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Recipe: Mixed Bean and Kale Soup

Written by Melissa Pasanen on . Posted in Recipes, Taste of the Landscape

Mixed Bean and Kale Soup
Roots Restaurant uses Yoder Family Farm’s 13-bean mix in this hearty soup full of winter vegetables and wilted kale. It makes great use of all those small handfuls of different beans left in your pantry; the more varieties the better. The restaurant makes its own stocks including a roasted vegetable stock, which makes good use of the kitchen’s vegetable trimmings. Homemade vegetable stock is much preferable to often overly carroty packaged options, but purchased will do in a pinch.
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  1. 2 cups (about 12 ounces) mixed 
dried beans
  2. 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt, 
divided, plus more to taste
  3. 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  4. 1 medium onion, diced
  5. 5 garlic cloves, minced
  6. Freshly ground black pepper
  7. 4 small stalks celery, diced
  8. 1 small rutabaga, peeled and diced
  9. 1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced
  10. 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  11. 1 quart vegetable stock
  12. 1 quart mushroom stock
  13. 2 tablespoons soy sauce (Roots 
uses wheat-free to make this 
a gluten-free soup)
  14. 4 sprigs fresh thyme tied together, 
or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  15. Small bunch kale, tough stems removed and leaves sliced into 
thin ribbons
  16. Fresh parsley to garnish
  1. Sort through dried beans and remove any pods, small stones or other debris. Place in a large bowl or pot and cover with water by at least 3 inches. Pick out any floating, old beans and leave in a cool spot overnight, or at least 8 hours.
  2. Drain beans and place in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Cover with water by at least 2 inches and add 1½ teaspoons salt. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 60 to 80 minutes, or until smallest beans are just tender although larger beans might not be quite cooked through. (Time will vary depending on size and age of beans.)
  3. Drain beans and set aside. (Beans can be made a day ahead, cooled and stored in fridge in their cooking liquid.)
  4. In the large soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat and add onion and garlic with remaining ½ teaspoon salt and some grinds of fresh pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes until softened.
  5. Add remaining tablespoon of oil and celery, rutabaga, parsnip and carrot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes until vegetables are lightly colored.
  6. Add vegetable stock and increase heat to bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, about 15 to 18 minutes until root vegetables are approaching tender (al dente) but not completely cooked through.
  7. Stir in reserved beans along with mushroom stock, soy sauce and thyme. Increase heat to medium-high to reach a steady simmer. Simmer 10 minutes until vegetables are fully cooked and beans warmed through.
  8. Remove fresh thyme bunch, if used, and season to taste with more salt and pepper.
  9. To serve: place a small handful of ribboned kale in each soup bowl and pour hot soup over it. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.
  10. Yields about 1 gallon of soup.
  1. Photo by Ken Burris.
Adapted from Head Chef Chuck Spock, Roots Restaurant, Rutland
Adapted from Head Chef Chuck Spock, Roots Restaurant, Rutland
Vermont Life Magazine
Melissa Pasanen

Melissa Pasanen

Contact Melissa Pasanen at and follow her on Twitter at

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