This flavorful, savory Tuscan kale and white bean soup with cheese is a welcoming warm and filling soup.
Especially good on chilly days, this has the feel of comfort food but with good protein from cannellini beans, cheese and meat (optional), plus the rich nutrients provided by the Tuscan kale
The mouth-watering combination of pancetta*, porcini mushrooms, and hearty cannellini beans makes this a satisfying lunch or light dinner when paired with a crisp, green side salad.
*See vegetarian substitute for pancetta in the recipe notes.
Recipe for Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup With Cheese
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 6 oz. pancetta diced (or meat sub.)
- ½ oz. dried porcini mushrooms reconstituted (RESERVE LIQUID)
- ½ c. dry white wine
- 6 c. chicken broth preferably organic (or veggie broth for a vegetarian version)
- Reserved liquid from reconstituting dried mushrooms
- 2 ” Parmesan cheese rind
- 2 bay leaves
- 1½ T. fresh rosemary leaves chopped
- 3 c. cooked cannellini beans divided
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 c. Tuscan kale washed, stems removed, leaves chopped
- ¾ c. Pecorino Romano cheese freshly grated and divided
OPTION 1: Vegetarian Substitute for Pancetta - Caramelized Mushrooms & Onions
- 1 yellow onion chopped and cooked to caramelized
- 12 oz fresh baby portobello mushrooms sliced, and sautéed with onions
- Sauté onions and mushrooms uncovered on low heat in 3 Tbsp salted butter with 1/4 tsp pepper optional, or to taste, for 30-45 minutes.
OPTION 2: Vegetarian Substitute for Pancetta - Roasted Mushrooms & Onions
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- 1 Yellow onion chopped
- 12 oz baby Portobello mushrooms cleaned & chopped
- Chop cleaned mushrooms and onions into small bite sized pieces.
- Toss chopped veggies in 2 Tbsp. olive oil with salt & pepper to taste
- Place veggies on papyrus paper on cookie sheet or pizza pan and roast for 15-30 minutes or until tender. Tossing at least once during cooking to aid even cooking and prevent burning
OPTION 3: Vegetarian Substitute for Pancetta - Mushroom & Coco Liquid Aminos
- 16 oz sliced Baby Portobello mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp butter + 2 Tbsp Coco liquid aminos or to taste + 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Sauté sliced or chopped mushrooms in butter/aminos on medium heat stirring periodically, until well cooked (10-20 minutes)
- Add to soup in place of Pancetta
- Bring a kettle of water to boil. Place porcini mushrooms in a heat-proof bowl or pyrex measuring cup. Cover porcinis with boiling water. Soak for 30 minutes then strain and RESERVE LIQUID to add to soup later for additional flavor.
- Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pancetta (or vegetarian substitute) and chopped porcini mushrooms to hot pan and sauté until pancetta is nicely browned (or veggie substitute is cooked), approximately 4-5 minutes for pancetta.
- Add white wine and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and stir or whisk it into the wine for flavor infusion. Reduce heat to medium and simmer a few minutes until wine is reduced by half.
- Add chicken (or veggie) broth, reserved liquid from dried mushrooms, Parmesan rind, bay leaves, fresh rosemary, and 2 cups cannellini beans. Stir to combine and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes or until heated through.
- While the soup simmers, add remaining cup of cannellini beans and a little water to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Stir into soup to thicken.
- Add chopped kale and ½ cup grated Pecorino cheese and stir until cheese is completely melted and the kale is wilted, approximately 3-4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired. Remove from heat and discard the Parmesan rind and bay leaves. Serve immediately with remaining grated Pecorino cheese.
More to Love With Kale
We can’t have too much kale. In fact we’re growing kale in our garden at least half the year or more.
Kale is an easy vegetable to sneak into all kinds of food toward fortifying any dish with potent nutrients. We chop it into just about everything from soup to salads, roasted veggies to stir fry, and a favorite for breakfast egg bake for breakfast.
For picky eaters, just start slowly with small chopped bits that can find their way into bites while scarcely being noticed.
If you love potato chips but are concerned about toxic saturated fats from fried foods and too much starch in potatoes, kale chips are a tasty but guilt free snack to aid weight loss. Easy to make—and much easier than home baked potato chips—give these kale chips a try, seasoned with whatever is your favorite chip seasoning.
Kale is also a favorite vegetable for green juice, another wonderfully healthy and tasty detox and weight loss aid.