Kale Soup for the Crockpot
Ah, kale. When my sister and I first started bringing home bunches of kale to my mother, she was understandably perplexed. My grandmother’s Slovak cooking taught her at least fifty different ways to cook a head of cabbage, but kale was a new one. I remember how skeptical she was after she threw a handful of tough kale leaves into her salad and chewed, chewed, chewed…
She’s come a long way since then, and kale has become a staple ingredient in our family get-togethers. Last week, after we had been a little under the weather, she showed up at my door with a great big bowl of this kale vegetable soup. It was so good. Light, smooth, and healthy, it hit the spot. And I was already on the phone calling her to get the recipe before I had finished the last bite. I just had to make myself up a big batch.
This is her recipe for kale soup that I modified to make in the crockpot. You can easily make it without the crockpot over the stove if you prefer. Whenever given the choice, though, I always prefer the ease of the crockpot. This recipe is very forgiving as well. You can alter the amounts of vegetables and kale, and you can cook it longer (I almost always cook my soups overnight) or eat it after a few hours. Whatever you choose, it’s a delicious way to get your healthy greens in without sacrificing flavor.
Mother Blossom’s Kale Soup for the Crockpot
vegetarian * crockpot * 10-12 servings
- 2 t olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (more or less, I opt for more garlic)
- ¾ c chopped celery
- 1-2 chopped carrots
- salt and pepper
- dash of thyme (optional)
- 1 16-oz can petite diced tomatoes (or 1 ½ c skinned, chopped and seeded tomatoes with juices)
- 1 can white beans (e.g. Cannellini), drained (or 1 ½ c of cooked white beans)
- 12 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bunch curly green kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
Coat the bottom of the crockpot with oil. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots, stir. Cover and cook on high for about a half hour. Alternately, you can sauté these over the stovetop and place in the crockpot to save time. Season with salt and pepper, and add a dash of thyme.
Add tomatoes (undrained), beans, and vegetable broth. Add kale and stir gently. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours up to 12 hours. This soup tastes even better the next day.
Nutritional Facts per serving:
Fat: 1.2 g
Sodium: 1272 mg
Potassium: 452 mg
Carbs: 18.4 g
Fiber: 4.3 g
Protein: 4.5 g
Iron: 11 %
Now that the weather is officially cold, and the layer of snow that fell last week is not budging from the ground, I find myself putting soup on menus more and more. What other meal is so warming to the soul on chilly days? And I’m thinking that since now I have a huge pot of this kale soup in my refrigerator, I might return my mother’s favor and bring her over a big hot bowl today!
~ Mellie ★
I made this tonight and it was delicious ! Would you happen to know calorie count possibly ? Great soup :)
Hi Melissa! I’m so glad you liked it :) Here’s the nutritional breakdown per serving going off of 10 servings:
Fat: 1.2 g
Sodium: 1272 mg
Potassium: 452 mg
Carbs: 18.4 g
Fiber: 4.3 g
Protein: 4.5 g
Iron: 11 %
Hope that helps! I’m going to update the post with this info too.
I’m making this tonight but just realized I got Tuscan Kale at the store instead of curly. How much of a difference will this make? (First time cooking with kale!) :)
There won’t really be any difference in taste, just in the texture of the kale. But it will still be delicious! :)
Yay! Thanks! I’m excited to make this :)
YUM!! Eating this now. Thanks for recipe :) Perfect on this cold night!!
awesome! glad you like it :)
Is it possible to make this with lower sodium?
Definitely. Most of the sodium listed comes from using a regular broth found at stores, which are notoriously high in sodium. You can substitute a low-sodium broth, or even better – make your own vegetable broth.
I am trying this recipe for the first time and I’ve had it slowly cooking in the crock pot now for 5 hours and was wondering if I can add pastina noodles to it while it is cooking?
Noodles sound like a great addition! I would look at the package and see what the cooking time is and add it at the end (and ending at 5 hours should work if that’s what you were thinking.) Just keep an eye on the liquid levels, since pasta tends to absorb it; add a little more hot broth or water as needed until the pasta is cooked. Let me know how it turns out! :)
can i substitute spinach for kale?
Hi Aarie! Spinach has a little bit of a different texture than kale – kale holds its shape and can withstand longer cook times. If you wanted to substitute spinach, it would have a bit of a different texture, but the taste would be similar! If you’re using fresh spinach, add it right at the end, with maybe 5-10 minutes cooking time left. Hope this helps!
Great recipe! This delicious soup is sure to become one of our favorites. Thanks for sharing!
This soup is fantastic. I made some adjustments – added extra garlic, celery & carrots; was liberal on the thyme (dried); added two 14-oz cans of cherry tomatoes, used eight cups of vegetable stock instead of 12 (two different brands, one stock more tomato based, and the other a leek/celery/garlic base); and most importantly, which I believe gave the soup it’s full flavor (and made the kitchen smell spectacular) was I sautéed the vegetables in coconut oil instead of olive oil. Anyway, the flavor is delicious, far above what I expected it to taste. I definitely will make this again. Best part, tomorrow after the flavors blend, it’ll taste better (if possible).
I made this soup as an all-natural (organic) dish for the daniel fast. But it’s so substantial and healthy as well. Thanks so much!!!!
Your adjustments sound delicious. I am a firm believer that you can never have too much garlic! I’m so glad you liked it :)
I plan on making this tomorrow night. I am not a big celery fan though, what other veggies do you think would be a good substitute?
I am planning on making this soup tomorrow night. I am not a big fan of celery though, is there another veggie that would be a good substitute?
I think you could leave it out without it affecting the flavor by much!
Do you think you could add like ground turkey to it? Sounds delicious!! I just like more protein!
Absolutely you could add ground turkey to it! I think it’s a pretty versatile recipe and would take adjustments well.
Hi, what size crockpot do you use? Just need to see if I need to adjust the ingredients.
Hi Chantelle! I use a very basic 4-quart crock pot.
Great looking soup? What would you consider one serving…one cup?
I meant…Great looking soup!!! not “Great looking soup?”
haha! Usually I do a cup to a cup and a half per serving. I don’t usually measure it out precisely – I’m too busy taking spoonfuls out of the crockpot while it cooks :)
I bought a 16 oz bag of curly leaf kale so how much of the kale should i use? Your recipe calls for 1 bunch and Im not sure how much of the bagged kale i should use.
I think you could use about a third to half of the bag. It will shrink down as it cooks.
This looks yummmy. Thinking it would be amazing adding some chopped up Italian sausage too or even chicken,ground beef/turkey/chicken which ever you prefer. Thanks for sharing it. Grocery shopping day!
I’m sure sausage or turkey would be a great addition. Let me know how it turns out!
As well as your gorgeous squares and colors (I know you’re tired of me raving on and on and on about them in Ravelry), this recipe looks wonderful! I’ll probably add beef for my he-man hubby. I could eat it without anything myself!
thanks so much! You’re always so kind. Let me know how you and your husband enjoy the soup :)
I just made this soup today and it is delicious! thank you for sharing the recipe:)
I’m so glad you liked it!
Amazing recipe. I want to this soup recipe and I am so excited. Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for this href=”http://www.onlyessentialorganics.com” target=”_blank”>healthy recipe. . :-)
Hope you love it as much as we do!
Growing a ton of veggies in the garden and looking for things to do with them all, this soup sounds amazing. Does it freeze well? If so this will be perfect.
If I cook on high instead of low will it be ready in 2 ish hours?
I honestly don’t know for certain but I don’t see why not – there’s nothing that requires a long cooking time except to just blend the flavors more.
does this freeze well?
I’ve never tried freezing it, but I wouldn’t hesitate to – none of the ingredients are overly starchy.
i like to make this but with out all the sodium ,,iam on a very low sodium diet
I can’t wait to try this soup. I can eat soup everyday. I just put this in my slow cooker on low. I am going to let it overnight (about 8 hours) so the flavors blend. My only question is , I thought I would cook up brown rice separately then add it once soup is finished or just add rice as I am serving it. What do you think?
I can’t wait to try this soup. I just put this in my slow cooker. I plan on cooking all night (about 8 hours) to let the flavors blend. I do have a question. I was thinking to cook some brown rice separately ( so it doesn’t absorb too much broth). Then add it to the slow cooker or just add a scoop to each bowl as I serve it. What do you think?