Inspired by my Gran's cabbage rolls, which were always served with mashed potatoes and tomato gravy, this soup is reminiscent of those childhood flavors without all the calories. I switched from cabbage to kale when I started growing it, but this stew tastes delicious no matter what brassica you choose. 


  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 8 oz (about 2 medium) Onions, finely chopped
  • 4-5 oz (about 2) Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Pound Kale, coarsely chopped
  • 1- 28 oz can (3 cups) crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 8 Cups Water, Bean or vegetable stock (or 7 cups of water for a pressure cooker)
  • 1 Pound Potatoes, scrubbed & diced
  • 1/4 Cup Hot Sauce, such as Frank's
  • 1 Pound Cooked northern white beans or chickpeas (2-15 oz cans, 3 cups) 1/2 pound dried
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 - 1 1/2 Tablespoons Table Salt, approximate (if using unsalted stock)
  • Fresh Ground Pepper to taste

Deviations & Tips

  • Try cabbage, collards, or bok choy instead of kale.
  • Be sure to use vegetable stock, instead of water, for short 30 minute simmers when you're not using a pressure cooker.
  • Pre-soaking and pre-cooking beans is not necessary when using a pressure cooker. Just be sure to not to add tomatoes until after beans are soft.
  • Tastes great with polenta!

the method

In the bottom of a 6 qt or larger stockpot or pressure cooker, heat olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add onions, carrots, and kale. Saute for about 5 minutes. (continue with either stovetop/slowcooker or pressure cooker instructions below...) 

saute onions, kale, and carrots before adding liquid ingredients.

saute onions, kale, and carrots before adding liquid ingredients.


Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Add salt to taste, if needed. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-60 minutes. OR transfer ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for about 8 hours or on high for about 4 hours. Be sure to cook until potatoes are tender. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve hot.

If needed, transfer vegetable mixture to appliance. Add dried beans, bay leaves, and potatoes. DO NOT ADD TOMATOES.  Pour about 6 cups of water into cooker until water is at halfway point. DO NOT FILL PRESSURE COOKER MORE THAN 1/2 FULL. If you've filled the cooker to the 1/2 way point and still have water left over, set remaining water aside. Stir in about 1 tablespoons table salt (assuming you're not using salted stock). Program pressure cooker to 10-12 psi. After pressure is reached, cook for 20 minutes for navy beans, 30 minutes for northern white or 40 minutes for chickpeas/garbanzo beans. Add any remaining water along with tomatoes, stir well, and bring to simmer. Taste and add more salt as needed. If desired, reduce soup by continuing to simmer for 10 minutes or more. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Kale & Potato Soup

Kale & Potato Soup