White Bean, Kale and Pancetta Soup

I have been trying to eat more “super foods” lately and one vegetable I never think to buy is kale. Kale reminds me a lot of spinach when it’s cooked so I thought a hearty Italian soup with kale would fit together nicely. This recipe is a peasant style soup with white beans, potatoes, veggies, and Italian bacon. I added a little red pepper flakes, fresh herbs, and lemon zest to brighten up the broth and the result was a really tasty, hearty stew! I decided to use chickpeas and cannellini beans but you can use any variety of white bean you like. The soup is garnished with Italian parsley and a few slices of parmigiano reggiano. I served the soup with a couple thick slices of Parmesan Potato Bread and the two together were delicious.

White Bean, Kale and Pancetta Soup

(makes 8 servings)
Printable Version


  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 5 oz pancetta, chopped
  • 6 medium carrots, sliced thin
  • 1 large head kale, rinsed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 45 oz. cannellini beans
  • 30 oz. chickpeas
  • 4 russet potatoes, softened and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups baby sweet corn
  • 16 cups (128 oz.) chicken stock
  • 3 sprigs rosemary, ground
  • 4 sprigs thyme, ground
  • 2 sprigs oregano, ground
  • 5 leaves sage, ground
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lemon, zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmigiano-reggiano, grated for garnish
  • italian parsley, chopped for garnish


  1. Melt the butter and olive oil in a saute pan. Cook and cover the onions  and carrots until soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, grind the fresh spices in a food processor or grinder.
  3. Add the pancetta, garlic, herbs, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a 10 qt. pot and add the cannellini beans, chickpeas, kale, bay leaf, potatoes, corn, and chicken stock.
  5. Add the lemon zest, salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to the lowest setting to simmer for 4-5 hours.
  7. Garnish with parsley and parmigiano-reggiano.

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