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LEMONY KALE + WHITE BEAN SOUP WITH LEEKS

Soup is on with this hearty Lemony Kale and White Bean Soup with Leeks! Full of hearty veggies, it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals and is healthy as can be, easy to make and ready in 30 minutes!

top down view of a bowl with a serving of healthy kale and white bean soup with leeks.

Call me crazy, but I love soups in the summer as well as the winter. They are welcome all year long!

Soups are great because they’re usually easy to make, full of nutrition and extremely versatile. This lemony kale and white bean soup with leeks I share with you today is no different.

It’s gluten free, low fat, can be oil free and is fairly well-balanced. All of this with full-flavor from the delicate sweet leeks, bright lemon, deep earthy kale, and mellow flavored beans equating to a high yum factor!

side by side photos of the process of making healthy lemony kale and white bean soup with leeks.

Lemony Kale & White Bean Soup

You’re going to love how simple this recipe is, using everyday accessible ingredients. This kale and white bean soup took me all of 30 minutes to make and only one pot. It’s filled with healthy, whole foods to keep you happy and nourished.

Recipe variations:

  • The White Beans. Use cannellini or great northern beans. Chickpeas would also work great too!
  • Kale. Use full-grown kale or baby kale.
  • Carrots & Celery. The carrots and celery are added for color and texture. If you don’t have any on hand, omit them, or throw in a little extra if you like.
  • Leeks. I used leeks here (I love them so!), an onion will work too if you prefer or don’t have leeks easily available.
  • For the herbs, use a teaspoon or so of thyme, oregano, tarragon, rosemary, herbs de Provence, lemon pepper, etc. Use what you have on hand or whatever is your favorite. I think any of these will do wonderful in this soup.
  • Optional Grain. To add extra heartiness you may consider adding in 1/2 cup dried orzo to the pot with the beans, just add an extra cup of water and cook until orzo is tender.
  • Optional Vegan Sausage. Try adding in some sliced sausage when you add in the kale, I highly recommend it. I added some to my leftovers and it ramped up the yum factor a couple notches. Try Field Roast or Tofurkey. If this is something you eat occasionally by all means add it in. You won’t be disappointed! I think just about any of these sausage flavors will work, use your favorite.

There is a lot of versatility here giving you the ability to keep your soup fresh, new and perfect for you!

side by side photos of the process of adding freshly chopped kale to the pot making lemony kale and white bean soup with leeks.

How To Make Lemony Kale and White Bean Soup

This healthy kale and white bean soup is so easy to make and only requires a few simple steps:

  • De-rib and prep kale: If using full grown kale such as lacinato, dinosaur, or curly kale, you’ll want to remove the thick center stem. To de-rib, all you need to do is fold the kale over along the rib and run a sharp knife down the side. Then simply roughly chop or thinly slice the kale.
  • Prep the leeks: When using leeks, use only the white and pale green parts. Don’t forget to rinse them under cool running water to remove any dirt and debris that has collected in between the layers, usually it’s just the outer layers that need special attention. Here is a nice tutorial on How To Clean Leeks.
  • Saute: In a large pot saute the leeks, carrots and celery for about 7 minutes, add the garlic and herbs and cook 1 more minute (pictured above left).
  • Boil and simmer: Add the beans and broth (above right picture), bring to a gentle boil, add the kale and cook for 3 -5 minutes, or until kale wilts and softens (pictured below). Remove from heat.

Enjoy your soup with a chunk of homemade Artisan Bread or Naan Bread for soaking up the juices. For gluten free, try this easy Socca flatbread made with chickpea flour.

This soup is also wonderful with a light dusting of Almond Parmesan!

top down view of a freshly made pot of healthy kale and white bean soup with leeks.

How Long Will Leftovers Keep?

Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container. Re-warm on the stovetop or the microwave. It makes a great meal prep for the week with bread on the side for soaking up the juices.

Can You Freeze Kale and White Bean Soup?

Yes, it freezes beautifully for up to 2 months! My favorite way to freeze this soup is in individual small freezer safe containers. That way whenever I want to cozy up with a warm soup I can just pull it from the freezer and heat it up. You can also freeze using large ziplock bags or containers for larger portions.

More Healthy Soups You’ll Love

top down view of a bowl with a serving of healthy kale and white bean soup with leeks.

If you try this easy kale and white bean soup recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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LEMONY KALE AND WHITE BEAN SOUP

Cozy up with a warm bowl of this well-balanced, nutrient dense soup. It cooks in one pot and will be ready in under 30 minutes!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 - 6 1x
  • Category: Soup, Entree
  • Cuisine: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1/2 cup water for water saute
  • 2 medium leeks (about 34 cups), thinly sliced (white & pale green parts only)
  • 2 large carrots (about 1 cup), diced
  • 2 celery stalks (about 1 cup), diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, rosemary or thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh chopped
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 67 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or combo of water & broth
  • 2 cans (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed or 3 cups cooked
  • 1 bunch kale (lacinato or curly), middle stem removed and julienned
  • 23 lemons, juice of
  • mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • chopped parsley, to serve

Instructions

Saute: In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil or water over medium heat, add leeks, carrots and celery and saute about 5 – 7 minutes (leeks should be softened and wilted). Add garlic and herbs & red pepper flakes, saute 1 minute more or until fragrant.

Boil & Simmer: Add liquids and beans, bring to a slight boil, add kale, turn down heat to low and cook until kale softens and wilts, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and salt & pepper to taste. Add extra water/broth as needed.

Serve with a sprinkle of parsley and squeeze of lemon. A light dusting of Almond Parmesan would be a nice touch too. Pair with your favorite crusty bread or naan bread to soak up the juices.

Serves 4 – 6

NOTES:

Add in 1/2 cup of orzo before bringing to a boil, cook soup at least 10 minutes on medium before adding the kale. Add an extra cup of water if needed.

Use 1 onion in place of the leeks if needed. Dice onion and cook the same as the leeks in this recipe.

Use baby kale in the tub (5 oz.) if you prefer.

Nutrition information is calculated using 1 Tbsp oil and 3 cups veggie broth.

UPDATED: This post was first published in Jan. of 2016 and has been updated with new photos and helpful tips on Aug. 2019. The recipe has stayed the same with a little more clarification of the produce amounts and is just as delicious today as it was 3 years ago. Enjoy!

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27 Comments

  1. This soup is delicious! I’ve made it twice within the past week and plan to take some to a dinner party next weekend.

  2. I adore leeks and this was amazing! Thank you for the recipe.

  3. We’ve just had fresh snow and this soup was the perfect meal to cozy up inside with. I feel nourished!

  4. Elizabeth says:

    First time I’ve used my Dutch oven for something other than bread! Good soup! I definitely didn’t need more than the juice of one lemon.

  5. I love this recipe. Followed the recipe except used a 16 ounce bag of frozen chopped kale. In the winter fresh kale is expensive and not always available in our local grocery store. The frozen chopped kale was more convenient and flavorful. I will try it with fresh kale in the summer or when I find good fresh reasonable kale in the store. I love the lemony flavor. I grow my own kale in the summer.

  6. Amazing!
    I have been making this recipe doubled so my husband and I can eat it every day for lunch! I think the lemon is genius in this recipe! It wouldn’t be the same without it! Thank you for sharing this recipe! 🙏🏼 Brenda

  7. Love the flavor, love the simplicity of the recipe. Thank you!

  8. amazing and easy to make! i like to mash some of my beans to make the broth a little thicker.

  9. So good!

  10. Very good!

    I had a bag of 12-bean stew mix (dried beans), some kale and leeks, was wondering what to do with this (as I thought) weird combo. Google solved the dilemma. This hits the spot, thanks!

    Made a couple of changes:
    1. cooked the beans separately in my trusty jiggle-top pressure cooker. Used no-salt chicken broth, was going to discard after cooking, but kept it as the soup base. Added a couple of squirts of tomato paste for color and tartness.
    2. sauteed the veggies separately, added them to the beans in the pressure cooker vessel.
    3. used rosemary; thought the lemon with rosemary combo would be good, and it was.
    4. I used my stick blender to thicken the soup before adding in the kale, leaving about 2/3 of the solids intact. Some of the smaller beans in the mix didn’t hold up so well anyway.
    5. Used 3 lemons for a tangy pop.

    I’ll have to check the rest of your site for good recipes and such. Thanks again!

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