Homemade White Bean and Kale Soup with sausage is an affordable, hearty, and comforting white bean soup recipe, with shaved Parmesan cheese!

bean, kale, sausage soup

One of my favorite times of the year is here: soup season. Cozy weather is coming, and this White Bean and Kale Soup is a must-make. Some soups during this season are delicious, but can be very rich, with lots of cream and butter. This one, however, is nutritious, filling, and yet, not too heavy.

White Bean and Kale Soup

White beans make the broth so creamy, the kale and sausage provide a savory, toothsome body, and the lemon rind and juice bring a much needed brightness to the dish. You may have already tried our Easy White Bean Soup!

enjoying a bowl of White Bean and Kale Soup with bread

Why we love this soup

  • We recommend serving this with warm, crunchy, buttery bread and a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  • It’s hearty and healthy for winter.
  • Guests (and family) love this!
  • Open another can of white beans and serve this White Bean Crostini Toasts recipe with the soup! Delish!

making white bean kale soup

Simple ingredients for white bean & kale soup

  • Sweet Italian sausage: optional if making vegetarian version
  • Yellow onion + garlic
  • Salt to season/ taste + pepper
  • White wine
  • Lemon
  • White beans (cannellini or great northern)
  • Stock
  • Bunch Tuscan kale
  • Finely shaven or crumbled Parmesan to garnish
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil to drizzle

White Bean and Kale Soup with Tuscan kale

What are the cannellini beans?

Cannellini Beans are white kidney beans (common in Italian, Greek and French cuisines), with a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavor.

How to make the soup

  1. In a Dutch oven or medium pot, heat oil over medium-high. Once hot, add the Italian sausage. Using a spatula, cut the links into irregular pieces and let sit, undisturbed. Once browned, stir the meat and finish cooking. Remove the pot from the heat and remove the sausage from the pot, leaving behind any rendered fat.
  2. Put the pot back on the heat and add more olive oil (more if needed). Add the onions, garlic, and white wine to deglaze, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and season with salt. Stir occasionally until softened.
  3. Add in the sausage (and juices), lemon peel, white beans, black pepper, chicken stock, and Parmesan rind. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer. Add the kale, stir to combine, and season lightly with salt. Cover and let simmer until the kale wilts. Taste for salt once more, then stir in the lemon juice.
  4. Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil, a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and crunchy, buttered bread.

White Bean and Kale Soup with sausage

Tips and substitutions:

  • When testing for salt, the amount will vary based on the sausage, beans, and the stock you use, so adjust as needed. Preferably seasoning it more towards the end, because as the soup reduces, the flavors (and salt) will concentrate.
  • It’s important to remove the stems from kale, because they can be bitter and have a woody, unpleasant texture (not to mention, they can be hard on the digestive system). To remove the stems, hold the thick base with one hand and use your other hand to slide down the stem, removing the leaves as you slide.
  • You can replace the white beans for any other kind of beans.
  • Optional to leave out the sausage to make a Vegetarian White Bean and Kale soup.
  • HOW TO PEEL THE LEMON: To peel the lemon, you can use any vegetable peeler, but I find it’s easiest to use a “Y” shaped vegetable peeler like this.

serving of White Bean and Kale Soup

Vegetarian White Bean and Kale Soup

Yes, you can leave out the sausage in this recipe, and make it a vegetarian soup recipe. 

White Bean and Kale Soup with slice of lemon

How do you serve white bean soup?

  1. Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil, a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and crunchy, buttered bread.
  2. It’s delicious leftover, which you can heat on stovetop or in the microwave.
  3. You can also sprinkle with your favorite cheese (Swiss, Gruyere, Jack, Cheddar) and leave out the squeeze of lemon.

a serving of bean and kale soup

More white bean soups & chili recipes you may enjoy:

Slow Cooker White Bean Basil Chicken Soup

White Bean Chicken Chili Recipe

Turkey Poblano White Bean Chili

Instant Pot White Bean Soup

White Bean and Kale Soup with slice of lemon
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White Bean and Kale Soup

Homemade White Bean and Kale Soup with sausage is an affordable, hearty, and comforting white bean soup recipe, with shaved Parmesan cheese!
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Yield: 6

Ingredients
 

  • 2 Tbsp oil, plus more to garnish
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casing removed, 16 oz or 3 links
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • Salt to season/ taste
  • c white wine
  • 1 small lemon, rind peeled into large strips (using vegetable peeler)
  • 2 14 oz cans white beans, canallini or great northern, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed, roughly chopped
  • ½ c finely shaven or crumbled Parmesan to garnish, plus 1 Parmesan rind (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • Baguette, sliced

Instructions
 

  • In a Dutch oven or medium pot, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high. Once hot, add the Italian sausage. Using a spatula, cut the links into irregular pieces and let sit, undisturbed—3 minutes. Once browned, stir the meat and finish cooking 2-3 minutes more. Remove the pot from the heat and remove the sausage from the pot, leaving behind any rendered fat.
  • Put the pot back on the heat and add 1-2 Tbsp more olive oil (more if needed). Add the onions, garlic, and white wine to deglaze, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and season with salt. Stir occasionally until softened—8-10 minutes.
  • Add in the sausage (and juices), lemon peel, white beans, black pepper, chicken stock, and Parmesan rind. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, 12-15 minutes. Add the kale, stir to combine, and season lightly with salt. Cover and let simmer 5-8 minutes until the kale wilts. Taste for salt once more, then stir in the lemon juice.
  • Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil, a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and crunchy, buttered bread.
Cuisine: American
Course: Soup
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white bean soup with paremesan cheese