Library Blog

Cooking with the Library–White Bean Soup

bowl of white bean soup
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Hello! This is Michele and today we’ll be creating a delicious white bean soup that just happens to be vegan and gluten-free. The recipe is loosely based on the Mediterranean White Bean Soup recipe found at Feel Good Foodie.

There are some excellent soup and vegan electronic cookbooks available for you to borrow immediately through the Library’s website. We also have lots of print cookbooks, which can be found at your local branch or online at



  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bunch of kale, rinsed, squeezed and chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves to taste, peeled, crushed and diced
  • ½ tbs marjoram
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tbs thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste (Check the sodium content of the broth and beans before adding extra salt.)
  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke, or about 4 drops (optional)
  • 2 quarts of vegetable broth
  • 4 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • Chives or green onions, chopped, for garnish



  1. Rinse and chop the vegetables. The kale should be stripped from the stems, rinsed and squeezed to help break down the leaves before cooking and to remove the moisture. Drain and rinse the beans.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven on the stovetop using medium heat. Sauté the celery, carrots, leek, onion and kale for about 6 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
  3. Add the garlic and spices and bloom (heat) for 1 minute. Add the broth, liquid smoke (optional) and beans and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat, then simmer for 25 minutes or until the kale is tender.
  4. Remove the bay leaves. Mash some of the beans with a potato masher or immersion blender to thicken the soup. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Garnish with chopped chives or green onions. Enjoy!







Michele Mellor

Michele Mellor is a Reference Librarian based at Main Library, where she has been striving to bring order to the universe of knowledge for over 30 years. She loves helping people, so ask her those reference questions! She enjoys reading microhistories and books that expand her horizons leavened by brain-candy romance novels.