One-Pot White Bean Soup with Turkey, Leeks and Kale

Posted on: January 17, 2024. Updated on: February 8, 2024.

by Carolina Gelen

3.8 / 5. from 551

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white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale

This recipe presents a one-pot solution for any hectic weeknight when all you desire is to effortlessly assemble a tasty, nourishing meal by simply combining a variety of pantry staples and produce in one giant pot. This white bean soup with turkey, leeks and kale is a fuss free, time saving option for a hearty and satisfying dinner.

How to make this white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale

The dish starts with plenty of olive oil drizzled in a chunky Dutch oven, in which we’ll sear ground turkey. Since ground turkey is a very lean meat, we’ll rely on olive oil to properly sear and caramelize the ground meat for some extra flavor in the broth. If ground turkey is not your thing, ground chicken will do the job just as well. And if you can’t get your hands on ground meat, get some boneless, skinless chicken thighs and chop them up at home.

white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale

After noticing golden brown caramelized meat bits on the bottom of the pan, it’s time for the next step of our white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale: the leeks. Leeks tend to pack lots of dirt in between their layers, so taking the time to rinse them after thinly slicing them is crucial. We’ll also be cooking the kale stems during this step, they tend to be really fibrous, so the sooner you get them in the pot, the softer they will get.

If you can’t get your hands on kale leaves, Swiss chard would be my second choice. The moisture from all the greens cooking in the pot will help us scrape off all those flavorful, caramelized brown bits from the bottom of the pan and capture most of their flavor in our white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale.

The next step in our white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale is to simmer all these delicious ingredients together for a rich and flavorful broth. One thing to note here is to make sure you properly season the white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale with pinches and pinches of salt. It’s important to remember we’re working with a pretty big quantity of water — 6 cups, to be more precise — therefore it’s crucial to flavor the water not only by simmering various ingredients in it, but by seasoning it with salt. Always taste the broth and season with more salt as needed.

For the white beans in this white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale, you’ll notice I’m using my favorite-favorite butter or lima beans. They have such a great bite and texture to them, but they’re often hard to find. If you’re unable to find canned butter or lima beans anywhere, consider cooking some yourself or using another type of bean instead. I would go for chickpeas or cannellini beans.

I love love love the sweetness and richness the coconut cream brings to the soup. If you happen to be allergic to coconut, I think blended silken tofu would make a great contender for a substitute.

How to store and reheat the white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale

You can store the white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale up for up to 3 or 4 days in the fridge, I keep mine in deli 1-quart containers and label each with the date I made them on. You can also store the white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale for up to a month in the freezer, simply freeze the soup in your favorite freezer molds and reheat in the microwave or in a pot over medium heat.

Similar recipe ideas

Are you looking for recipes with a similar feel to this white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale? Try my Sesame Chicken Pot Pie for a hearty, stewy, crowd-pleasing dinner or my Easy Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Soup.

One-Pot White Bean Soup with Turkey, Leeks and Kale

3.8 / 5. from 551

Click to vote

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium leeks
  • 5 medium curly kale leaves, about 1/2 bunch
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 16-ounces (450g) ground turkey
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, roughly crushed
  • 2 x 15.5-ounce (450g) cans butter (lima) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups (1.5 liters) water
  • 7-ounces (200g) coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup or a handful small pasta, such as ditalini, couscous, pastina, orecchiette, optional

Instructions

  1. Peel the outer layer off the leeks. Slice some of the dried dark green ends off the leeks. Slice the leek in half, lengthwise. Set the leek cut side down on the cutting board and thinly slice. Add the sliced leeks to a colander and thoroughly wash under cold water to remove and dirt residue. Set aside.
  2. Remove the kale stems by pinching the leaf with your fingers and pulling away from the stem. Chop the kale leaves into big chunks and set them aside. Thinly slice the kale stems and set aside.
  3. Thinly slice the garlic cloves and set aside.
  4. In a medium (about 5-quart) pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil. Using your fingers or a spoon, pinch small, bite-sized pieces of ground turkey and add them to the pot — feel free to overcrowd the pot, it’s fine if the meat chunks touch each other.
  5. Season with a hefty pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Allow the meat to sear, untouched, until brown bits of caramelized meat start developing on the bottom of the pot, about 8 to 12 minutes. Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, flip the seared meat and continue cooking until deeply golden, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add more oil as needed.
  6. Add the coriander and sizzle for 1 minute in oil. Add the thinly sliced leeks, kale stems and a hefty pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens have softened, about 6 minutes. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot using a wooden spoon.
  7. Push everything to one side of the pot. Add a glug of oil at the bottom of the pot and add the garlic. Cook until soft and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Add the beans to the pot, the water, coconut cream and a hefty pinch of salt. Bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
  9. If using, add the pasta, the remaining chopped kale leaves and continue simmering for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the pasta is fully cooked.
  10. Taste and season the broth with more salt, if needed.
  11. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Carolina Gelen

I speak 5 languages, but my favorite way to communicate is through the universal language of food. I translate food to be more approachable and accessible for the everyday cook. I didn't grow up with a lot, so I’ve always loved thrifting and finding a good sale. That also shapes my approach to cooking: I try to make most of my recipes as affordable as possible, and that is what my SCRAPS newsletter is about. Every two weeks I will send an exclusive recipe to your inbox. Subscribe to get full access to the newsletter and website.

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39 thoughts on "One-Pot White Bean Soup with Turkey, Leeks and Kale"

  1. Jim says:

    Excellent recipe. Overall your posts are very well done, entertaining, and a pleasure to watch and read. I particularly enjoy the range of cultural influences. The end results are consistently delicious or if not it’s always my fault. Thank you for all your hard work doing this and I wish you continued success.

    1. Carolina Gelen says:

      That is SO kind of you, I’m so grateful to have you here! Thank you so so much 🙂

  2. Mary Beth Reeves says:

    I can’t wait to try this!

    1. Carolina Gelen says:

      Keep me posted!!! Hope you love it 🙂

  3. Jamie Binkley says:

    Love how you cook! Keep up the awesome work! 🤙🙏👍

    1. Carolina Gelen says:

      That brings me so much joy!!! Thank you for your support xx

  4. Rebecca Garcia says:

    Looks delicious and healthy!

  5. Maureen Flenory says:

    I have coriander powder how much should I use

  6. Blanca says:

    I made this today and had to substitute diced potato for beans. It was incredible!! I also mixed in one (very good quality) Chicken bullion / used 5 cups of water instead of six. So delicious!! Thank you for this recipe!!

  7. santiago uribe says:

    I added ginger and chilli and some chicken bouillion for more (thai inspired) flavor.

    1. Carolina Gelen says:

      Delicious!!!

  8. Heather says:

    So delicious and nutritious!!! I took out the Turkey because I’m going through a no meat phase (it just gives me the ick sometimes out of no where lol). This soup is so yummy and full of flavor. Tastes like a warm hug. I love it. I will try it again with Turkey when I return to liking meat lol.

  9. Kally says:

    Absolutely delicious! instead of coriander seeds (I have an intolerance to coriander) I substituted with cumin and fennel seeds. I follow you on Instagram and enjoy all your posts. I also receive your monthly news letter.
    Thank you for everything you do! You work so hard and it’s appreciated 🩷

  10. Wendy says:

    I want to try this recipe but my husband is highly allergic to onions( I usually omit onions) is there something I can substitute?
    I would greatly appreciate any suggestions. I only try to cook with recipes and sometimes that doesn’t work. Thank you for all the delicious recipes.

  11. charlie Kovacs says:

    That was tasty, ty! We used a meat substitution and it came out great.

  12. Aga says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! What you are doing is so inspiring! I love watching your Ig video for your lovely voice, fresh take on cooking ideas and beautiful dishes. Videos give me a vibe of this great central European mixture of common sense and imagination.

    Soup is amazing! Makes me happy on every level! I added some ginger and reaced 1 cup of water with the bean liquid from the can for extra thickness.

    Thank you! Warm hugs from Poland!

  13. Jennifer says:

    I am an older parent and was definitely sick of cooking. I love your videos and your way of presenting them and I have become inspired again! Thank you for sharing so much with us.

  14. Bobbie says:

    kbjsnorr@comcast.net

    Trying the White Bean Soup with turkey, leeks and kale today. My first of your recipes. Sounds amazing!

  15. Brynna says:

    This was simply scrumptious! I always underutilize leeks in my winter cooking, and this was a cozy and simple way to use them. The crushed coriander added such a nice flavor, and the coconut cream was the perfect touch of richness for the broth. The butter beans (I used dried since my store didn’t have canned) were an amazing touch as well. I’ll absolutely be adding this into my rotation — thank you! (-:

  16. Jer says:

    First time seeing your posts, and saw this recipe and decided to make it on a whim! I added my twist to it and added matchstick carrots for some more color and some rubbed sage, celery salt and chicken seasoning, with orzo pasta, and fell in love with this soup! Thanks for this recipe!

  17. Cynthia Luna says:

    What kind of broth or liquid for the soup and how much?

  18. Betsie says:

    Do you think I could use sausage instead of ground turkey? I know you say chicken but I’m in the mood for pork! This recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it, no matter the recommended protein!! :))

  19. Dana says:

    Okay I’ve been following you for a bit and this is the first time I got off my lazy butt and actually made a recipe you’ve posted vs just drooling at them. Girlie, you NAILED this one, it’s so so so good. I put a lil lemon juice in mine and tossed in some orzo and I am obsessed. It was easy, affordable and sooo comforting. This is like a giant hug in soup form. I will definitely survive winter with this new recipe, cheers to you!

  20. Cassie says:

    Really good. My partner who is not really a soup person said he could eat it every day! Coconut Cream at the end is a good move.

  21. Sophia says:

    Just tried this recipe tonight and sadly the store didn’t have leeks so I just subbed with some carrots I needed to use up and it tastes amazing!! Can’t wait to try this again when I can get my hands on leeks, thanks for a wonderful recipe!!

  22. Laura says:

    Just made this tonight! Used heavy cream instead of coconut because I needed to use it up. Also added Carrot and some soy sauce (attempting to add umami). Was so delicious! Will be trying more of your recipes 🙂

  23. Lois says:

    Just looking at the picture of this soup makes my mouth water. I can’t wait to make it.

  24. Jennifer says:

    The soup was delicious! I did not add pasta, but next time I will. This is a recipe I will be making regularly. I’m grateful for your culinary talent!

  25. Zondani Nonqaba says:

    Wow can’t wait to cry this I used to run short of ideas to cook leeks now so excited

  26. Marcia says:

    Overall a good, healthy recipe, but needed some oomph. I made sure to add layers of chile to it while cooking: red pepper flakes when cooking the meat, and some California Heat dry chile crisp toward the end. Grated a knob of ginger in there too. I also added some hot mustard powder, and squeezed an entire lime in there for acid. Finished with a couple big handfuls of spinach at the very end. Enjoyed it over basmati rice with a drizzle of lemon-yuzu olive oil and Japanese yuzu chile salt, yum.

  27. Morgan says:

    This soup was very good, but I think that the broth that resulted was my favorite part! The caramelized turkey bits with the leeks, garlic, and coconut fat created the most lush combination. I could drink it! Thanks for the scrappy recipe, it was my first one since I found your page. can’t wait to try more 🙂

  28. Dylan M says:

    I loved this recipe and it froze really well! I added red pepper flake which felt important to deepen the flavor and added some warmth. I’d consider doing chicken broth for water, maybe adding ginger or turmeric, lots of spins come to mind! Overall really yummy!

    1. Carolina Gelen says:

      All spins are welcome, I think this recipe has so much room for other fun flavors in there 🙂

  29. I made this recipe tonight and I absolutely adore it- such a different and new taste compared to other soups I’ve made! I have some waiting for my boyfriend for when he comes home from work, and I’m sure he will adore. A keeper for the recipe rotation for sure!

    1. Carolina Gelen says:

      That makes me so happy!!!

  30. Brigitte says:

    This looks delicious! Can I swap spinach for the kale as that’s what I have on hand right now?

    1. Carolina Gelen says:

      Absolutely!

  31. Carla Viggiano says:

    It would be helpful to post a calorie breakdown as well as carbs, protein, etc

  32. Tamra says:

    This looks beautiful! I am so excited to make it. Thanks for the recipe