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Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan is one of my favorite slow cooker soups; don’t miss the shaved Parmesan! And this amazing soup is also low-glycemic, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet Phase One. Use the Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

Click to PIN Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan!

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com.

As much as I whine about the cold weather, you can tell I love cold-weather dishes, especially soup. Some of my favorite soups are the ones where I start with an idea and add things until it tastes good, but even when I have a recipe to start with like I did this time, I tend to improvise with most of the soups I make.

This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan can cook all day while you’re at work and was adapted from one I saw in The Italian Slow Cooker, a book that’s loaded with good ideas. I increased the amount of stock (and might use even more next time), added some dried Italian herbs, and served the soup with shaved Parmesan Cheese instead of croutons, for a Phase One soup that was warm and filling, and loaded with flavor.

I used chicken stock because that’s what I had in the freezer, but if you used vegetable stock and skipped the Parmesan, this would be a tasty vegan slow cooker soup.  If you’re not making a vegan version, this is the perfect soup to add some Parmesan rinds and let them melt into the soup while it cooks all day.  If it’s soup weather where you are, this soup would make a perfect Meatless Monday dinner!

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com.

I know some of you hate to have to pre-cook things for the slow cooker, but I promise that sauteeing the onions and garlic with the Italian Seasoning for a few minutes really does increase the flavor.  (If you skip that step, I promise I won’t take it personally!) I used the bowl attachment of my immersion blender to coarsely puree the 2 cans of Cannellini beans, but after I wondered why I didn’t just puree them in the slow cooker with the immersion blender.  You can also use a blender or food processor.

Finely chop 8 oz. kale leaves and give them a wash in the salad spinner if you’re using garden kale. Put the sauteed onion mixture, pureed beans, 1 can tomatoes with juice, stock or broth, chopped kale, and sage leaves into the slow cooker (with Parmesan rinds if using) and cook about 4 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low. I used fresh sage leaves from my garden, but dried sage would also work. The soup won’t win any beauty contests, but it was delicious!  (Next time I might add one more cup of stock for a slightly thinner soup.)

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com.

More Meatless Ideas with Kale:

Vegetarian Lasagna with Kale and Mushroom-Tomato Sauce from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Spaghetti with Kale and Tomato Sauce from Bell’Alimento
Vegetarian Whole Wheat Pasta with Fried Kale, Tomato Sauce, and Goat Cheese from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Roast Pumpkin and Kale Lasagna from Mountain Mama Cooks

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan

This Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan is a favorite, but don’t miss the shaved Parmesan!


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped small
  • 2 T minced garlic (or less if you’re not a garlic fan)
  • 2 tsp. dried Italian Seasoning (contains oregano, basil, marjoram, thyme and rosemary)
  • 2 cans (15 oz. can) Cannellini beans and juice (or use 4 cups cooked cannellini beans and a little water)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 8 oz. finely chopped kale, washed if needed (about 8 cups finely chopped kale)
  • 4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock (I used 4 cups, but next time I would probably use 5)
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, or 1/2 tsp. dried rubbed sage
  • 1-2 pieces of Parmesan rind to add flavor (optional)
  • freshly shaved Parmesan, to garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy frying pan; add the onions and cook 4-5 minutes or until they are just starting to brown.
  2. Add the garlic and Italian Seasoning and saute 1-2 minutes more, being careful not to let the garlic brown.
  3. Spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray; then put onions and garlic into the slow cooker.
  4. While the onions are cooking use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the cannellini beans and juice, keeping them a little chunky if you prefer.  (If you’re using freshly-cooked beans I would add about 1/4 cup water.)
  5. Finely chop the kale (cutting away thick center ribs if you have them) and wash kale in the salad spinner if you’re using garden kale.
  6. Put the pureed beans, chopped kale, chicken or vegetable stock, canned tomatoes and juice, and sage leaves (or dried sage) into the slow cooker with the onion mixture.
  7. (Add one or two pieces of Parmesan rind if desired for extra flavor.)
  8. Cook 4 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.
  9. Serve the soup hot, with strips of Parmesan shaved over if desired.
  10. This soup will keep for at least a week in the fridge, and it freezes well.


I used my Crock-Pot 5-Quart Smart-Pot for this recipe.

Directions on how to make and store minced garlic.

Recipe adapted from The Italian Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Soup with beans is too high in carbs for a traditional low-carb eating plan, but this Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan is good for low-glycemic eating plans. Even though they are a low-glycemic ingredient, dried beans are a limited food for Phase One of the South Beach Diet, but in a soup like this with lots of other ingredients you can have a normal serving, even for Phase One. This is too high in carbs for a low-carb diet plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there. Click here for more Slow Cooker / Pressure Cooker Recipes on my other site!

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into this nutrition analyzer, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan found on KalynsKitchen.com.

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26 comments on “Slow Cooker Vegetarian Cannellini Bean and Kale Soup with Shaved Parmesan”

  1. Elizabeth, so glad you are enjoying the site!

  2. I found this website through a buzzfeed post and now I'm a huge fan! I just used this recipe to make a very similar variation and we loved in my house!! I'm so pleased with how easy yet healthy and satisfying this soup was. I will definitely be making this again real soon.

  3. Dr. D, thanks for that nice feedback! So glad you are enjoying the blog.

  4. I was looking for a warming soup when we had a sudden drop in temperature. I found this and had
    all the ingredients on hand. It was fantastic. I appreciate the tip on freezing it. I use your recipes
    much more often than I post. I love your blog.

  5. Kalyn, love your site! I'm a (new) vegetarian and love your recipes, the design or your blog, etc. thanks!

  6. I made the soup and included the tomatoes. The petite dice was key for me. I absolutely loved this soup!!! So delicious. I can't wait to make it again!!

  7. SugarStuff, so glad you liked it. I think mushrooms would be a nice addition!

  8. Thanks Nicola. I'm not completely sure how this would work without tomatoes since I haven't tried it, but I think you could make it work. You would need to add more liquid, and maybe substitute another types of vegetable like green bell pepper or red bell pepper, if that sounds good to you.

  9. I love your blog and recipes. I'm always excited each day to see what's new. I would like to try this recipe but I'm not a fan of tomatoes. Can I leave them out? Should I substitute something else? Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!!

  10. Thanks Andrea, and I am so glad you're enjoying the recipes!

  11. This recipe (like all of yours!) is excellent! I make a pot full on the weekend and eat on it all week at work! I teach school so time to fix lunch is limited and this is a wonderful solution, I have shared this, and your site with several of my co-workers! Thanks!

  12. We are definitely channeling each other, because I just made a kale and cannellini bean stew to have on hand during the hurricane! I didn't think to add sage leaves to mine, and I like that idea.

  13. Thanks everyone for the good thoughts about this.

    Elizabeth; take care of yourself! (And I hope you get a slow cooker.)

    Donna, love it that I inspired you to try kale!

  14. I have a confession to make: I had never eaten kale before I saw it on your blog. You gave me the courage back then to try that weird looking tough green stuff in the produce department. You still inspire me today – this looks like a winner!

  15. Um, I know this is silly, but I loooove shaved parm. I don't know if it's the flakiness or what, but I swear it's the best way to enjoy parm!

  16. I'll take Parmesan over croutons any day. ANY DAY!

    I think soup really is the silver lining to all this cold weather. This recipe looks superb. 🙂

  17. Yum! This is exactly what I'm craving since I have a kidney stone right now and don't feel Lille spending 30 minutes at the stove. I just asked for a slow cooker for Christmas 🙂

  18. Yum! I'm always looking for ways to use my slow cooker and ways to cook kale – sounds like a winner!

  19. Becky, I would love it with Italian Sausage too. And please come and get kale!

  20. After smelling this in your kitchen I made a version this weekend! I added some sweet Italian sausage so mine was less healthy but delicious never the less! I'll try this one next time…. oh and I'll have to drop by for more kale 😉

  21. Thanks everyone for the nice feedback about this. Really enjoyed the flavors!

  22. I do like sauteeing my base vegetables before putting them in the crockpot – I think it definitely is worth it for extra depth in crockpot recipes. I also love using Parmesan rinds in soups – first of all, because I don't like throwing food out, and second of all, because it adds so much flavor.

  23. I love to experiment the same way and keep adding until I wind up with something delicious. This soup sounds awesome!

  24. I know exactly what you mean about the cold weather. When I lived in Canada I used to complain about how cold it got. But now that I'm in Florida, I sure do miss the excuse of cold weather to make all those soups and stews. This one sounds especially wonderful. I love kale and parmesan together.

  25. A great winter soup. Love the substitute of croutons for parm.

  26. I feel the same way about the cold! But you know…it makes cuddling up to a warm soup all the better! This looks so hearty and delicious!

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