A creamy, mellow soup with cannellini beans, potatoes, and seasonal homegrown kale punctuated by bright lemon, chili flakes, and aromatic rosemary: restorative, satisfying, and ideal for cold winter weather (but really, it’s great in any season). It’s an easy, simple and reliable recipe, so high quality ingredients really will make a difference in the outcome here.
Greens are so vital and make me feel amazing. No other vegetables really stand a chance against their nutritional profiles, though I like to branch out often anyway. Blue curled Scotch kale is the first vegetable I really ever grew on my own, and I’d recommend it to any gardening beginner as it’s a no-brainer to grow in abundance. I’ve found that it’s one of those “leave it and let it do its thing” type of vegetables. I tend to feel off when I don’t consume enough dark, leafy greens, so I like to pile them up often. Feel free to use any other greens you like, such as cabbage, bok choy, rapini, etc.
Bone broth dates back to prehistoric times, when hunter-gatherers turned otherwise inedible animal parts like bones, hooves, and knuckles into a broth they could drink. You can make bone broth using bones from just about any properly raised, grass fed and grass finished, or wild caught animal — pork, beef, veal, turkey, lamb, bison, buffalo, venison, chicken, or fish. Marrow and connective tissues like feet, hooves, beaks, gizzards, or fins can also be used with varying nutritional profiles. The grass fed, grass finished, pasture raised beef bone broth I used supports a healthy gut microbiome essential to well being, strengthens nails and bones, reduces joint pain and stiffness, reduces wrinkles, gives the skin a natural glow, boosts the immune and digestive system, and makes a good post-surgery recovery tonic if you’re ever in need of one. It’s a powerful, well rounded, full spectrum, nutrient-dense source of bioavailable calcium, collagen, glycine, and a plethora of vital minerals. This stuff is legit so nourishing I feel the vitality in it when I drink it, so I like to make a big batch of it every other week and use it in various recipes from soups and stews to sauces in my everyday cooking. It has become one of my favourite dietary staples as my gut microbiome adjusts to animal foods after 15-ish years of a vegetarian/vegan diet (click to read more here about my experience).
Bone broth is my ideal source of glycine as opposed to exogenous supplements. Glycine is an essential building block for endogenous (created within the body) detox molecules such as glutathione (the “master antioxidant”). Did you know that the pesticide RoundUp (Glyphosate) not only kills the bees, causes widespread damage to the gut microbiome, and is linked to gluten intolerance, but when consumed and accumulated, it displaces essential proper zinc and glycine conducive to gene expression, getting into your myelin and connective tissue, then resulting in your immune system attacking it, causing autoimmune conditions? Even though these conditions can be managed and even reversed, this is one of the many reasons I eat 100% organic and source from local farmers. If you’re sourcing foods in the US, even certified organic fruits and vegetables from there are contaminated with Glyphosate since it spreads throughout the wind onto the crops, and chronically exposed directly and indirectly to our biology through the food or water supply via rainwater. Yep, conventional farming is a disaster… you can refer to the Environmental Working Group’s yearly updated Dirty Dozen list to help you navigate the tumultuous waters of the modern grocery store. It’s also never too late to start growing your own!
I used organic cannellini beans, but you can use any beans you like. I soaked and sprouted mine from dried beans in filtered water with a splash of apple cider vinegar for about 48 hours, then cooked and drained them before using them in this recipe. Not only are the dry beans less expensive, but they also have a noticeable difference in quality and are more digestible compared to canned and/or unsprouted beans.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Creamy Cannellini Bean & Potato Soup with Kale, Lemon and Rosemary in Bone Broth
- 1 tbsp heat resistant cooking fat of your choice, such as virgin coconut oil, tallow, lard, fat, or ghee
- 1 medium yellow onion, small dice skins on if organic
- 1 medium parsnip, small dice
- 1 stalk of celery, small dice
- 1 tsp chili flakes to taste
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 yellow potatoes, small dice
- 3 cups sprouted, cooked cannellini beans or other white beans
- 3.5 cups grass fed, grass finished beef bone broth
- 1/2 freshly squeezed lemon juice + zest
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2 cups kale, chopped and packed
- chopped parsley, raw garlic, and lemon zest to garnish optional
- In a medium-large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the cooking fat over medium heat. Add the onions, parsnip and celery to the pot and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until they become softer and translucent.
- Add the chili flakes, rosemary and garlic. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the white beans and potatoes and stir to coat them evenly in the aromatics for about 30 more seconds. Add the bone broth to the pot and stir again. Bring the pot to a boil.
- Once it starts boiling, temporarily bring the heat down. Add in half of the lemon juice and season the whole thing with salt and pepper. Optional but recommended: use an immersion blender to liquify about half of the soup OR remove half of the soup, allow it to cool completely, reduce it into a sauce in a blender, then add it back to the soup.
- Add the kale, stir it in to combine, and bring it back to a boil. Once the kale turns bright green and wilts, remove from heat. Serve hot with fresh remaining lemon juice, chopped parsley, raw garlic, lemon zest, extra salt and pepper, a few splashes of cold biodynamic extra virgin olive oil, or a dollop of grass fed organic kefir, if you like.
- The gremolata (chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest garnish) is highly recommended. Not only is it tasty, but most of lemon’s nutrients and phytochemicals lie in the pith and peel! Don’t waste it! Another garnish I’d recommend is a dollop of grass fed organic kefir for your daily probiotic hit.
- Try using a basic bone broth that was simmered without extra seasonings to really bring the focus on the main flavours of this soup… simple, but so good. Alternatively, use vegetable stock or filtered water.
- Ancestral cooking fats used for thousands of years are vital for brain function and general mental wellness, there’s no need to fear the fat. However, if cooking fat burns it becomes oxidised, releasing toxins into the air and into the food. I originally used grass fed organic local butter while testing this recipe, but it turns out that it has a low smoke point so I’d recommend one of the cooking fats mentioned above instead, like grass fed organic local ghee (with a crazy high smoke point of 485 F/252 C). Generally, the lower the smoke point of the oil/fat, the lower heat to cook it on.