I’ve been semi-living off this hearty white bean and kale soup for the past two months. I know it’s probably annoying to hear someone living in warm, sunny weather to complain about the weather, especially when the rest of the nation is going through subzero temperatures, but I can’t help it. I miss the chill of the winter season. Yes I do. It’s hard to get into cozy weather food when it’s 78F˚ and it bums me out a little bit.
This soup is this weird ‘semi-cozy, but still okay to eat if it’s not chilly out’ type of soup, if that makes sense. I know white bean + kale soup is nothing new, but the smoked ham and white sweet potatoes are what really do it for me in this soup. I love that it’s hearty, but not heavy. I also love how the beans add a perfect amount of thickness to the overall soup, without making it too thick and all about just the beans. There’s a great deal of balance going on in this soup which is one of the things I love about it, that you get a little bit of everything. It also doesn’t hurt that this soup is pretty easy to throw together and only require a handful of ingredients.
I highly recommend making a double batch of this soup. It only gets better with time and the leftovers are SO GOOD…especially served with a crusty baguette for dunking and soaking up all the flavorful juices, right?! Now make this soup and get cozy…or not. Enjoy! xx, Jenny
If you’re looking for more delicious hearty soups, here some others we love:
Also check out this post for our Best Soup Recipes!
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Hearty Kale and White Bean Soup
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 ounces (about ½ cup) diced smoked ham
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large white sweet potato, peeled and chopped
- ½ to 1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into large pieces
- 5 sprigs thyme
- 1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, with juices remaining from 1 of the cans
- salt and pepper to taste
- Roughly mash ½ can white beans and set aside.
- Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add 1 teaspoon of oil. Add ham and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove ham from pot and set aside.
- Pour remaining oil into the pot and sauté onion, garlic and sweet potatoes, for 6 to 8 minutes, until onions are translucent and potatoes slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in kale, 1 handful at a time until all the kale has been added. Pour ½ cup of the stock into the mixture and stir together. (the steam will help the kale to wilt down initially)
- Add thyme sprigs and ham back into the pot and season with salt and pepper. Stir in all the white beans plus the juices and stir together.
- Stir in remaining stock and bring mixture to a boil. Once soup has come to a boil, lower to medium, medium-low heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
- Remove thyme sprigs adjust seasonings and serve.
- *Makes 2 1/2 quarts Soup
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This soup has become a staple at our house. I make it without the ham but the flavors & seasonings mingle together to make a delightful soup on a cold evening & it is so healthy! Thank you!
Inspired! thanks for the recipe. Do you use your own chicken stock or a packaged one?
Used roasted & smashed garlic instead of the ham. It tasted delicious. Thanks for such a great, simple to throw together soup.
I just so happened to have nearly all ingredients for this(including a frozen holiday ham I haven’t touched since December :D). I subbed for what I had like canned garbanzos and regular old waxy potatoes. Totally hit the spot on this chilly San Francisco evening. Thanks for the inspiration!
perfect winter comfort food!
I really like the texture and flavor of white sweet potatoes:almost chestnut in taste.Since I ,too, live in a balmy area,I’m thinking doing this as a cold/room temp salad…just shred the kale,omit the stock,cook the potato and add some lemon, and more oil.Thanks!!!Winter soup/summer salad.
i’m a vegetarian. is there something else i could use besides ham?
I would roast and mash a couple cloves of garlic. The flavor will be slightly different from the soup with ham added, but the roasted garlic will make sure the soup is still super flavorful!
Your picture looks like there are regular white potatoes in the soup but the recipe calls for a large sweet potato–which is right?
The photos and recipe are both for white sweet potatoes.