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Spicy White Bean Soup with Kale

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Top view of Spicy White Bean Soup with Kale

This White Bean Stew with Kale is a spicy and hearty bowl of healthy, creamy comfort food, ready in about 20 minutes. With a vibrant blend of herbs and spices, much like Harissa, often found in Tunisian cuisine.

This stew is finished off with a touch of lemon juice and topped with a salty Feta, and chopped fresh parsley.

The color and flavor are robust and beautiful. It stands up to the weather and warms your bones.  

Much like our other white bean soups, it’s a quick and easy fix that’s hearty enough for dinner yet also nourishing and light for lunch too.  

Side View of Spicy White Bean Stew

What is Harissa?

Harissa is the base flavoring in Tunisian cuisine. “Tunisia is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Its northernmost point, Cape Angela, is also the northernmost point on the African continent. Tunisia is bordered by Algeria to the west and southwest, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east.”

It is usually served as a condiment for grilled meat, but it also added to roasted vegetables or stirred into stews and soups. 

This recipe uses a homemade version of harissa, although if you have it on hand, it’s an easy swap. Just eliminate the cumin, paprika chili powder, and cayenne. 

Top view of 2 bowls of spicy white bean soup with kale

Spicy White Bean Stew Ingredients

Pantry Ingredients:

  • Olive Oil
  • Tomato Paste
  • Canned White Beans (cannellini, butter or Great Northern)
  • Broth (Chicken or Vegetable)


  • Kale (I like to use bagged baby kale)
  • Onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Lemon

Herbs and Spices:

  • Cumin
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Cayenne
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Red Pepper Flakes

What Makes The Spicy White Bean Stew Creamy?

To give this stew a wonderful creamy texture, simply smash a few of the white beans after they’ve been added to the soup pot. The texture will develop all on its own.

RELATED: More soup recipes can be found here…


Side view of 2 bowls of Spicy White Bean Soup

Top view of Spicy White Bean Soup with Kale

Spicy White Bean Soup with Kale

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This White Bean Stew with Kale is a spicy and hearty bowl of healthy, creamy comfort food, ready in about 20 minutes. With a vibrant blend of herbs and spices, much like Harissa, often found in Tunisian cuisine.


  • 1 large bunch kale, chopped and deveined (or 1 bag of baby kale)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed (see notes)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (see notes)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Rinse and devein the kale. Chop into bite-size pieces (or buy a bag of baby kale from the market). Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, if using, to the onions, stir to coat. Cook until the oil turns vibrant, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the beans, rinsed and drained, and the chopped kale to the pot. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, smash a few beans against the side of the pot. Then add the broth and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Bring to a simmer and cook until it's reached your desired consistency. The longer it cooks the thicker the stew, about 15 to 20 minutes is perfect for me.
  5. Just before serving, add the lemon juice to the stew and stir. Serve in bowls topped with feta, slices of red onion, and chopped parsley.


White Beans:

Choose a large white bean like cannellini, butter or Great Northern.


Vegetable broth can be swapped for the chicken broth to keep it vegetarian.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 1457mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 7gSugar: 6gProtein: 14g

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