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Tuscan White Bean Soup with Kale and Pesto

The base of this soup is white, or cannellini, beans, simmered along other vegetables, and the flavoring of the pesto completes it. You can add a pasta, such as orzo or even tortellini, yet it is also delicious without the pasta additions. Add a crusty bread and serve with a side salad. Cook in the instant pot or simmer on the stove.


  • 1 pound dry cannellini beans, cooked according to Bean Basics (or use 2- 15 oz cans of white beans

  • 1 cup peeled and chopped white onion

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 1 cup carrots, chopped

  • 1 quart vegetable broth

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes

  • 4 T pesto, recipe here, or store bought

  • 1/2 cup chopped basil

  • 1 T fresh rosemary

  • Spices: 1 t garlic powder, 1 t onion powder, 2 t salt, 1/2 t pepper, 1 bay leaf

  • 3 cups chopped kale, stems removed

  • Optional: 1 cup orzo pasta

  • Toppings: pesto, shaved parmesan or crostini


  1. Drain and rinse cooked beans

  2. In a large soup pot, or instant pot, heat 2 T of olive oil, and sauté onion, garlic and carrots. Stir until soft, about 5 minutes.

  3. Pour in broth, water, tomatoes, herbs and spices. Simmer partially covered for 30 minutes, or if using instant pot, turn on soup mode.

  4. Stir in kale and orzo, if using. Allow to cook 10 minutes on low (on low sauté mode in instant pot)

  5. Serve in a bowl with parmesan, crostini, or crusty bread. Add additional dollop of pesto

Note: You can substitute spinach for kale, small elbow macaroni or tortellini for orzo, or omit the pasta and keep it gluten free. Try adding vegetarian meatballs for a heartier soup


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