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




  • eileen

    5 stars
    Great soup! I love the touch of blending the vegetables and beans to make it creamy. Brilliant.

  • Lindsay

    5 stars
    Delicious! The lemon juice takes it to the next level of yummy and I added a little shredded pecorino on top.

  • Tee

    5 stars
    Very tasty soup! Doubled the recipe and fed all my friends. Will make again! :)

  • WorkingMom36Seattle

    5 stars
    Texture, flavor at all levels – and naturally simple to put together – amazing!!

    • Laura Wright

      Really glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for leaving this review :)
      -L

  • Am

    5 stars
    This soup was absolutely amazing! I ate an embarrassing amount of it! I added roasted corn and thinly sliced potatoes like those that come in olive gardens zuppa toscana. I cooked them in their own pot and seasoned with salt and cayenne. I added them to the soup after the kale wilted, stirred in parsley and then served. So so good!!

    I will be making this again and again. Thank you!!!!!

    • Jennifer McMahon

      5 stars
      Delicious! I did use canned cannellini beans and still so yummy. Served with some TJ organic crescent rolls and a perfect meal on a wintry cold day :) Thank you .

  • Sarah

    5 stars
    I have a ton of basil. Do you think that would be good in this?

  • Miranda

    Turned out great with canned beans and better-than-bullion. I added Field a roast vegan sausage, which was delicious.

  • Anne

    5 stars
    I am so excited that it is soup season again, and all the more so with this recipe! I’m always looking for dairy free soups that still have some good depth and comfort to them, and this is certainly one of those. The lemon adds a nice zip to it. I enjoyed it even more the second day once the flavours had more time to meld. Paired excellently with some toasted homemade bread and hummus. Thanks for this.

  • Michelle

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe! Super easy and yummy. Really helped with my cold. Just wondering how long it lasts in the fridge?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Michelle,
      So glad you enjoyed the soup! You can keep it in a container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
      -L

  • Barbie

    5 stars
    Laura, enjoyed this recipe immensely. Thank you for posting. Did a quick version and used canned navy beans (gasp) and a broth base. I definitely plan on preparing your vegetable stock however in near future! It still turned out delicious! My husband is huge soup lover and ate 2 large bowls. Came out creamy with the trick of blending 1/2 the soup. No need to add cream or other heavy fats. I love having good vegetarian meals and this is a keeper!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Barbie! I use broth base all the time, and I’m glad that the recipe worked for you! :)
      -L

  • Ann Marie Kelly

    5 stars
    Quick and delicious. Someday I’ll make the broth, but tonight I used a favorite broth brand and canned cannellini beans. Creamy and comforting, and very filling for a vegetarian soup.

  • Kiki

    4 stars
    I halved it… it was tasty and reminded me of chicken soup. It was thick and even with adding more broth it stayed thick. I didn’t feel it was a soup, maybe more like a stew. I would add chicken to this or eat it on noodles or with crusty bread. But not on a soup night.

  • Patty

    5 stars
    Comes together quickly. Hit the spot on a cold winter eve. Beautiful flavours.

  • Karen

    5 stars
    This was delicious…even though I just used canned beans and better than bouillon veggie broth. I’m not a huge rosemary fan so I swapped it out for thyme. I will definitely be making this again and again!

  • Svetlana

    5 stars
    Hallo, Laura!

    Can you help me – 4 cups beens – how much it in grams?

    And if you can say about kale approximately in grams

  • JP

    5 stars
    A winner for sure. Easy, tasty, healthy, warming in the winter – what more can you ask for? Perfect for extra celery, sad carrot and kale that was getting sadder by the day. I had no fresh rosemary but used dried thyme and upped the chili flakes. I also only had canned beans and used 1 can of garbanzo and 1 of cannellini and it was fine. I did use homemade vegetable stock that I had frozen, and it turned out absolutely delicious. Thank you Laura!

  • Week 1: Late Winter Soup, Ramen, & Lettuce Wraps – The Organic Lacto-Veggie

    […] Creamy White Bean Soup with Kale, Rosemary & Lemon […]

  • Al

    5 stars
    Thank you form the recipe; it is very good. I like that the soup is very flavorful, creamy without using cream and the vegetables have great texture as they do not get over cooked, due to the short cook time, since the beans are precooked.

  • Holly

    5 stars
    This soup was so simple & delicious! I ended up subbing Za’atar for rosemary and adding leftover chicken (#nofoodwaste) and wowzas, I licked my bowl clean. I am constantly impressed by you Laura — your recipes never fail me! ;)

  • Tina

    5 stars
    This was a delicious recipe! It was so easy. I agree with your notes. Homemade veggie broth and soaked/cooked beans make the difference. I used cannellini beans instead of navy beans.

  • Mary Ann

    I was wondering how the taste would be if I left out the rosemary. I cook for elderly people and they can’t always handle the spices. The soup really looks very good. Thanks for any comment.

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Mary Ann,
      I think the flavour of this soup would be fine without the rosemary! The lemon is kind of the star with this one, and the final soup will still be creamy and flavourful.
      -L

  • Sandy

    5 stars
    Delicious!  I added a few sweet potatoes

  • Janet

    5 stars
    My vegetarian daughter wanted soup on a warm May night. Instead of buying this soup from a local place, I found this recipe. And so glad I did because it’s amazing! The fresh rosemary makes it so earthy and delicious. It’s a keeper for the recipe book. 

  • Rosie

    I followed the recipe, I loved it, thank every much for a great meal!

  • Narayan

    5 stars
    Hi, thanks for this recipe. The soup was delicious. I used fresh local (Vermont) spinach, rather than CA kale, adding the spinach at the end of the cooking so it stayed vibrant. The lemon is a perfect finishing touch. 

  • Jen

    5 stars
    Added browned sweet Italian sausage (only because it had to be used today). Delish!<3

  • Eric

    5 stars
    For a vegetarian version, instead of creaming half the soup in a blender add some parmesean rinds with the navy beans and let it simmer 10 to 15 minutes before adding the kale.  Final seasoning should only require pepper.

    • Shaye

      Most Parmesan cheeses that are imported from Europe aren’t vegetarian, and it’s difficult to know what kind of rennet other Parms use. Unless it specifically says vegetarian, most vegetarians who know about the animal rennet avoid it.

  • Mary

    5 stars
    Used canned beans and organic chicken stock from Trader Joe’s. Also added croutons from some leftover whole wheat bread. Delicious! The lemon juice is genius! Thank you for this wonderful recipe :)

  • Sophie

    5 stars
    This was so yummy and easy thank you!

  • Kayla

    5 stars
    So happy we finally tried this to night! So nourishing and yummy, even my picky 4 year old ate it up

  • Alison Villanti

    5 stars
    So good!! Used canned beans, broth instead of stock and rosemary spice instead of fresh. Still tasted amazing.

  • Jordan E Zimmermann

    This soup is DELCIOUS and pretty easy to make. Highly recommend.

  • Naya

    5 stars
    I just made the soup with the homemade stock and baby spinach because that’s what I had and it was just perfect! I will definitely be making this over and over. 

  • Kate Quinlan

    5 stars
    We had this tonight and enjoyed it tremendously. It’s flavorful and satisfying! 

  • flora

    5 stars
    This was fantastic, thank you!  I am a horrible cook, but I felt like I could pull this off, and I did.  Even with canned beans and broth, it tasted amazing.  I live alone and thought I”d have to freeze it because it made so much, but I was so excited to eat it all week long. Can’t wait to make my next batch.  

  • Ashlee Garnett

    5 stars
    Love, Love, Love! My family was blown away by the favor in this soup. I loved the vegetable broth recipe that you attached as well. That broth is a winner! I’m making a double batch of the broth tomorrow. Thank you for your lovely recipe. I just ordered your cookbook and can’t wait to get it! 

  • Zoe skok

    5 stars
    Forgot to give stars hehe

  • Zoe Skok

    Yummm this was so good! I added potato and leek to mine too and it was incredible thank you! 

  • Kelly Samantha

    5 stars
    Just wanted to say how obsessed I am with how simple, understated and so damn delicious this recipe is. I think it would make a great first intro for a beginner cook’s repertoire – and to keep making forever. Versatile as well – I tried it with thyme and leftover cooked rice, and it was so yum.

  • Urszula Korolczuk

    Made this today to use up some cooked beans and extra kale I had. Turned out great! I minced one small sprig of rosmary, and put another two in whole (just removed before blending then put them back in). Will make again. 

  • joanne

    4 stars
    how did you get broth to be so yellow? mine didn’t come out that way….thanks!!

  • Jen

    5 stars
    Amazing soup!  This will be my go-to white bean soup from now on.  Very impressed with the rich flavours (I snuck in some peppercorns when I sautéed the veg) :-)  Thank you for such a great recipe.

  • Gia

    This is the BEST vegetarian white bean soup I have ever made – thank you so much for sharing!  I made it exactly as posted – didn’t need anything additional while serving, P E R F E C T! 

  • Juanita

    5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was so good! I had chicken stock on hand and used great northern beans since I couldn’t find navy beans. I also doubled the carrots and tripled the celery since I had a large onion. Delicious! Comforting, I love the addition of lemon and chile flakes, and am super amazed by the blend half the soup technique. Thank you!

  • Lainey McClellan

    **Made this and it was delicious! I substituted red chard for the kale & browned the chopped up stalks with the carrots and onion first. Then added the rough chopped chard at the end just like the kale. Love what the blending did with half the soup. Also added 1 more can of beans to the Dutch oven after creaming the first half in the blender just for a little more texture. Yum!

  • Mischa

    4 stars
    Made this for the family even though it’s close to 100 degrees here in Texas!  I couldn’t resist after coming across the recipe in my Pinterest feed.  I admit I forgot all about the fresh lemon at the end, but it still came out pretty amazing!!!  We are not vegetarians, so I added some smoked turkey sausage.  I am sure it would have been even better with the lemon! Can’t wait to make it again WITH the lemon. This is a dish that will for sure be an addition to our family lunch/dinner rotation…

  • Tessa Wilson

    How would I cook this in a slow cooker? In general, how can you modify a soup recipe to cook in the slow cooker? Thank you!

  • patricia

    5 stars
    Made this tonight, even though it was 90 degrees out today! I LOVE soup anytime!! Followed your directions to the “T” except I used canned beans. It was outrageously delicious. Thank you for a great, quick meal.

  • Danielle

    5 stars
    Best soup I have ever made! Can’t wait to make it again!

  • Maribel

    5 stars
    Absolute favorite go to soup recipe! Thank you so much!!

    • Laura

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this review, Maribel! I’m so glad that you like it :)
      -L