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Kale, Bacon and White Bean Soup

Kale, bacon and white bean soup
Debbie Koenig
Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

Not all soups are hearty enough for dinner but this one is that and more. It’s packed with protein, whole grains and a boatload of vegetables. Plus, it features a little something extra that will  keep your spoon going back for more. 

Canned white beans provide protein here. Some of them are blended into the soup, which also helps thicken the broth nicely, while others are left whole. Quick-cooking farro or barley adds a chewy, nutty element. Kale, tomatoes, carrots and celery add lots of color and take this soup firmly into nutritious territory. 

Two ingredients that add that extra something are bacon and Parmesan cheese. Bacon (because of course)lends a salty, smoky flavor to the broth and just enough fatty richness. You can, however, leave it out if you’d like to make the soup vegetarian. If so, consider adding a pinch or two of smoked paprika when sautéeing the vegetables, which will mimic the smokiness of the bacon. The second special ingredient is a piece of Parmesan rind, which brings a mysterious, umami depth to the soup. Store these  rinds in an airtight container in the freezer after you’ve finished grating chunks of Parmesan cheese and they’ll stay fresh indefinitely.

The best part: You’ll be ladling out bowlfuls in less than 45 minutes, making this recipe perfect for a blustery weeknight. Garnish each bowl with a generous shower of grated Parmesan and pair them with a loaf of crusty bread for a cozy yet satisfying meal that everyone is sure to love.

Get Ingredients: If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it. 


  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained, divided
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 strips bacon, chopped small
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking farro or barley
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Parmesan rind, optional
  • 4-5 cups chopped kale leaves (one 5-ounce package cut kale)
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • grated Parmesan, for serving
Fulfilled by



Add 1 can of drained white beans and 1 cup of broth in a blender and purée. Set aside.


In a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels. Add onion to the bacon fat and cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, carrot, celery, and farro; season with salt and pepper and cook another 4 to 5 minutes, until vegetables soften.


Stir in all ingredients but the grated Parmesan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cover; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender and farro is cooked but still has some bite. Taste and adjust seasoning.


Discard Parmesan rind and thyme stem. Serve with grated Parmesan.