My name is Mary.  I love cooking healthy food for family & friends, making specialty coffee, wine tasting, finding great beauty products, traveling, and organizing everything. I document it all here! xo

herbed white bean, kale & vegetable soup

herbed white bean, kale & vegetable soup

{vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, dairy-free}

herbed white bean, kale and vegetable soup

Happy New Year!  I'm back after a three month hiatus! We've been globe-trotting, visiting family and attending weddings and such, and there just hasn't been much time for me to sit still.  Now, we are here in NYC for a while and the current snow storm has forced me to stay inside and be productive : ).

herbed white bean, kale and vegetable soup

When we arrived last week, it was a bone-chilling 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Living in southern California my entire life, I've never experienced that kind of cold.  It's the kind of cold that burns your skin when directly exposed to the air.  In light of the cold weather, we've been craving soup (pho three times in four days!!!).  Luckily, I anticipated cooking winter soups and stews, so I packed an immersion blender (a gift that keeps on giving, thank you Aunt Jane!). 

herbed white bean, kale and vegetable soup
herbed white bean, kale and vegetable soup

This soup is seriously hearty, and will leave you feeling full for hours. The best part is that It can be whipped together in under 30 minutes (me likey!!!).  The recipe was inspired by Laura's Creamy white bean soup with kale, rosemary & lemon from The First Mess.  If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend half the soup in a regular blender as she suggests in the original recipe.

herbed white bean, kale and vegetable soup

There is room here to play around with ingredients.  I used thyme in the recipe, and tarragon for garnish, but you could use any herb combination you like (i.e. rosemary and parsley).   

Bon appétit!

herbed white bean, kale and vegetable soup
herbed white bean, kale and vegetable soup

Total: 30 minutes| Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 15-20 minutes | Serves 4


immersion blender or standard blender

soup or stew pot

wooden spoon

chopping knife



1 generous tablespoon heat tolerant oil (do not use coconut oil, unless it is unscented)

1 large leek (white and light green parts only, quartered lengthwise and sliced thin (about 1/4 an inch)

1 parsnip, diced

1 fennel bulb, cored and diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced (opt out if it bothers your stomach, the soup is still tasty without it)

2 tablespoons thyme, stems removed and roughly chopped

optional chili flakes to taste

*2 15-ounce cans of navy beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 cup of dry to make them homemade)

4 cups vegetable broth (I used the Imagine vegetarian no-chicken broth)

1 small bunch lacinto kale, stems removed and sliced thin

1 Meyer or regular lemon cut into wedges

1 bunch of tarragon, rough stems removed and torn for garnish (leave some leaves whole)

high quality olive oil to garnish

optional freshly grated parmesan or pecorino for garnish

**sea salt and pepper to taste



In a large soup pot, heat a generous tablespoon of desired oil over medium heat.  Add the diced parsnip, fennel and leek to the pot.  Cover the pot for a couple minutes to release the water in the vegetables, then cook slightly covered until the they are soft, translucent and lightly browned (about 5-7 minutes total). 

Stir in the minced garlic, thyme, and optional chili flakes.  Cook for about 30 seconds to release the flavors.  Mix in the navy beans, and then add the vegetable broth.  Season with fresh ground pepper to taste (wait to add additional salt as the vegetable broth contains salt).  Stir everything together and cook with the lid on until the soup comes to a boil; then, turn off the heat.

Using an immersion blender, whiz the soup (inside the pot) until about half of the mixture is smooth, still leaving some whole pieces of beans and vegetables. Alternatively, spoon half of the soup into a blender and pulse until smooth; pour the blended mixture back into the pot.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add in the chopped kale and bring the soup to a boil.  Cook until the kale is bright green and tender, just a few minutes.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.

Squeeze the juice of about half a lemon and a handful of tarragon into the soup and stir until well integrated.  Reserve the additional half lemon (wedges) and tarragon as a garnish alongside the soup. 

To serve, portion the soup into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a lemon wedge, and plenty of tarragon.  Finish with a few turns of cracked pepper, sea salt flakes and optional parmesan or pecorino cheese. Enjoy with a warm, crusty bread!



*To make homemade navy beans, soak over night or perform a quick soak. After soaking, rinse the beans and add them to a pot of water and cook for about an hour, or until the beans are tender.  I added in the leftover vegetable trimmings and salt and pepper.

**I am in love with Maldon salt, my mother-in-love introduced me a few months ago and now it's all I use in my cooking.  It's also a great finishing salt.  Add a few flakes to this recipe as garnish!





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