Lolly’s White Bean and Kale soup with Ham

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Every year after Thanksgiving, Lolly makes a huge batch of her White Bean and Kale Soup. After the indulgence of the day before, I always look forward to this soup which somehow feels good for the soul. She has played around with the recipe in recent years, using ham hock and chorizo, but no matter what she adds it is always delicious and hearty while somehow still feeling cleansing. This works perfectly as a vegetarian soup but I just can’t resist adding ham.


Lolly’s White Bean and Kale soup with Ham

Serves 6-8



1 1/2 cups of white beans

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for finishing

2 medium yellow onions (roughly chopped)

3 cloves of garlic (crushed and finely chopped)

1 bunch of kale (washed, dried and torn into large pieces)

6 cups of stock (including 1 cup of ham stock if you have it)

2 thick slices of ham, cubed

Salt and pepper to taste



1. Soak the beans overnight in cold water with a tablespoon of salt.

2. The next day, rinse the beans and add to a large pot. Cover with water and bring to boil with another tablespoon of salt.

3. Once the water is boiling, reduce down to a simmer and cook for about an hour (until the beans are tender when tested).

4. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan add a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent.

5. Add the kale to the frying pan and cook for a few minutes covered until the kale is tender.

6. When the beans are ready, drain them and return to the pot over medium heat.

7. Add the kale, onions and stock to the pot and lower to a simmer.

8. Use an immersion blender to thicken the soup. If you don’t have one, just put a few cups of soup in a regular blender, purée and stir back into the pot. (You can change consistency to your liking. The more you blend the smoother the texture.)

9. Once you’ve blended your soup to your desired consistency, add the ham. Continue to cook on low for several minutes until ham has warmed.

10. Serve warm (I like to drizzle with olive oil to finish).

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