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This Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale is a healthy, filling and easy dinner recipe for chilly nights! Pair it with a loaf of warm, crusty bread for a hearty, affordable and satisfying meal.

Close overhead shot of a bowl of Tuscan white bean soup with a spoon and red and white dish towel

A simple white bean soup is a staple in classic Italian cooking. At its most basic, the white beans are simmered with olive oil, garlic and broth, and then some of the beans are pureed to thicken the soup. In Italy, this thick stew-like soup is often spooned over slices of toasted bread for a rustic lunch or dinner.

Front image of Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sausage and kale on a wooden surface

How to make White Bean Soup:

I originally found a basic Tuscan white bean soup recipe in Marcella Hazan’s famous cookbook, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. Hazan’s recipe only uses olive oil, garlic, white beans and broth, so I took that simple idea and jazzed it up for a more colorful, filling, and flavorful dish.

Ingredients for White Bean Soup:

  • Olive oil
  • Italian sausage
  • Garlic
  • Cannellini beans
  • Canned petite diced tomatoes
  • Chicken broth
  • Fresh kale

First, cook sausage and garlic in olive oil until sausage is no longer pink. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat as it browns.

Cooked Italian sausage in a big dutch oven

Next up, the white beans!

What’s considered a white bean?

I used canned cannellini beans (or white kidney beans), but you can substitute with other white beans, including navy beans (also called Yankee beans) and Great Northern beans.

Cans of white beans

Add all but 1 cup of the beans and the entire can of tomatoes to the pot, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

Sausage white beans and diced tomatoes in a soup pot

Meanwhile, place the reserved 1 cup of beans in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. You may need to add a splash of water or broth to get the beans to blend. I love using this mini food processor for small jobs like this, because it’s easy to store and easy to clean!

White beans in a food processor

Transfer the pureed beans to the pot, and then stir in the broth and the kale. It will look like a lot of kale, but don’t worry — it cooks down quickly!

Fresh kale in a big white Dutch oven for white bean soup

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes. Then remove from heat, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve!

Ladle in a white Dutch oven full of Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale

What to serve with Tuscan White Bean Soup:

This is a one pot meal that really doesn’t need much else! That said, here are a few great options that go well with the soup:

  • Crusty French baguette or sliced, toasted bread
  • A simple green salad dressed in Italian Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Cheese toast or garlic bread with melted Parmesan on top
Close up front shot of white bean soup garnished with fresh parsley

Cook’s Tips and Recipe Variations:

  • I used turkey Italian sausage here, but any variety of sausage will work. If you can’t find bulk Italian sausage, just cut the casings off of sausage links.
  • This is a thick, stew-like soup. If you prefer a soup with more broth, use 5 or 6 cups of broth instead of 4.
  • If you use regular chicken broth, you probably won’t need any extra salt. To reduce the sodium in the soup, try using low-sodium chicken broth instead, and then season to taste.
  • For an authentic presentation, cut a crusty Italian bread into thick slices. Rub with olive oil and toast until golden brown. Place the toast in a bowl and spoon soup over top.
  • Omit the kale and make a spinach and white bean soup instead! If using fresh spinach leaves, wait until the last few minutes of cooking time to add the spinach to the pot. It’s a delicate leaf, so it will wilt instantly and doesn’t need as much time to cook as the kale does. Real Simple has a different Spinach and White Bean Soup recipe here, if you’re interested.
  • Instead of the sausage, try making your soup with ham or bacon.
  • Can you freeze white bean soup? Absolutely! This is a great freezer-meal. To freeze, allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Package in airtight containers or Ziploc freezer bags and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Is white bean soup healthy? Yes! Especially if you use a lean turkey sausage, this soup is packed full of protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Plus, there are just 191 calories per cup.
Long overhead image of two bowls of white bean soup on a wooden table surrounded by fresh parsley

More easy soup recipes that you might enjoy:

Close overhead shot of a bowl of Tuscan white bean soup with a spoon and red and white dish towel

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
0 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings 10 cups
Calories 191.6 kcal
This Tuscan White Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale is a healthy, filling and easy dinner recipe for chilly nights!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed (I used sweet Italian turkey sausage, but any variety will work)
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 3 (15.5 oz) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, divided
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, NOT drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth, plus extra to thin, if desired
  • 1 bunch fresh kale, stems removed and roughly chopped (about 8-10 ounces)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional for serving: chopped fresh parsley; thick slices of toasted bread

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and garlic and cook, stirring regularly to break the meat up with a wooden spoon, until sausage is no longer pink – about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add all but 1 cup of the beans and the entire can of tomatoes, setting aside the remaining 1 cup of beans to use later. Cover and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
  • Place remaining 1 cup of beans in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. You may need to add a splash of water or broth to get them to blend. Transfer the pureed beans to the pot.
  • Stir in broth and kale. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper, if necessary.
  • Remove from heat and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
  • Serve with toasted bread.

Notes

  • I used turkey Italian sausage here, but any variety of sausage will work. If you can’t find bulk Italian sausage, just cut the casings off of sausage links.
  • This is a thick, stew-like soup. If you prefer a soup with more broth, use 5 or 6 cups of broth instead of 4.
  • If you use regular chicken broth, you probably won’t need any extra salt. To reduce the sodium in the soup, try using low-sodium chicken broth instead, and then season to taste.
  • For an authentic presentation, cut a crusty Italian bread into thick slices. Rub with olive oil and toast until golden brown. Place the toast in a bowl and spoon soup over top.
  • Omit the kale and make a spinach and white bean soup instead! If using fresh spinach leaves, wait until the last few minutes of cooking time to add the spinach to the pot. It’s a delicate leaf, so it will wilt instantly and doesn’t need as much time to cook as the kale does. Real Simple has a different Spinach and White Bean Soup recipe here, if you’re interested.
  • Instead of the sausage, try making your soup with ham or bacon.
  • Can you freeze white bean soup? Absolutely! This is a great freezer-meal. To freeze, allow the soup to cool to room temperature. Package in airtight containers or Ziploc freezer bags and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 191.6kcalCarbohydrates: 23.7gProtein: 16.9gFat: 5.2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.6gMonounsaturated Fat: 2.5gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 1054.2mgPotassium: 505.7mgFiber: 7.5gSugar: 3.2g
Keyword: tuscan white bean soup, white bean soup, white bean soup with kale
Course: Lunch or Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Blair Lonergan

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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  1. 5 stars
    I made a version of this recipe for dinner last night and loved it! I used chicken sausage links which I sliced & browned with the garlic, fresh chopped tomatoes, a mixture of butter, garbanzo & kidney beans & chopped collard greens instead of kale. I love recipes that allow for flexibility & in my case, extreme flexibility’!! I was happy to use up produce from my csa box in this delicious and comforting soup. I’m going to soak some dried cannellini beans today and make more tomorrow!

    1. Your version sounds perfect, Lisa! I totally agree that recipes should serve as inspiration, and it makes me happy to know that your twist worked out so well. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a note!