Redbor Kale and Great Northern Bean Soup


Redbor Kale and Great Northern Bean Soup

On my days off, I love spending my free time in my little garden.  Gardening diverts my attention from my hectic day job into something completely relaxing and calm.  Tending to my plants whether it be watering, weeding or picking bugs off the leaves of my lettuce makes me happy.  I’ve enjoyed gardening for many years and every year and season my garden changes.


My garden is small but very productive.  Two raised beds, a small patch of dirt and several large pots.  That’s it.  I utilize every bit of precious gardening space that I can.  During the spring months, I grow my cool weather crops.  Cool weather crops include kale, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, spinach, kohlrabi and radicchio.  In a few weeks, what you see here will be replaced by tomatoes, squash, beans, cucumbers and corn.  I rotate the variety of plants every year and I make sure that I never put the same plants in the same spot every year.


A bucket of fresh picked Redbor Kale.  I made the decision to harvest all my kale this morning.  I did that because I needed to make room for the tomatoes that I will be planting next weekend. I gave a few bunches of kale away to friends and family and the rest went into the freezer.  I saved one bunch for my Redbor Kale and Great Northern Bean Soup.


Redbor Kale.  If you are not familiar with kale, you need to know that kale does not form a head like lettuce and that it has a cabbage like texture.  I chose the Redbor variety of kale for my garden this year because I liked the purple color on the leaves and stems.  I was not disappointed.  It has a wonderful flavor too.


About four feet away from the kale, I planted a small patch of spinach.  2 packets of seed, warm days, plenty of water and a month later I have almost too much spinach.  I need to start sharing the spinach with friends and family too.  What’s worse is that I am starting to think that Bruce is getting tired of having spinach frequently as a side dish for the past couple of weeks. Fresh spinach is delicious and good for you.  Organically grown spinach like mine, is even better.  In a month or so I will be growing zucchini and yellow squash in its place.  Unfortunately, Bruce despises squash.  In the meantime, I hope that he enjoys his spinach.


My Redbor Kale and Great Northern Bean Soup is a simple recipe that I pulled together for a quick and healthy lunch during the work week.  It’s made with fresh picked kale from my garden, great northern beans, carrots, onion and thyme.  It’s easy to make and tastes delicious.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 small bunch of kale (I used Redbor)
  • 1 can great northern beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (diced)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (use more if you like)
  • 1 quart chicken stock. (use vegetable if you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Wash and trim the kale.  Be sure remove the stems.  In a medium sized pan over medium high heat saute the onion and carrots in the olive oil until onions are translucent.  Add the great northern beans, garlic, thyme and chicken stock.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until kale and carrots are tender.  Taste and correct your seasonings and serve.  Makes about 4 servings.

32 thoughts on “Redbor Kale and Great Northern Bean Soup

    1. Tessa

      Thank you Hannah! If you lived in my neighborhood you could bet that I would be sending produce your way!

  1. Raymund

    Look at those luscious greens, I hope I can plant like you do, I just dont have that green finger so I rather just cook :)

  2. Lasuch w kuchni

    I so agree with Hannah. Your garden looks stunning and thanks to vegetables and herbs from your very own garden you can then enjoy such wonderful dishes as this soup. As you write it’s a perfect lunch option. Yum, yum :-)

  3. Sissi

    Tessa, your garden is so beautiful and so appetising too! The soup looks simply delicious and your own produce is the best thing you can get for your meals.

    1. Tessa

      Thank you Sissi! Sometimes I like to prepare simple dishes. Simple because it allows the ingredients to shine!

  4. peasepudding

    Yum, I have just bought some Kale plants as it’s not so common in our stores.

    1. Tessa

      Thank you Alli! I have found that kale is becoming increasingly popular here in Southern Oregon. I can find all kinds of kale in the co-ops and farmer’s markets. Kale is so delicious!

  5. thyme (sarah)

    I know this isn’t an adjective most people use when complimenting a garden…but your garden is adorable. You have it planned out so well that every in the front is short and then things get taller in the back. One of these days I might put together a raised garden but for now, I love roaming the internet and seeing the amazing spaces people have created.

    1. Tessa

      Thank you Sarah! When I place plants in the garden, I try to make sure that the smaller plants get just as much sunlight as the taller ones. I try to pay attention to plant heights and widths. I also try to get them as close together without crowding because space is such a premium.

  6. dedy oktavianus pardede

    Nothing better than fresh picked veggies from your own garden….
    btw, the flower next tp your rocket leavesm what is that?
    isn’t it edible?
    i just though about haute cuisine, bring the flowet to yur plates….

    1. Tessa

      Thank you Dedy! Those little flowers are called “Johnny Jump Ups”. They are a variety of pansy and yes, they are edible! I add the bright colored petals to fresh green salads or use them as garnish for desserts. I plant edible flowers within my garden. In the summer, I will have nasturtiums planted amongst the tomatoes.

        1. Tessa

          Hey Dedy! I’ve been growing those plants for years and I seriously doubt that they would do well in a tropical country. They grow best in the fall and winters and poorly in the summer. If you want to grow edible flowers for warmer weather, nasturtiums might be the plant for you.

  7. mjskit

    Oh I’m so jealous of your gorgeous garden! It may be small, but it looks quite healthy and prolific. Greens galore! What a wonderful bowl of goodness for using up some of those greens.

  8. Karen

    Your raised beds could be in a garden magazine…just beautiful. I make a similar soup but without carrots…next time I’ll add it.

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