Weeknight Cooking

Beans and Greens Soup

December 29, 2016
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Makes 4 to 6
Author Notes

Beans and Greens are a cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet and a classic combination that can be made a thousand ways depending on what’s on hand. No matter if it’s chickpeas and cabbage, white beans and Tuscan kale, or lentils and broccoli rabe, you’ll have a comforting, nutritious, and filling dish. Read my full article for a step-by-step guide.

Note: I am not a fan of canned legumes, but if you are going to use them, make sure you rinse them well before using them. —Sara Jenkins

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Beans and Greens Soup
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion or leek, sliced into thin half-moons
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 5 cups rich chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons good wine vinegar (sherry or Champagne is great)
  • 1 cup cooked beans, chickpeas, or lentils
  • 2 cups cleaned and roughly chopped cooking greens (kale, spinach, chard, bok choy, napa cabbage, watercress, amaranth, broccoli raab or mix of any)
  • 1 dried chile, optional
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons really good extra-virgin olive oil
  • Grilled bread, for serving
  1. in a large heavy-bottomed pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions or leeks and garlic clove and gently brown.
  2. When lightly colored, add stock and vinegar. Bring to a light simmer and add cooked legumes. Bring back to a simmer and add greens and chile, if using.
  3. Depending on what greens you use, you will cook the soup a little more or less. Spinach and watercress would cook in a minute or two, while kale and broccoli rabe would take more like 3 to 4 minutes (or as many as 5 to 8). You want to simmer long enough to wilt and cook the greens but not to overcook them.
  4. Taste and adjust salt. Serve by itself or over grilled bread with a drizzle of olive oil on top

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cecile
  • Sasha Anderson
    Sasha Anderson
  • Chef Carlos
    Chef Carlos
  • Adrienne
  • Liz Mennen
    Liz Mennen

9 Reviews

Cecile October 18, 2022
I do plan to make it again, but without so much oil. Trying to keep my fat calories down and this has so much. The recipe uses chickpeas, but next time I’ll use broad beans and add more greens.
Roxanne August 4, 2019
Soooo good! Can’t stand canned beans with the goop they come in so soaked Great Northerns overnight, cooked with clove-studded onion, celery and carrot, added salt when done and let sit til ready to use. Used only 1 TBSP of sherry vinegar and 4 cups of stock and napa cabbage. Served over bread grilled on my stovetop grill. My new favourite!
lee February 22, 2018
Delicious with either dried/cooked or canned beans. We like to throw in a parmesan rind for extra amazing flavor. Be sure and give this soup the time it needs to meld the flavors.
Nancy M. January 11, 2018
I made this twice last week. It's my new favorite thing. I used kale, leeks and canned cannelini beans both times. I reduced the chicken broth to 4 cups because that's how much was in the box and I reduced the vinegar to 1 Tbsp. The grilled bread, brushed with really good olive oil, is great with it.
Sasha A. July 25, 2017
Great recipe! I tried it with fava beans and rice. In the future, I would tweak to only use 1 tbsp vinegar, it was a little tangy for my taste.
Chef C. March 10, 2017
Wonderful and tasty recipe and healthy to boot! I used lacinato kale and canned beans. Quick and easy
eatveggiesdrinkwine February 26, 2017
It's hard to believe something so simple can be so delicious! I simplified it even more by using my typical stock replacement (hot water flavored with a few tablespoons of coriander seed) and topping the finished soup with cayenne oil rather than using the dried chile during cooking. This is a great base recipe that can be switched up by using a variety of beans and greens. Thank you Sara!
Adrienne January 13, 2017
I made an iteration of this last night with leaks, broad beans, and purple kale. This will be heavy rotation all winter for me!
Liz M. January 10, 2017
This is SO SIMPLE AND SO GOOD! So easy to make and delicious!! The best combination. I can't wait to make this again and again. I used mustard greens, chickpeas, and both sherry and champagne vinegars. SO GOOD!