Tomato White Bean Soup with Kale Pesto {Recipe}

November 2, 2016

Warm up this fall and winter with a bowl of tomato white bean soup topped off with a dollop of kale pesto. Serve with a hunk of crusty bread for dipping.

Tomato White Bean Soup with Kale Pesto | Warm up this fall and winter with a bowl of tomato white bean soup topped off with a dollop of kale pesto. Vegetarian, Vegan-friendly, Gluten-Free. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Even though I grew up and still live in the northeast, I’m not the biggest fan of cold weather. The only thing I like about the cold? It coincides with soup season! I could (and do) eat soup all year long – even on the hottest days of summer, but there’s really nothing I love more on a cold day than to warm up with a bowl of hot soup.

I love everything from Classic Jewish Chicken Soup to hearty Vegetable Soup to creamy (yet cream-less) soups like my Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup. Some soups are perfect as an appetizer, while others are a meal in itself – take for example my Corn Tortilla Soup with Black Beans or this Chicken Vegetable Udon Soup. Needless to say, soup for me is a perfect balance of comfort and nutrition. And this Tomato White Bean Soup with Kale Pesto is another soup recipe that fits the bill for just that!

I originally made this tomato white bean soup in November 2012, shortly after Hurricane Sandy. It was during that storm that I finally had time to catch up on a backlog of magazines I had piling up, including SELF Magazine’s April 2012 issue. In it was this recipe for Tomato-White Bean Soup with Pesto that sounded easy to make, light, and delicious, so I added it to my menu plan for the following week.

Tomato White Bean Soup with Kale Pesto | Warm up this fall and winter with a bowl of tomato white bean soup topped off with a dollop of kale pesto. Vegetarian, Vegan-friendly, Gluten-Free. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.

When I finally got to making the SELF recipe, it turned out a few adjustments were necessary to get the soup to serve-worthy status. The soup didn’t have nearly enough flavor, but I already had the pot on the stove simmering, so I needed to act fast. I added a couple more herbs to the soup and made the pesto a second time. The end result – a delicious pot of soup that’s full of flavor and still nutritious.

This Tomato White Bean Soup can fall into the appetizer or entree course of a meal depending on portion size. Since it’s pureed it may not feel as filling as a chunky soup, but it’s full of vegetables and beans, aka satiating fiber and protein that should keep you full. I highly recommend serving with a big hunk of crusty on the outside, soft on the inside whole grain or sourdough bread (if you want to make your own, check out Kaleigh’s recipe here!).

The recipe for kale pesto makes more than you need for a dollop on every bowl of soup, so menu plan accordingly to use the leftovers on the Fall Roasted Root Vegetable Pasta with Kale Pesto I shared last week (I promised you another use of that pesto!) or as a topping for pizza or a slice of that crusty bread you’ll have leftover for lunch the next day.

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Kale Pesto is gluten free, vegetarian, and also a great option for vegans if you serve it without the pesto or make the pesto without cheese.

Tomato White Bean Soup with Kale Pesto | Warm up this fall and winter with a bowl of tomato white bean soup topped off with a dollop of kale pesto. Vegetarian, Vegan-friendly, Gluten-Free. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.

5 from 1 vote
Print

Tomato White Bean Soup with Kale Pesto

Warm up this fall and winter with a bowl of tomato white bean soup topped off with a dollop of kale pesto. Serve with a hunk of crusty bread for dipping.
Course Soup
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly, Vegetarian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Author Jessica (inspired by SELF Magazine)

Ingredients

For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 4 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 medium carrots chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic quartered
  • 1 quart 32 ounces low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 cups canned no-salt added cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

For the kale pesto:

  • 1 1/2 bunches kale chopped
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Instructions

To make the soup:

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and stir occasionally until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add celery, carrots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of the broth and stir to scrape brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Add remaining stock, beans, tomatoes, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper, to taste. Bring soup to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until carrots are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove bay leaves from soup and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree soup, leaving some of it chunky if desired. Stir in lemon juice, and season with more salt and pepper as needed

To make kale pesto:

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Blanch the kale by adding it to the pot of boiling water and cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from pot and run under cold water to stop cooking. Strain and squeeze out excess liquid.
  2. In a large food processor, puree blanched kale, walnuts, garlic, cheese, olive oil, salt, and lemon juice until smooth.
  3. Serve soup with a dollop of pesto on top and swirl in.

Tomato White Bean Soup with Kale Pesto | Warm up this fall and winter with a bowl of tomato white bean soup topped off with a dollop of kale pesto. Vegetarian, Vegan-friendly, Gluten-Free. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Are you a soup fanatic like I am?

If so, I’d love to know your favorite kind of soup – share with me in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Photo credit: Kaleigh McMordie
This post originally appeared on Nutritioulicious in November 2012.

Tomato White Bean Soup with Kale Pesto | Warm up this fall and winter with a bowl of tomato white bean soup topped off with a dollop of kale pesto. Vegetarian, Vegan-friendly, Gluten-Free. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.
Tomato White Bean Soup with Kale Pesto | Warm up this fall and winter with a bowl of tomato white bean soup topped off with a dollop of kale pesto. Vegetarian, Vegan-friendly, Gluten-Free. Get the recipe @jlevinsonrd.
You Might Also Like...

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    1. Thanks Kaleigh! Good to know Texans enjoy their soup too 😉 So glad you liked this one. Thanks again for the beautiful pics!

  1. I agree, there is nothing like a big comforting bowl of your favorite soup. This looks SO good and love that you added white beans for protein + flavor. And that kale pesto … YUM. We just got back from a week of eating out and this looks like the perfect healthy dish to get us back into our normal (better) eating habits!

    1. Thanks Jenny! Hope you had a great time away, and I definitely know that feeling! We’re going on the Disney Cruise over Thanksgiving and I already know I’ll need the healthiest meal plan the week we return!

  2. I use to be on the fence about soup and then I became an actual adult (with a mortgage, kids, etc) and now I can’t get enough. I literally have soup almost every night.

    This sounds fantastic! I like the addition of the beans, gives it some more heartiness and meal quality. Great recipe!

    1. Haha that’s funny. I’m interested in hearing more about the correlation between being an adult and liking soup 😉 And yes, the beans definitely beef it up (without the beef, that is!)

    1. Thanks Sonali! The truth is I rarely stick to a recipe from someone else (except yours – they are always spot on!), but this one needed some help bigtime! It’s been so mild here too that it’s been hard to justify making soup, but I can always go for a bowl!

  3. Soup is the perfect comfort food! I think I may have to add this to our menu soon too! Shoot, first things first, maybe I should start a menu?! I love that you have this from the April 2012 issue too!

    1. Couldn’t agree more Liz! Soup is the best. Haha – time to get on that menu planning Liz!! As for having that recipe, I made it back in 2012 and just updated the post after all these years (shhh, don’t tell!).

  4. […] Dinner: Southwestern Cauliflower Rice Casserole and Tomato White Bean Soup […]