White Bean Kale Soup, French Onion Soup Style

Dinner, Soups

The weather has been kinda spastic in LA lately. It’s doing that thing where it’s cold in the shade and hot in the sun. I keep daydreaming about a hot bowl of soup with a big scoop of toasted coconut ice cream in the center. Ew.

My brain is confused. The cure: cheese and bread. Always.

In an attempt to keep up my healthy eating, I figured I needed to justify the cheese and bread thing and throw in a dose of wholesome; that’s where the white beans and kale come in.

This soup is like French Onion Soup’s lighter, more spring-like cousin.

I ordered a few cookbooks last week (including Heidi’s!), adding Gwyenth Paltrow’s book at the last minute, with very little expectations. I was morbidly curious about the book, especially after reading these ridiculous quotes that DListed pullled from it. Amazing.

Despite all the dramaz, I gave it a chance. And can I just say that…umm…after reading the foreword, which was all about how her relationship with food and her dad are intertwined, I was sold.

I’m kind of a sap when it comes to girls talking about their awesome relationships with their dads.

She reminded me of my own dad– how much he’s given me, how much he’s given up, and everything in between.

I mean, who else is gonna teach you how to change a flat tire, make pate achoux and force you to be an athlete, even when you’re begging to look cute and be a cheerleader.

That’s pro parenting right there…

This particular recipe was inspired from a soup she used to have at a restaurant her and her father would frequent. I love recipes with context and story behind them. That’s her story. It’s cute and sweet.

My story behind this soup is that I was starving, a friend was coming over for lunch and I wanted cheese and bread.


Sometimes you don’t need something to be nostalgic and sappy to be good. Cheese and bread are good enough. Always.

White Bean Kale Soup, French Onion Soup Style

Adapted from Gywenth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter

Serves: 4

Print this recipe!

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, sliced thinly

1 fennel bulb, stems and fronds removed, sliced thinly

3 large garlic cloves, minced

Pinch red chile flakes

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

2 pints chicken or vegetable stock

Coarse salt

1 bunch of kale, stems disgarded and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces

8 thin slices baguette

1 cup of Gruyere or Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium-heat. Add the fennel and onion and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the 25 minute mark add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. The onions and fennel will be slightly carmelized–this is good!

Add the chile flakes, oregano and pepper and cook for a minute. Add the beans and stock, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and add salt to taste, and let cook on low heat for 1 hour. Note: I didn’t need any extra salt.

Stir in the kale leaves and let it cook for 2-3 more minutes, or until slightly cooked. Lade into four ovenproof bowls. Float two toasts on each bowl and evenly distribute the cheese. Put the bowls under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly, less than a few minutes.

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply plasterer bristol June 16, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    This sounds really delicious and something new to try. Thank you for sharing this.


  • Reply jem March 30, 2015 at 5:16 am

    thank you so very much for this recipe. it is so hearty for a veg meal and has such a depth of flavour. i could rant about this soup forever maybe.. cheers!

  • Reply Jacqueline October 26, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    This looks like a tasty and more filling soup cousin to the classic. I just might note that salting any soup before cooking it down could be a bit risky, and it might be safer to salt it after the one hour cook time.

    As the liquid evaporates, that salt doesn’t.

  • Reply Shelby January 30, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    this recipe is the bomb! i am now making it for the second time in two weeks. it’s even better the day after. i added zucchini this time around. thank yaz adrianna!

  • Reply Liz January 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    This soup is delicious and a meal!! Great for vegetarians–it has protein, fiber and deep greens. I will use less salty broth though since canned cannellini beans already have a lot of salt. Might try adding some red wine next time.

  • Reply Jeniece April 5, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I’ll be honest-the first time I had this soup it was only so-so. And then I found my mistake! I used the cheap, pre-grated parmesan from the deli department and it gave the soup a weird texture. When I re-heated my leftovers, I put in the higher quality solid parmesan that I grated myself and it was great! Even without the bread on top, this is a delicious soup! And it does feel healthy with the kale in there!

  • Reply kate April 26, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I converted my non soup eating boyfriend with this recipe. So delicious!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Tina April 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    That looks incredible! Reasons to eat more veggies 🙂 And so curious abt her cookbook bc I love all things related to Paltrow.

  • Reply Alli April 18, 2011 at 9:03 am

    I was so curious about this book … skeptical as well but, your comments make me want to flip through it even more. The soup looks great.

  • Reply Kathy April 18, 2011 at 5:45 am

    How much onion did you use? It isn’t listed in the ingredients. I am looking forward to making the soup.

    • Reply Adrianna April 18, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      Blah! Good eye; it’s in there now!

      • Reply Megan April 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm

        Hello! I still don’t see the quantity of onion required… am I crazy?

        • Reply Adrianna April 21, 2011 at 4:12 pm

          Sorry. I don’t think I pressed “save.” It’s there now! For real this time. 🙂

  • Reply yummy supper April 17, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Yum! Creamy deliciousness with some healthy veg to boot! How can you go wrong?

  • Reply yummy supper April 17, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Yum! Creamy deliciousness with some healthy veg too boot! How can you go wrong?

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