Kale, Cannellini Bean and Orzo Soup

Light yet hearty

This delicious, comforting soup is packed with hearty greens, creamy cannellini beans and quick-cooking orzo. It’s nutrient-dense, full of flavour and so easy to make, which makes it perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. It also just so happens to be vegan, if you omit the optional parmesan. Those that know me know that I’m not a fan of beans. And yet, I love this soup. If that isn’t incentive enough for you to give it a try, I don’t know what is!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Soups, Vegan


  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced into small cubes
  • 1 large carrot, diced into small cubes
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced into small cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 litre water or vegetable stock
  • 1 parmigiano reggiano rind, optional (if not vegan)
  • 100 g dried orzo
  • 1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 200 g cavolo nero (Tuscan kale), ribs and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 large handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • freshly-grated parmigiano reggiano, to serve


  1. Heat a splash of extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and season generously with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, then add the tinned tomatoes and season generously with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
  3. Bring the base to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 7 to 10 minutes. The goal here is to take the raw edge off the tinned tomatoes.
  4. Add the water and season very generously with salt – you want the broth to taste as seasoned as you want the finished dish to taste. Turn the heat up to medium-high, stir to combine and bring to a boil.
  5. Stir in the orzo and beans. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in the kale and cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked through.
  6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning, to your liking. Remove the parmesan rind and serve, topped with some freshly-grated parmigiano reggiano.

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