Sometimes, soups are broth-y, yet lacking a little “body,” but, not this Creamy White Bean and Kale Soup! It’s creamy, hearty, rich and healthy…all at the same time. Last Friday, per COVID style, I entertained few friends outside. On the menu? Soup, of course. What else do you serve when it’s 35 degrees outside? And, it included a mystery ingredient.

Creamy White Bean and Kale Soup…and the Mystery Ingredient is?

The mystery ingredient is also a short-cut because it doubles the flavor with minimal work. You’ve maybe even throw it away! But, it’s the rind from your Parmesan cheese.

Here’s how to use it:

The outer edge of Parmesan cheese hardens over time, but it still contains full flavor. Plus, it contributes 3/4 secrets to an amazing soup: salt, fat and acid (thanks to the dairy content). Simply toss the rind into the soup and simmer along with the other ingredients. When the soup is done, the Parmesan rind may have simply dissolved, great! If there’s still some left, and it’s soft enough, slice it up and toss back into the soup (or nibble away)…with some crusty bread…we won’t tell!

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Creamy White Bean and Kale Soup + My Secret Ingredient

  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x


  • 2 T. olive oil, divided 
  • 34 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into coins
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 12 oz. prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 t. red pepper chili flakes 
  • 1 T. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 4, 15-oz cans white beans (or 1 jar Randall’s Northern White Beans) 
  • 34 c. vegetable broth
  • Parmesan cheese rind (1 – see notes below)
  • 1 t. sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 small bunch Dinosaur kale, chopped


  1. Heat 1 T. olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, carrots, and celery to the pot and stir. Sauté the vegetables until lightly softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. To the pot, add the prosciutto, chili flakes, and rosemary. Stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds
  3. Using a blender or immersion blender, puree 2 cans of white beans with the liquid in the can. Add the pureed beans and white beans to the pot and stir. Add the vegetable stock to the pot and stir once more. Bring the soup to a boil.
  4. Season the soup with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the kale to the pot and bring the soup to a boil. Once the kale is slightly wilted and bright green, season the soup once more with salt and pepper, if you find it necessary.
  6. Drizzle with 1 tsp. olive oil prior to serving.


  1. Sometimes Parmesan cheese comes with no rind! I found these cheese rinds at Whole Foods for $3…just so you know, you can buy them a la carte. 🙂
  • Category: soup

Keywords: creamy white bean and kale soup

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.