Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup


Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup is hearty yet light, and packed with vegetables and kielbasa. The perfect cold-weather soup!


Howdy all, hope you had a nice weekend! I woke up to dark and stormy skies on Saturday, but shook my fist at Mother Nature and decided to move forward with my morning plans anyways – strolling through the Farmers’ Market with my Mom!


We hadn’t been in weeks, and were positivity tickled to find that we practically had the place to ourselves. It seemed most chose to stay at home rather than risk getting caught in the rain.


More samples for us! ;) (PS have you ever had a yellow watermelon? It was my first time, and I was shocked at how sweet it was. Nearly double that of a red. So yum!)


I stocked up on hedge apples to keep Fall buggies out of the house (place next to all doors that lead outside on a small piece of foil. Totally works!)


And got a Spinach & Cheese Pupusa to share with my Mom!


We felt guilty about eating this much masa and cheese at 8:30am for about 14 seconds before completely demolishing it.




The rain eventually came later that morning, so Ben and I spent the remainder of the day strolling through the mall, reading, and watching The Notebook, which sent me into an emotional tailspin. I had never seen it before and have never felt so happy yet depressed at the same time. What a tear jerker! (And HELL-o, where has Ryan Gosling been all my life?)

Blue skies prevailed this morning so Ben and I decided to get one final use out of our summer fishing licenses and try our luck at snagging a few swimmers at a nearby lake.


I might have completely made this up, but I feel like the day after rain is the best time to go fishing.

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Actually, I probably did make that up because we got nothing. Zip. Zero. Zilch. AGAIN! Tons of nibbles, but in the end our hooks got more action from the pond weeds than the blue gills (which I could see in the water, yet they wanted nothing to do with my bait.) Little jerks.


A little kitchen therapy had me feeling better. I made a big pot of Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup when we got home.

If you live in Iowa then you know it was about 90 degrees today, but I literally could not help myself. Saturday’s dreary weather had me itching to make something cozy, and I am so into Fall foods right now it’s not even funny. If you had one sip of this soup, you’d totally get it too!


Chopped carrots, onions and garlic mingle with fresh kale, creamy white beans, salty kielbasa, and savory parmesan cheese in this easy, flavorful soup recipe. I can already tell I’ll be making it all winter long, using the kale I’ve been chopping and freezing from my garden!


Start the Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup by sauteing 3 sliced carrots and 1/2 chopped onion in 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a big soup pot over medium heat. When the veggies are tender, add 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/2lb polska kielbasa (double check the package to make sure it’s gluten-free. Johnsonville is!)

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Once the kielbasa is golden brown add 4 cups chicken broth into the pot while scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen up all the yummy brown bits. Mmmm.


Next add 1 bay leaf, and a small piece of parmesan cheese rind. Whole Foods sells leftover parmesan cheese rinds (for pennies!) for this exact use – adding tons of flavor and a nice richness to soup. So next time you whiddle through a wedge, be sure to save the rind in the freezer to add to your next pot.

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Then add 1 can drained & rinsed Great Northern Beans, and 4 cups chopped kale. FYI cannellini beans are traditionally used in Tuscan White Bean Soup, but I like Great Northern’s better because they’re smaller and more creamy.

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Place a lid on the pot and simmer until the kale is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice.


Finally, sprinkle in 2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese then give the pot one big final stir.


That’s all she wrote!


Serve with an extra sprinkling of parmesan cheese, if you please, then dig in!


Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup

Serves 4


Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup is hearty yet light, and packed with vegetables and kielbasa. The perfect cold-weather soup!


  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or microplaned
  • 1/2 lb gluten-free kielbasa, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used Johnsonville brand)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2x2" Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chopped kale (remove leaves from stems/center vein before chopping)
  • 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add carrots and onions then season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds then add kielbasa and cook for 3 more minutes.
  2. Add chicken broth, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen brown bits, then add beans, Parmesan cheese rind, and bay leaf. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in kale then place a lid on the pot, turn heat down to medium-low, and simmer until kale is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in Parmesan cheese then taste and adjustment seasonings if necessary.
  3. Remove bay leaf (Parmesan cheese rind can stay in - it will continue to flavor leftovers) then serve with additional Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, if desired.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats, http://iowagirleats.com.


Light yet hearty, Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup is perfectly satisfying and seriously, obnoxiously good. Ben and I both gave it two thumbs up.


Plus it’ll just get better and better as it sits. Awesome for leftover lunches with an apple or salad.


Well folks – it’s time to go unwind before the start of another crazy week! Have a great night!


What was the highlight of your weekend? 

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  1. shandy 08.26.2012

    Were you at Saylorville? Have you been to Maffitt Reservoir before? You can fish there and it’s absolutely beautiful. I just found it myself.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.26.2012

      We were at Maffitt today! So obnoxious – there were TONS of fish jumping in and out of the water, but none for us!

      • shandy 08.26.2012

        That’s frustrating! At least it was pretty out there. :) I can’t wait to take my camera back out there when the trees start turning…or maybe before. It was just so peaceful there.

        • Iowa Girl Eats 08.26.2012

          Totally – that’s what we were just saying today too. It won’t be long now! :)

  2. Totes reminds me of a soup that my aunts makes! Looks great. So ready for fall and foods like this!

  3. Amy 08.26.2012

    The highlight(s) of my wknd……….

    Breakfast out at a new place, Sat. a.m. with my mom and treating her to it:)
    Enjoying my new Nook Tablet! Love it……………I am never the first w/ any gadget, but it’s fun when you get your own!
    And getting a great walk in this afternoon………perfect weather in MN! Almost too hot, ha.

  4. Mrs. McFall 08.26.2012

    omg – PUPUSAS! Wish I could make ’em at home!!! :)

  5. Samantha 08.26.2012

    I discovered your blog this past week and have already made three of your recipes– ALL DELICIOUS. Can’t wait to try more!

    Btw, the picture of the oozy, cheesy forkful is making me drool……..

  6. Jim Simmons 08.26.2012

    filed this one away for later.looks great

  7. Trisha 08.26.2012

    I thought I was the only woman on Earth who has yet to watch The Notebook. Well, now I probably am for sure. I read the book twice & bawled my eyes out each time. When the movie came out I just couldn’t bring myself to deal with the emotions of it on screen. Someday when I need a good cry I’ll watch it. And then I won’t be able to leave the house with my puffy red eyes for approximately 24 hours…
    Highlight of my weekend is right now, chillin’ on the couch with my boys. :)

  8. terri 08.26.2012

    Hiking in the woods yesterday with my husband and dog and lazying around today listening to the rain were the highlights of my weekend. AND making your tomato sauce in the crockpot for dinner tonight. It was GREAT! The recipe is a keeper. We’ll be making it again.

  9. Cheryl 08.26.2012

    OK, how are you freezing your kale? Blanching first or just chopping and freezing? I cut a huge batch today and have no plans for kale this week so freezing would be a really good option.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.27.2012

      I just cut and freeze. I do the same thing with spinach for my green monster spinach smoothie!

  10. Nancy 08.26.2012

    I too have just recently found your website and I’m hooked! I made the chewy cherry granola bars today and the quinoa salad with the lemon-vinegarette, which I absolutely love!!! Looking forward to a granola bar tomorrow! While I was browsing through the site I came upon a coconut chicken chili that had amazing looking pics, but no recipe…would you consider posting that?? I love looking at all the recipes and that fact that they are so nutritious is a bonus!! Thanks for sharing your talent!

  11. Amy 08.26.2012

    That looks like a great farmers market. Where is it located? We just moved to Clive (from Kansas) about a month ago, I haven’t had a chance to make it to any farmers markets yet. Thanks for the recipe! I just started soaking some white beans for minestrone, but I think I’ll try this instead.

  12. Kirbie 08.26.2012

    Two things…1. How have you been missing out on yellow watermelon all this time? Sooo delish! and 2. WHAT?! you have never seen The Notebook before Saturday? You clearly have been living in some sort of cave, must be too much kitchen time trying all the yummy recipes you post for my dining pleasure!

  13. Elizabeth 08.26.2012

    Where are those hedge balls and yellow watermelon?! I was there sat am too… I want to find those next sat!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 08.27.2012

      The yellow watermelon was kind of near Dos Rios, and I think I got the hedge apples on the side street just south of the main band!

  14. Allison 08.26.2012

    I saw had some of the yellow watermelon at the farmers market yesterday also! I asked the guy working and he said it was supposed to be orange but it turned out yellow…ummm like orange watermelon is normal? It definitely was good!

  15. Lindsey 08.26.2012

    Yummy! Can’t wait to try this soup! I will be waiting until its a little cooler… :)

  16. Nicole 08.26.2012

    This soup looks fantastic! I’m going to make it the first day the temperature dips below 0 degrees C (32 degrees F for Americans).

    Weekend highlight: sleeping in! In preparation for a super crazy work week coming up!

  17. Carole m 08.26.2012

    Ohhhhhnoooooo. U are killing me with the downtown farmers market pics. We moved from DSM last year to Wisconsin and hands down the farmers market is what we miss the most. Pupusas – our must have each week! # 2 thing we miss? Wok in Motion-yum.

  18. The farmer’s market looked great today! Those flowers are my favorites and I’ve never tasted yellow watermelon either. I’m going to be on the lookout for that now. I’m so with you on The Notebook. My husband absolutely never crys or tears up and it about had him cryig. ;) When it cools down just a bit I will definitely be making that soup.

  19. Jill Sullivan 08.26.2012

    The highlight of my weekend? PRing my 5K…25:20! :)

  20. The soup looks so good for the soon to be fall season. And I love the pictaure of the flowers. So many pretty colors.

  21. Lauren 08.27.2012

    Even though I’m not quite ready to admit that it’s soup season, I’m willing to reconsider for this one. Looks delicious!

  22. seriously might travel to iowa to that market just for those pupusas. gahhhhhh sooooo good. every time!

  23. Michele A. 08.27.2012

    We must have watched the same “The Notebook” on TV last night! I’d never seen it before, either – and I was a sobbing MESS at the end! James Garner is the best – what a wonderful, wonderful movie…. :)

  24. Jessica C. 08.27.2012

    Soup looks great – but not sure I could have had it yesterday , so unexpectedly hot! :) Thought about going to the Farmers Market, but stayed inside like most people! Need to go next week!

  25. Deborah 08.27.2012

    On Sunday went to the MN State Fair, always a good time with lots of good food. Hot day at 90°!

  26. Paige 08.27.2012

    New to the blog, really like the recipes! And thankful they are on the simple side for the most part. Tried the green monster shake this weekend and LOVED it. I’ve been struggling with breakfast, so this is perfect! Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try the white bean soup recipe!

  27. Allyson Smith 08.27.2012

    I can’t decide what I find more shocking… that you hadn’t seen The Notebook before or that you’ve just realized how delicious Ryan Gosling is! Have you seen Crazy, Stupid, Love? He’s my absolute fav!

  28. I eat soup in 100 degree weather. Sure, people think I’m nuts, but I can enjoy a good bowl of soup whenever! This soups looks delish and it’s one of my fave’s! :) :)

  29. Rachel 08.27.2012

    oo yum! I’ve been wanting to make soup for a while now since it’s getting cooler… I’ll try this out!

  30. Highlight was trying out crossfit for the first time… UNREAL!

  31. Manon 08.27.2012

    I went to the Farmer’s Market early Saturday and it was GLORIOUS! I also busted out my favorite hoodie and curled up on the couch with soup Saturday night…….then thought I was going to die running and biking in the humidity and heat on Sunday. Only in Iowa :)

  32. EM 08.27.2012

    Love that photo with those gorgeous flowers!

  33. morgan 08.27.2012

    My husband made me watch The Notebook again on Saturday, too. That’s right, HE made ME watch it. I think he likes to see me cry…Have you read the book? It’s a little different, and even better I think. Plus there’s sort of a sequel.

  34. […] Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa, is the eighth largest lake in the world and is located in southeastern Africa between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. In addition to being a popular tourist spot for local and international visitors, due to it’s picturesque beaches and islands, Lake Malawi is also home to more species of fish than any other body of fresh water on earth. Hmmm…perhaps Ben and I would have better luck fishing here? […]

  35. Mollie 08.28.2012

    We were at the market early, too! Not crowded, just how I like it! Nice to be able to move when walking down the street. We were downing a pupusa at about 8:30am too! I always get the pork one. Sooo good! And the yellow watermelon- Yum!

  36. […] seems Mother Nature was not pleased with my fall soup shenanigans last weekend, and took her revenge by handing us a sweltering 100 degree day today. Thus, plans to show you my […]

  37. Christy 08.30.2012

    Made this soup last night in defiance of the 90+ degree weather. Holy yum! I think it may be one of the best soups I’ve ever had! Normally soup recipes i make don’t have enough flavor but this one was awesome and also tasted like it had been simmering all day but took me 30 minutes to make!! And the leftovers were even better:)

  38. […] way, Beth is a gorgeous writer and has a new blog that you can check out here.) But I just found this kale recipe, and when soup-weather returns, I’m prepared to […]

  39. Marcie 09.06.2012

    I made this soup over the weekend and it was very very good. I mean awesomely good. I forgot beans from grocery so I did some via crockpot and used some stock from that with some hot peppers. Grandkids liked it too.

  40. Ann 09.23.2012

    Made this tonight with chicken and apple sausage I had in the freezer. Wonderful soup. Had it with beer bread.

  41. Susan 09.25.2012

    Stumbled across your blog today. (Love it!) Made this tonight with chicken Italian sausage. Very tasty!

  42. Becah 09.28.2012

    I don’t have a Whole Foods or Trader Joes where I live *sob* but I made this soup without the cheese rind, and it was still FANTASTIC. I’m definetly making a double or triple batch next time! Don’t suppose you’d be willing to send me a coupla hedge apples? lol We don’t have those either in Southern AZ

  43. Shannon 11.08.2012

    I have a recipe similar for that soup. I love it!
    By the way, the photo of the Hedge Apples….are those edible! If so I had no idea. I came a cross some growing in the woods once and thought they were cool but had no clue if they were edible.

  44. […] learned about on a blog I follow, Iowa Girl Eats (check out her blog–it is great & this Tuscan Kale & White Bean Soup looks delish).  Kristin mentioned that Whole Foods sells Parmesan rinds and that she uses them in […]

  45. […] Butternut Squash & QuinoaChick-fil-A Bites with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce Chicken Gumbo SoupTuscan Kale & White Bean Soup Easy JambalayaCalphalon and I would love for you to get in on the fun, so they’re giving […]

  46. Helen 12.30.2012

    This soup looks so yummy. I can’t wait to make it. However, I can’t have canned beans because of the sodium content. I bought some dried great northern beans, but there are no instructions on the package as to whether they need to be soaked and for how long. Does anyone know?

  47. […] Kale and white bean soup – I was skeptical going in.  But this recipe is da bomb.  Seriously.  The only change I […]

  48. Sadye 01.29.2013

    This was excellent! I’m officially a fangirl for kale in chicken-broth soups. Mmmm.

  49. […] is: Spaghetti, pizza, chili and soup.  When I found this Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup from Iowa Girl Eats on Pinterest, I knew that I found a hearty soup that looked easy enough to make.  I had to double […]

  50. […] Iowa Girl Eats, Tuscan Kale & Bean Soup […]

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