Sweet Potato Soup with Beans, Kale, and Garlic

This wasn’t my recipe originally, but it’s been one of my favorite soup recipes for more than a decade!  Now that the “365 Days of Kale” blog where I found it is gone, I’m sharing the recipe here, with a few tweaks I’ve made over the years.

This hearty soup makes a full meal–maybe you’ll want a piece of bread on the side, but maybe you don’t even need that!  It’s got beans for protein, vitamin-packed dark-green and dark-yellow vegetables, anti-oxidant garlic, plenty of fiber, and delicious Italian flavor!  It’s easy to make–just chop, then simmer–and in less than an hour, you’ll have plenty of soup for lunches or to freeze for the future, as well as a meal to eat right away.  It’s vegan and gluten-free.  (If you use instant broth mix, be aware that some brands contain gluten.)

This recipe originally came from Diana Dyer, MS, RD [Registered Dietician], and organic farmer, who retired from blogging after serious body and brain injury.  A cancer survivor, she focused on nutrition as a means of preventing cancer and enhancing recovery.  This soup recipe combines several of her favorite, most valuable foods.  (A similar recipe exists on her surviving website, but it doesn’t have beans and the proportions are a little different.)  I am sharing this recipe in honor of her work, her enthusiasm, and her great taste in combining ingredients!

To make a big pot of soup–about 10 cups–you will need:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 large sweet potatoes (or more smaller ones)
  • 3 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning blend, or
    • 1 tsp. dried basil
    • 1 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1 tsp. dried parsley
    • 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups cooked (30 oz. canned) cannellini beans or other mild beans, such as pinto beans
  • 3 cups finely shredded kale (Frozen, thawed kale works fine.)
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste (I prefer white pepper in this recipe, but black pepper works, too.)

Dice onion and sweet potato.  (You can peel the sweet potatoes if you’d like, but I usually don’t.)  Drain and rinse beans.

Put oil, onion, sweet potato, and seasoning in a large soup pot over high heat.  When it begins to sizzle, reduce heat to medium and stir.  Continue stirring occasionally until onions soften and begin to look translucent.  Meanwhile, shred the kale.

Add broth, beans, and kale to the pot.  Turn up heat, cover, and bring to a boil.  Then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, peel and crush the garlic.  (Don’t underestimate how long it will take you to do 12 cloves.)

Take off the lid and stir in the garlic, salt, and pepper.  Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes.

This is a “chunks in broth” kind of soup unless you adjust its consistency.  I like to mash some of the beans and sweet potatoes against the side of the pot every time I stir, so that the broth is thicker but some of the chunks are intact.  If you’re serving people who object to identifiable ingredients in soup, shred the kale very finely and then purée the soup with an immersion blender.

30 frugal meals with beans and lentilsNow is a great time to learn new meals using beans or lentils–for your health, your budget, our environment, and reducing reliance on meat at a time when meat shortages are likely and it’s wise to shop less frequently.

Check out my new recipe for Smoky Lentil-Potato Bake and more than 30 other lentil and bean recipes, at Kitchen Stewardship!

Visit Meatless Monday and Hearth & Soul for more great recipes and tips!

9 thoughts on “Sweet Potato Soup with Beans, Kale, and Garlic

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