans in salted water, then cooked them in a pressure cooker. I used a lime instead of lemon because that’s what I had, and it was delicious! I can’t help but think this would be a lovely soup to serve cold in the summer. Thank you!

  • KB

    This is the second recipe from you that I’ve tried and I am hooked on your cooking!! The soup was creamier than I expected, even though “creamy” is in the description, and it was super easy to put together. I made it for my family and we enjoyed it with cornbread. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Heather

    I loved this recipe. I did not have kale or celery, so I substituted rainbow chard (stalks and all)…..SO Good!

  • Ximena

    Just tried this recipe and loved it! I added about 2x the lemon because I can never get enough lemon- definitely enjoyed making it with the homemade vegetable stock as well!

  • Elodie Adams

    LOVE THIS SOUP! Can’t think of anything I’d change.

  • Betzy

    I made this the other night. Both my husband and mother, loved it! Its super simple and easy. I tend to get intimidated with cooking but I truly enjoyed making this. AMAZING!

  • Rhonda

    Delicious I used coconut oil and it gives it nice Thai flavour

  • Janet

    Thank you for a beautiful soup. It’s flavours and textures are perfectly balanced. I served it with homemade wheat bread, steamed rice cheese, and a chopped olive salad to make a well rounded, filling meal of it. Count this as a big success.

  • Ashley

    This soup was amazing! The lemon flavor is the perfect addition. I don’t like carrots, so I didn’t use those and I used curly kale because that’s what I had on hand but otherwise made it as directed. I will be making it again.

  • Mae

    I make this soup for my partner and I once a week, and we never tire of it.
    Thanks for such a lovely recipe!

  • Elena

    Hey, can’t wait to make this soup. Can you guys tell me how long the soup will stay good for. Ideally, I’d like to eat it on 4 days next week. Can I keep it in the fridge for that long or freeze it?

    • Laura

      Hi Elena!
      You can keep this soup in the fridge for up to 5 days :)
      -L

  • Megan McNair

    Made this on a rainy cool day…delish!I added 2 links Beyond Meat Hot Italian Sausage. So good!

  • Denise

    Thank you so much for this recipe! My family (hubby and 5 kids) loved it! Delicious!

  • Morgan

    This was delicious. We are making it again tomorrow! I am wanting to move toward eating more plants and maybe even vegetarian or vegan eventually, so thanks for your recipes! They help me figure out what to eat, especially because I have some food allergies that further limit my options. My husband decided to stir the soup at the end with a big sprig of rosemary and that kicked it up a notch (which was surprising to me!). Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Jacki F.

    Love this soup. I use the really small sized white beans. The only thing I add is freshly grated parmigiano or pecorino romano to give it a bit more flavor and it adds to the thickness.

  • Barbara Alfeo

    I absolutely love your recipe! I am writing vegetarian recipe round ups on my blog in 2019 for people who are trying to make more meat-free meals (everyone has to start somewhere). I would love to feature you. You can check out my blog (for beginner environmentalists) at sunshineguerrilla.com. Is it alright if I share this link to your recipe?

  • Carolyn

    Made this today. Super easy and deeply satisfying. Thanks!

  • Gilda

    Hello, this’s soup looks delicious, can’t wait to try it. I have tried many of your other receipts and they all taste great. I bought your cookbook today from Amazon!

  • Maria

    Very tired of chicken soup …it’s been a long, cold winter. So I tried this today and really enjoyed it. I switched greens to swiss chard because it’s what I had and chicken stock (again because it’s what I had). Will definitely make again. Thank you.