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.