Kale, White Bean and Ciabatta Soup

When we first tasted this soup (modified from a recipe from Nostrana in Portland), it was so rich, complex, and almost smoky tasting, we thought maybe we’d accidentally put meat in it without noticing. But, we’re guessing the real reason it tastes so great is because both the beans and chard are fresh from the farm. We got ours from the farmers at Alm Hill. If you’re in Seattle, we recommend paying a visit to their stand at your local farmer’s market this weekend, and picking up some beans and a mix of their braising greens.

Beautiful Beans from Alm Hill Gardens
Beautiful Beans from Alm Hill Gardens

Magic Beans from the Farmer's Market
Magic Beans from the Farmer’s Market

Do a ‘quick soak’ on your beans to get them ready faster. In a medium-sized saucepan, add a cup and a half of dried white beans, submerge them in water, bring to a boil, and then turn off the heat. Let the beans sit for 30 minutes and they’ll be ready to go. We used heirloom cannellini beans, which taste amazing.

White Bean and Kale Soup Ingredients
White Bean and Kale Soup Ingredients

In a large pot, add the drained beans, 2 quarts broth, 6 garlic cloves, 10 fresh sage leaves and some chile flakes. Bring to a boil, and then let it simmer for about an hour, or until the beans are soft. Add a pinch of salt during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Fresh Greens
Fresh Greens

In another large pot, boil 2 bunches of kale for 10 minutes. They should be submerged in the water. Remove, and coarsely chop the kale. We used a mix of kale, chard and other greens, that had already been chopped.

Simmer the Soup with Fresh Sage
Simmer the Soup with Fresh Sage

Now, heat 1/3 cup oil over medium heat in the pot you used for the kale. Chop 4 garlic cloves and add them to the pot, along with 1/4 tsp chile flakes, and a tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves. Saute the garlic for a few minutes. Then add 4 chopped anchovy fillets and the kale and cook a few more minutes. (Leave out the anchovies if you don’t eat fish.) Stir in the beans and their liquid, and then bring it all to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for ten minutes, and then remove from the heat.

Stir 6 ounces of cubed ciabatta bread into the soup, along with salt and pepper. Let stand for ten minutes, and serve. Top with grated pecorino and a drizzle of olive oil.

kale, white bean and ciabatta soup - amazing
kale, white bean and ciabatta soup – amazing


  • 1 1/2 cups dried white beans (like cannelloni)
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red chile flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 bunches (1 lb) kale or braising greens mix
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
  • 4 anchovy fillets (finely chopped)
  • 6 ounces day-old ciabatta bread, torn up
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese

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Seattle Foodshed

Gardening, foraging, exploring and cooking. Time for a delicious adventure.

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