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bowls of beans and greens

I stepped off the plane from Italy about thirty-six hours ago.

I am already missing Bologna.

It’s my home away from home, away from home.

I miss its sights and sounds and smells.

But I’m also real glad to be home. Long trips abroad are equal parts wonderful and relaxing, and hectic and exhausting. Or maybe that’s just how it goes when you’re running all over a medieval city chasing your crazy in-laws around.

My body is craving anything but cheese and pasta and risotto and wine. I want wholesome, nutrient-dense, brothy goodness. And, greens. My body need a reset. This restorative greens and beans soup is everything I am craving. And I guess it doesn’t matter whether you’re acclimating home from traveling or just trying to hang in there mid-holiday chaos – a clean, simple bowl of healing soup can do your body good.

My favorite way to stay on track between holiday parties and cocktails is to make a giant pot of greens and beans soup in my Le Creuset stock pot. Its extra-large size allows me to easily double, triple, and even quadruple this or any soup recipe so that I have healthy easy snacks, lunches, and meals on hand throughout the week. This recipe can be scaled up or down, depending on how large your pot is and how much you want to make, prep and store.

The greens and beans part of the greens and beans soup recipe is also really flexible. Here I’ve used kale, but you can use any greens you have on hand like spinach, collards, chard, baby kale, etc. And I’ve used great northern beans, but you can use navy, cannellini, chick pea, etc. Feel free to experiment, and enjoy!

white beans and leafy green soup in a bowl

vegan beans and greens soup

Restorative Greens + Beans Soup

This recipe can easily be double, tripled and even quadrupled. And can be frozen for future meals. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 bowls


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion diced small
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 celery stalks diced small
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 10 cups vegetable broth or water {see notes}
  • 4 cups cooked white beans {see notes}
  • 6 packed cups kale {see notes}


  • In a large stock pot heat the olive oil over low and sweat the onions for 5 minutes. Then add in the shallot and garlic and sweat for 5 minutes longer. Then turn up the heat to low-medium and add in the celery and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour in the lemon juice, stir and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pot into the mixture.
  • Next add in the salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, basil and broth. Turn the heat up to medium and bring to a gentle boil. Then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Lastly add in the cooked beans and kale and simmer until the kale is bright green and tender, about 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Serve hot with a twist of pepper. And if you'd like, parmesan cheese on top is a great way to finish this dish off.


You can use water in place of broth, or a combination of water and broth. Adjust the salt levels accordingly. You can use any greens in place of the kale, like spinach, collards, chard, baby kale, etc. And if you don't have great northern beans, you can sub in navy, cannellini, chick pea, etc. 


The post is in partnership with AllModern + Le Crueset; all opinions are my own.


Saturday 16th of February 2019

If one would want to dress this up a bit (not that it’s not wonderful as is) could I replace some of the water or broth w/a dry white wine?


Thursday 28th of February 2019

Hi Jesse - of course! The broth would be a great substitution and a the white wine would be a great addition.


Wednesday 4th of January 2017

This looks wonderful and I'm a big fan of kale. Thank you so much - I might survive winter yet!

Laura (A Beautiful Plate)

Friday 16th of December 2016

I love simple bean soups like this! And I know what you mean about traveling. As much as it's fun to indulge while you're away, I always crave these types of things once I'm home. So jealous of your Bologna travels! My dream come true.


Thursday 15th of December 2016

Ah this bowl is everything I've been craving lately. I do love a good white bean in pretty much everything, and this one is everything, Sherrie. Your trip looked dreamy. I know what you mean about a home away from home, I often think about our little town in France that way. There is something so familiar about some of those little European towns, their culture is so strong you immediately feel a part of something great. Happy early holidays to you, hoping that yellow table is bringing all things of comfort and joy. xx


Tuesday 13th of December 2016

The soup sounds so comforting!

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