As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup + Roasted Garlic

Ever since SXSW last week, I’ve been feeling a little off, nourishing food wise. By the time I visited friends and finished errands on Saturday, I was craving a home-cooked healthy dinner-FAST.

I chose Cannellini  Bean and Kale Soup because I have a ton of kale, green onions and fresh herbs in the garden; and I had homemade veggie broth in the freezer and canned tomatoes in the pantry. All I was lacking was the bean part, which I picked up as part of my errands. Oh, and I had some left over chicken bones.

I hadn’t had roasted garlic in a while, so was craving it. It is super simple and oh-so-tasty!

Roasted Garlic


  • 1 head of garlic
  • olive oil
  • Foil


  1. Cut off top 1/3 of garlic head. (Pick out garlic from the top and use it in the soup.)
  2. Drizzle a tablespoon or 2 of oil on top of the garlic head.
  3. Wrap in foil and bake in toaster oven (or large oven) at 350 for ~30 minutes. Garlic is done when soft and easy to pop out.

Notes: Roasted garlic is still strong, but definitely more mellow than raw or even sauteed garlic.

Head o' Garlic, for roasting; top cut off

When garlic is done, the cloves easily pop out...

...And then can be easily spread on toasted bread or used in cooking

Cannellini Bean Soup


  • 2 cups veggie broth (you can use more if you have it, just watch out for the sodium content if it is store-bought)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 – 2 cups canned tomatoes and their juice
  • 4 + garlic cloves (I would advise adding more; I used all I had)
  • 4 large green onions (you could substitute white, yellow or red)
  • 3-4 cups cannellini beans (really any white beans will do)
  • 2 handfuls of kale (about 3 cups chopped)
  • A few chicken bones
  • 1 cup of fresh herbs (I used a mixture of parsley, oregano and thyme), minced
  • 2-3 tblsp olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Red Pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Saute green onions in olive oil for about 7 minutes. Add garlic and fresh herbs and saute for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth, water, tomatoes and bones. Bring to boil and then reduce to simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add beans and continue to simmer for 5 minutes more.
  4. Check for salt. Add 1/2 tsp (or what you feel it needs) and pepper.
  5. Add chopped kale (and optional red pepper flakes) and cook for 10 more minutes.
  6. Add more salt and pepper, if needed.
  7. Serve with a bit of freshly shredded Parmesan on top and slices of toasted bread + roasted garlic.

Notes: I was so hungry, that I think the soup flavor suffered a bit. Ideally, I would have simmered the broth, water and bones for probably at least 30 minutes to let the soup develop a more robust flavor.  Then add the tomatoes, etc. but again cooking a bit longer. The kale, however, does not need to be cooked long, so 10 minutes at the end, just before eating, is sufficient.

I would have cooked my own beans (soaked overnight in boiling hot water, then cooked 1 hr in the morning). But again, I was running short on time, so I used canned beans; I think homemade would have tasted better.

I got the chicken bones from my co-worker after she was done eating the meat. Chicken bones are a great way to season your soups, stews and rice, so I’m always on the look out for them!

Soup bones

Fresh parsely, thyme and oregano, chopped up; and garlic

Lacinto, or Dinosaur Kale (l); Red Russian Kale (r); both from the garden

Finished soup!


4 responses

  1. Rachel

    I have extra kale this week and so I am defrosting some garbanzos as we speak in order to add to the one can of canellini I have in my cupboard.

    Recent things I’ve cooked: your salmon patties (I made alioli and spicy tomato sauce to put on top), carrot and butternut squash risotto + kale, asparagus risotto topped with pistachio, stir-fried cauliflower with toasted nuts, yellow split peas and vegetable soup, polenta topped with asparagus and baked goat cheese, and pasta with three peas (snap peas, petite peas and pea tendrils).

    March 29, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    • Wow, chica, que impresionante! Feel free to air lift extra portions to TX 🙂

      How did you like the salmon patties? How did you make the aioli?

      And peas! My first peas have appeared in the garden. Yippee!

      March 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm

  2. Rachel

    Yes! I might make a guest appearance on your blog someday!

    I liked the salmon patties. I didn’t have enough breadcrumbs, so I think they will stick together better next time. The aioli is quite simple. You just use store bought mayo, put it in a food processor and then add olive oil (to the consistency you like and garlic (either minced or powder). Then some lemon. All of this action in a food processor until smooth. I had some left over after making the Spanish tapas, patatas bravas.

    Yeah! I just started my seeds. I moved the shelf out to the hallway so that my study/guest bedroom wasn’t so crowded, that they get more light (I also bought a plant light that I put on them overnight) and so that Harrison doesn’t feel tempted to dig.

    Right now I am making my vegetable broth. I ended up not really being the biggest fan of the yogurt I was making. So, I was sort of torn as to what I should do with the containers (I eat about large containers a month). I have used them for the seedlings (I have about 12 tomato plants started). Now I have begun to scrub (with steel wool) the markings off so that the containers are plain and I use them for freezer storage (vegetable broth, beans, etc.). They are stackable (unlike freezer bags) and more durable. I just have to label them appropriately. Just a thought!

    March 29, 2011 at 5:32 pm

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