Gluten Free Southern Style Bean & Kale Soup

by Carol Kicinski on April 11, 2013

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I live in the South and let me tell you, Southern cuisine can be quite contradictory. For instance, Southerners love their vegetables and probably consume more than other regions of the country. They are particularly fond of super healthy dark leafy greens, garden fresh tomatoes, and beans of all kinds.

Thing is those veggies are either going to be dipped in batter and deep fried, crusted with cornmeal, or simmered with bacon fat. I was once served a “vegetarian” platter – peppers, onions, and tomatoes that were simmered in creamy beef gravy. Good thing I am not a vegetarian!

Personally I love Southern cuisine. There is a certain genius in the way a handful of inexpensive, often overlooked ingredients are combined and transformed into pure deliciousness.

This bean and kale soup is a healthier homage to a Southern classic of dried beans and greens cooked with pork fat and ham hocks. I got a smoky flavor without adding any smoked meat thanks to the blend of spices in the gluten free flavor packet that came with the mixture of cranberry, kidney and great northern beans in Hurst Family Harvest’s Tri-Bean Soup Mix. To bump up the flavor of this vegan dish I added dried mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, gluten free soy sauce, some garlic powder, and a hefty pinch of red pepper flakes.

Honestly no one missed all the fat and calories that were left out of my lightened up Southern dish; there was all that lovely flavor – I just approached it differently. And really, isn’t that what Southern cuisine is all about?

Gluten Free Bean and Kale Soup

Gluten Free Southern Style Bean & Kale Soup Recipe


1 (12-ounce) package Hurst Family Harvest Tri-Bean Soup Mix
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, un-drained
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 ounces dried mushrooms (any kind)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ – 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups chopped kale
Kosher salt as needed


Cover the beans in water and soak from 8 – 24 hours. Reserve the seasoning packet.

Rinse the beans, place in a pot with 6 cups water and the seasoning packet. Bring to a boil then simmer, uncovered for 1 hour. Add the tomatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 30 minutes, covered. Add the kale and cook for another 10 – 20 minutes or until the beans and kale are tender. Taste and add salt if needed.


A gluten free recipe that serves 8

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Categories:    Soups & Stews

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth @ Tasty Yummies April 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm

This looks soo amazing. Totally hearty and comforting. I love it.


Carol Kicinski April 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Thanks Beth!


Ana Lydia April 13, 2013 at 5:04 pm

Thanks for the recipe and the post. Looks very yummy and nutritious. I love mushrooms and beans. I think it would be great to include it into my diet list (I’m trying to lose weight nowadays).


Carol Kicinski April 15, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Hi Ans, I do think it would make good diet food! Also you can make a big batch and eat on it for days which is always good when on a diet. Enjoy and good luck!


Liz April 14, 2013 at 10:29 am

Sounds super healthy and I’m looking forward to making it soon. Thank you for the recipe.


Carol Kicinski April 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Thank you Liz!


gfandme April 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Looks wonderful. Hope we get Hearst Family Soup Mixes in my area soon. I’ll keep an eye open.


Carol Kicinski April 15, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Thank you – I love theu soup mixes. Ask your grocery store manager to get them!


Jeffrey April 15, 2013 at 12:39 am

I am asking my wife to do this. Really, can’t wait to get my hand on this tasty cuisine.


Carol Kicinski April 15, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Thanks Jeffery, I hope you enjoy it!


Sara April 15, 2013 at 11:51 am

Kale is not one of my favorite leafy greens but you seemed to have pulled off a great recipe here. I might have to try cooking this next weekend. Thanks for sharing.


Carol Kicinski April 15, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Thanks Sara. You can always use another green – how do you feel about spinach?


Samantha Handley April 16, 2013 at 9:34 am

My god I want to make this now! Looks beautiful and rustic :)


Carol Kicinski April 16, 2013 at 10:37 am

Thank you Samantha!


roshan April 18, 2013 at 9:44 am

Great post…all should read it


Carol Kicinski April 19, 2013 at 9:20 am



David April 19, 2013 at 4:37 am

Kale is wonderful and so underused. It’s amazing the tasty, healthy food that can be created when you think outside the box. This will be a great addition to my own menu. Thanks.


Carol Kicinski April 19, 2013 at 9:12 am

My pleasure David, enjoy!


Chad April 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Good thing it’s still cold in Utah, I have to give this a try!


Carol Kicinski April 22, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hi Chad – yes it has been a long cold winter in some parts of the country! Enjoy.


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