Sunday, April 14, 2024

Bean, Ham and Kale Soup Recipe


This Bean, Ham and Kale soup recipe is perfect Autumn fare as the weather starts to cool down, and we begin to feel like eating soup, but we are still not ready to enjoy the heavier style of ham and lentil soups which are perfect for the middle of Winter. I don't buy Kale very often, I'll be honest it's not on my list of favourite green vegetables, but as Kale comes into season, and becomes less expensive to buy, it is perfect in this soup. It holds it's shape well and is very nutritious and colourful.
 I love that this soup is based on homemade stock, which I make myself in the slow cooker, long and slow from the ham hock, and then the soup is finished on your stovetop within half an hour before eating. Did you know that Kale is a real nutrition superstar? I don't want to be boring about this, but all the nutritionists actually agree that it is chock full of so many vitamins and minerals that are great for our health. Vitamins A, B6, C, K, folate, fibre, and caretonoids are all in Kale and others as well. Why would you need to visit an expensive Health Farm retreat when you can consume so many vitamins and minerals in a delicious bowl of soup?

Kale is very cheap at the moment so I made another large batch of this soup, which is originally a recipe from the Mindfood magazine. Mindfood is published monthly in Australia and New Zealand in hard copy and online. I first became aware of this recipe in 2016, and have been making it ever since then. This soup also freezes very well.  It is one of our daughter's favourite soups so I'll freeze a batch of it and take it up to her in our car frig when we visit next time. Hopefully it will be a little wintry, even for the Far North Queensland tropics. 

Here's the recipe, I love the saltiness of the ham, mixed with the earthiness of the beans and the light flavour of the kale. It is so economical to make and would easily feed a family of 6. I hope you decide to make it, I know you will love it.

Ham and Kale Soup ( Slow cooker and large saucepan methods are given)


1 smoked ham hock or frozen ham bone from your Christmas Ham
1 onion, halved
2 sticks celery
1 carrot, sliced
3 garlic cloves
2 parsley stalks, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 leeks. white part only, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves
400g can cannellini beans, drained
1 bunch kale (about 12 leaves), trimmed and chopped
Shaved Parmesan, to serve
Olive oil, to serve

Let’s make the stock:

Place the ham bone, onion, celery, carrot, garlic and parsley in a large saucepan or your slow cooker bowl.

Slow cooker method:
Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker bowl and fill the pot with 3 litres of water. Cook on low for 8 hours or on medium for 4 hours. Half way through the cooking, adjust the ham bone if necessary so that all of the bone will be cooked and the meat tender by the end.  Remove the ham hock and discard the skin. Shred meat and set aside. Strain stock and set aside.

Large saucepan method:
Place all the ingredients in the saucepan and cover with 3 litres of water. Cook, simmering for 30 minutes (use a spoon to skim the surface).

Cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, or until meat is tender and falling off the bone. Remove the ham hock and discard the skin. Shred meat and set aside. Strain stock and set aside.

Let’s make the soup:

Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, leeks, and garlic. Cook, stirring for 4-5 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add stock and bring to the boil. Add cannellini beans, kale, and ham hock meat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, or until kale is tender.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Spoon into soup bowls, top with lots of shaved Parmesan, and drizzle with olive oil.


Warm wishes,



  1. What a great looking soup! You really can't beat homemade stock.

    1. Thanks Angie, I love a recipe that is based on homemade stock.

  2. This soup does sound perfect for cooling weather. I might still get away with it as the desert heats up. We love soup and our friend is growing great amounts of kale — this soup is up next! (Tonight is white beam and kale soup.) David — C&L

    1. Kale, except for Russian Kale, is a difficult crop to grow here, but I can grow silverbeet well. I hope you enjoy this soup David, we always do. Thanks so much for your kind comment.

  3. This soup is so good and hearty. And, it’s pretty!

    1. Thanks Mimi, when I make it again I'll photograph it in a soup bowl. It does look very attractive.

  4. oh dear Pauline - you know what I am going to say :) Kale is literally cow feed! I just can't bring myself to eat it; that's because of the taste tho- hehehe. Otherwise your soup sounds fab. Another green could be used of course. Ever so slightly cooler here these past couple of nights ...

    1. Thanks Sherry, I had predicted your comment:), and this is the only dish in which I really enjoy kale. Another green can be used though.


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