Recipes/ Soup

Smoky Kale and Bean Soup

kale and bean soup-8565

Why hello, March!

It’s been raining here pretty much nonstop for the past three weeks. In my book, rain equals soup weather. Doesn’t it always? Especially when there’s a side of warm bread and butter to go along with that soup. Obviously.

I made this simple satisfying soup to use up the plethora of kale in our CSA box! We got SO much kale! And hey, there’s only so many kale smoothies and juices a girl can handle.

I love the combination of kale and beans, and was very happy with the way this soup turned out! Adam, who is more of a meat and potatoes guy than a “soups for dinner” kind of guy, practically licked his bowl clean. He slurped the final few spoonfuls. No kidding. When I asked him afterward what he thought, he said, “well, it tasted really healthy…but also really, really good!” I like to thank the bacon for that. Heh.

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Check out all that kale! After I cleaned it up, chopped it and removed the stems it really only equaled a big bowlful, though.

Sidenote: I got these really neat green veggie bags last month that keep your veggies fresh in the fridge for literally weeks! We have a really small fridge with practically no room in the *one* crisper box, so I had to get creative. I wasn’t sure these bags would be worth the price but they totally were! And, you can reuse them a few times. I’m not lying when I say that my kale lasts two weeks in these bags. Amazing!

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I used cannellini beans in this recipe that I cooked the night before. I like to cook my own beans whenever I can because it’s cheaper to buy them dry in bulk and I just think they taste better. The extra step really isn’t all that time consuming and I find it to be totally worth it! You could obviously use canned beans here {whatever bean you like} if that’s what you already have on hand though.

Oh, and the veggies are sauteed in bacon grease. Hence why my husband slurped his bowl clean.

I think you might, too.

kale and bean soup-8564

Smoky Kale and Bean Soup

serves 4

Print this Recipe!


1 yellow onion, small diced

2 cups cooked cannellini beans {or your favorite bean}

2 slices bacon

2 cloves garlic, minced OR 1 green garlic bulb, minced

2 carrots, small diced

1 large bunch kale, roughly chopped

5 cups chicken stock

1 poblano pepper

3/4 tsp smoked paprika

1 1/2 tsp salt, divided


Roast the poblano pepper over an open flame on a gas burning stove OR under “broil high” settings in an electric stove. You want the skin to be pretty much totally blackened. This will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on your stove. Once blackened, carefully and quickly transfer into a small plastic ziploc bag. Seal bag and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, fry the bacon until crisp then remove and set aside to crumble later. Pour off all but 1 tbsp bacon grease and add the chopped onions and carrots. Saute for 10 minutes, until onions start to turn golden around the edges. Add the garlic and continue sauteing for another 2 minutes.

At this time your pepper should be cool enough to handle. Rub off as much of the blackened skin as you can, remove the seeds and roughly chop remaining pepper. Add this to the onion and carrot mixture.

Add the chopped kale and toss well to combine. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add salt and smoked paprika. Add beans and crumbled bacon. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes for flavors to combine before serving.


45 minutes

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  • Maryea {happy healthy mama}
    March 4, 2014 at 3:40 am

    Anything with smoky in the title gets my attention. And the husband enjoys this, too? Now I know I need to make this. Great recipe.

  • Averie @ Averie Cooks
    March 4, 2014 at 3:55 am

    Smoky anything….yum! I bet this had so much depth of flavor! Looks wonderful & pinned!

  • Jojo @ RunFastEatLots
    March 4, 2014 at 4:40 am

    Looks like the perfect thing for the ridiculously cold weather we’ve been having!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    March 4, 2014 at 4:41 am

    Mmm yes beans and kale are a match made in heaven – especially in soup form! I’d take your rain in exchange for our snow – it just doesn’t seem to stop!

  • Hayley@healthyregards
    March 4, 2014 at 5:30 am

    Hmmm I may have to try dried beans! I always buy in a can. This soup sorta makes me actually want cold weather, it seems like the perfect cozy night soup.

  • Chicago Jogger
    March 4, 2014 at 5:34 am

    This looks perfect – especially with a windchill of zero in Chicago this morning! Already pinned and putting this on my recipe list for the weekend. 🙂

  • Destini
    March 4, 2014 at 5:36 am

    Oh this soup looks amazing!! I have a lot of kale I need to use up too.

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun
    March 4, 2014 at 6:09 am

    Oh wow this looks delicious! I am going to have to try it before these winter months come to an end 🙂

  • Erin | The Law Student's Wife
    March 4, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Love how you slipped “the veggies are sauteed in bacon grease” so casually at the end. My husband’s not a big soup guy (we’re in couples counseling to address this issue), but I have a feeling this might change his tune!

  • colleen
    March 4, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Thanks for the tips on bags and the beans! We’ll try this out!

  • nic
    March 4, 2014 at 8:04 am

    This looks really delicious. Question for you: As a fellow pregnant lady, I’m planning to prep some freezer meals before the baby gets here (I’m due a few weeks after you). I’m not sure if you’re planning to do the same, but if so, do you have any tried-and-true freezable meals on your site? Can I tempt you to write a post on this? For purely unselfish reasons 🙂

  • Jennie @themessybakerblog
    March 4, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Kale is one of my favorite greens. I love that you added it to a warm, comforting soup. This is going on The List.

  • erin @hooleywithaz
    March 4, 2014 at 8:43 am

    this is the type of veggie soup that my meat-lover husband would still eat, no substantial meat added. the miracle of bacon grease and beans, that’s what that is.

  • Bryony @ Bryony Cooks
    March 4, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Oh, this looks so good! I make a similar soup with kale and cannellini beans and pair it with crostini, so I’ll definitely have to try this out too!

  • Kara Hoerr @ RD in the Midwest
    March 4, 2014 at 11:17 am

    I love your pictures! That kale is seriously beautiful…I’m adding this soup of things to make. We don’t have rain, but lots of snow, so I think that justifies soup, too. 🙂 The added smokiness is an unexpected twist that I love!

  • Kim @ Roaming Raspberry
    March 4, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    That looks tasty! I’ve been wanting to cook with kale more, but wasn’t really sure what I should use it for besides Kale chips. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll have to try this one out for sure!

  • Coty and Mariah@quirksandtwists
    March 4, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    This looks simple, yummy, and oh so comforting!

  • Christina @ The Beautiful Balance
    March 4, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    This look so tasty and hearty! It just rained her in Phoenix (it’s still 80 degrees, haha) and I am definitely craving this soup now 🙂

  • Helen @ the crispy crouton
    March 5, 2014 at 3:42 am

    Love this recipe – it sounds (and looks) so warm and comforting. I’m thinking I would like to use butter beans in place of canellini beas as they are so chunky and satisfying. Thanks for sharing.

  • Stephanie
    March 5, 2014 at 6:40 am

    I made this recipe last night and it was delish! Perfect antidote to the freezing cold and snow on the East Coast.

  • Amy
    March 5, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Great soup! Perfect for a cold, snowy, midwest weekend. The carnivore in me wants to add chorizo or spicy Italian sausage next time around.

  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    March 5, 2014 at 10:11 am

    i have been eating kale alot lately – you should try kale chips and dust it with nutritional yeast and garlic powder 🙂

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  • Danielle Hughes
    March 6, 2014 at 2:54 am

    This delicious looking recipe is about to become one of my winter staple recipes 😀

  • Emily @ Life on Food
    March 13, 2014 at 4:02 am

    Your soup looks so warm and filling. I cannot believe you have CSA boxes already. I am so jealous. We just got a ton of snow.

  • Meegan
    March 18, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    I have always wanted to get a CSA box. There are so many great farms around us and I’m sure they have great boxes. You can never go wrong with Kale and White Beans. yum!

  • Sara
    March 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I made this on Wednesday night and then at my boyfriend’s house tonight! Everyone who tried it loved it!!!! One of my new favorites 🙂 Thank you!

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