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Illustration by Brittany England

Affordable Lunches is a series that features nutritious and cost effective recipes to make at home. Want more? Check out the full list here.

Soup makes for a great meal prep option — especially when it’s as straight-forward as this kale and white bean soup recipe.

At just about $2 per serving, this soup highlights the wonder that is canned beans. Canned beans are convenient, an excellent source of protein, and cheap!

Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), for example, are high in protein, fiber, folate, iron, and magnesium. This soup also utilizes a generous amount of antioxidant-rich kale which, along with the tomato, adds plenty of vitamin C.

One serving of this soup has:

  • 315 calories
  • 16 grams of protein
  • high amounts of fiber

Whip up a batch of this soup on Sunday to last you through the whole work week. You can also make this soup completely vegan by skipping the grated cheese.

Kale, Tomato, and White Bean Soup Recipe

Servings: 6

Cost per serving: $2.03

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, white and light green part only, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced and peeled Yukon gold potatoes
  • 32 oz. vegetable broth
  • 1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • grated Parmesan, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.
  2. Add in the garlic, leek, onion, celery, and carrots. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook the vegetables, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5–7 minutes.
  3. Add in the diced tomato and cook another 5 minutes. Add in the potatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Mash half of the cannellini beans. Once simmering, add in the kale and the beans. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for about 15–20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the herbs.
  5. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired.
Pro tip Making your own vegetable broth at home is a great way to save money. Freeze clean carrot peelings, onion skin, leek tops, and vegetable ends in a freezer-safe bag and make a batch of broth when you have enough.

Tiffany La Forge is a professional chef, recipe developer, and food writer who runs the blog Parsnips and Pastries. Her blog focuses on real food for a balanced life, seasonal recipes, and approachable health advice. When she’s not in the kitchen, Tiffany enjoys yoga, hiking, traveling, organic gardening, and hanging out with her corgi, Cocoa. Visit her at her blog or on Instagram.