Greens and beans soup is comforting on a warm winters day. Chalk full of nutritious ingredients, it may just keep the doctor away! This recipe makes a large batch so you have plenty to freeze for a quick lunch or dinner.
Ingredients and Substitutions
See recipe card below for quantities
- Olive oil - any cooking oil can be used
- Leeks - white, yellow, or Spanish onions can also be used
- Red Swiss chard - use any greens you like such as kale, regular Swiss chard, collard greens, spinach, arugula etc.
- Savoy cabbage - the only cabbage I don't reccomend substituting with is red/purple cabbage as it will discolour the soup. Otherwise any cabbage or even bok choy works!
- Vegetable, or chicken stock
- Navy beans - feel free to use any type of beans you like
- Fresh parsley - basil, dill, and cilantro would also be delicious!
- Parmesan cheese, optional
What type of greens should I use?
The more commonly used greens for this type of soup are kale, spinach, collard greens etc. But I had a craving for cabbage (is that weird?). Savoy cabbage looks like a regular cabbage except the leaves are wrinkly. the flavour is milder then regular cabbage and the leaves are more tender but they are interchangeable in most recipes. Since cabbage isn't all that "green" I added some colourful and delicious red Swiss chard to the mix. The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard. I went with leeks because, well...if you've read many of my other posts, I just love them! You could substitute a large onion in place of the leeks.
What kind of beans should I use?
You can use any type of beans you like. I used navy but red or white kidney, black eyed peas, chickpeas...any of those work. Navy beans are my favourite for most soups because of the smaller size and chewier texture. If you prefer a creamier bean use white kidney beans.
Dried or canned beans?
Canned beans are great for convenience but if you take the time, and it's not much, cooking your own is so much better. I admit I do use canned beans often. But every time I cook my own I think "why don't I do this more often?" For my method of soaking. cooking and storing dried beans check out this post: How To Soak and Cook Dried Beans. If you do cook your own, don't throw away that liquid! You can use it in the soup mixed with some vegetable or chicken stock.
How to make Greens and Beans Soup
- Prepare all of the vegetables by rinsing, peeling and chopping. Remove the stems from swiss chard. Chop and reserve separately.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot
- Add carrots, celery, leeks, swiss chard stems and garlic and salt. Sautee over medium heat until soft.
- Add cabbage and chard leaves and stock. Simmer for 15 minutes or until cabbage is wilted.
- Add cooked or canned beans that have been drained and rinsed. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
- Add chopped fresh parsley and serve.
- Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese
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Greens and Beans Soup
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced small
- 1 large celery stalk, rinsed and diced small
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed and sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 small bunch, red Swiss chard, rinsed (approx. 6 cups chopped)
- ½ small head savoy cabbage (approx. 6 cups chopped)
- 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock or combo of stock and bean cooking liquid.
- 2 cans Navy beans, rinsed well and drained (19 oz/562 ml/4 cups)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup parsley leaves, packed
- Parmesan cheese, optional for serving
- Remove stems from swiss chard and set aside. Chop or rip leaves into approximately 1" pieces. Chop stems into ¼-1/2 inch pieces. Set aside separately.
- Remove core of cabbage and chop leaves into 1" pieces. Set aside.
- Prepare the other vegetables, garlic and parsley.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add carrots, celery, leeks, garlic, Swiss chard stems and salt. Sautee for 8-10 minutes or until soft.
- Add cabbage, Swiss chard leaves and stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes or until cabbage is soft.
- Add beans and continue simmering for 10 more minutes.
- Add parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
- Substitute cabbage and Swiss chard for a variety of greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens etc.
- Soup can be kept in the fridge for 5 days and frozen for 6 months.
- Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.
Christine Smith says
Have made this soup many times. I too, use different greens, depending whats on hand. 🙂
Its quick, easy, healthy, and delicious!
Thanks for the great receipe, Andrea.
Natalie W says
Making this again for the fifth time. I’ve changed up the greens to accommodate what I have or what’s available. It’s perfect no matter what. #livyloser
Making this soup but going to save a few leaves to make wraps. Do you recommend a way to keep the leaves fresh?? I’m a Livy loser.
I keep mine wrapped in paper towel or a kitchen towel inside a bag. They will last for quite a while that way. Enjoy!
Do you have approximate quantities for the chard and cabbage. I ordered them online and got giant-sized ones. Thanks!
I would say about 4-5 cups chopped cabbage and about 8-10 Swiss chard leaves. Hope that helps. Nothing has to be exact with this soup so if you end up adding extra greens you can always just add in some extra stock as well.
Thanks! I understand it's not an exact science but just wondered. Have tried a few of your recipes and love them!!
I didn't think this would have a lot of flavor, but I have to say surprisingly good. I did add a can of diced tomatoes, even my husband liked it!
I'm so glad you liked it! Nice addition with the tomatoes!
This soup is delicious. Very easy to prepare with basic ingredients. Highly recommend!!
So happy you enjoyed it!