In-Between Seasons Soup

Spring may have just begun, but it is still pretty cold here in DC. There are buds on the trees but it is still chilly in the morning. Since we are still in between season, we need an in between soup. Something that is hearty, but not a thick puree. This kale and white bean soup is exactly what is called for. The broth is light and the kale is green, but the sausage and beans help keep you warm.

This recipe doesn’t call for it, but I threw in some zucchini I had lying around… feel free to innovate. I also went with Andouille sausage instead of kielbasa.

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Kale And White Bean Soup

•Soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary.
•Lacinato is available at farm stands, specialty produce markets, and natural foods stores. Be aware that it has many aliases: Tuscan kale, black cabbage, cavolo nero, dinosaur kale, and flat black cabbage.



  • 1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf (not California)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
  • 2 qt water
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
  • 8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped


  1. Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.
  2. Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.
  3. While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
  4. Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.

2 thoughts on “In-Between Seasons Soup

  1. Yes, this is exactly the season spanning soup I’ve been making for the past few weeks. The weather is cool enough here in New England that we still need hearty soups, but we no longer need heavy soups. White beans and kale are an irresistible combination.

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