This simple, creamy soup has no trace of cream or flour, but is thickened slightly by starch from the beans and is flavored with earthy sage and spicy pepper flakes. I created Skillet Cornbread to serve with it.


  • Olive oil, 1 tablespoon
  • Pancetta, oz (45 g), chopped (optional)
  • Large onion, 1, finely chopped
  • Fresh sage, 1 tablespoon minced
  • Red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon
  • Low-sodium, gluten-free vegetable or chicken broth, 4 cups (32 fl oz/1 l)
  • White beans, 2 cans (15 oz/470 g each), rinsed and drained
  • Kale, 1 large bunch, stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the pancetta, if using, and sauté for 1 minute. Add the onion, sage, and pepper flakes. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the broth and the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes to develop the flavors, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the chopped kale and simmer until wilted, about 8 minutes. Thin the soup with water if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls and serve right away.