Spanish-Style White Bean Soup With Kale and Chorizo

Spanish-Style White Bean Soup With Kale and Chorizo

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This Spanish-Style White Bean Soup is based on fresh ingredients. The soup starts with a good quality chorizo sausage, browned with onions and red bell peppers, then placed in a rich broth with saffron and smoked paprika and white beans. It is finished with fresh kale and served with a splash of red wine vinegar.

This soup is gutsy, flavorful, and oh so good! The first time I made this recipe was in 2013. This recipe comes from Sara Moulton, whom I had the pleasure of meeting in 2016.

spoonful of Spanish-Style White Bean Soup with mountain view

There are four ingredients that take this Spanish-Style White Bean Soup from a pretty good soup to an amazing soup. Those ingredients are saffron, good quality chorizo sausage, and smoked paprika. 

Let me tell you more about each of them…

The Saffron

Saffron offers brilliant yellow color, aroma, and flavor to any dish, especially against bland grains.

Saffron threads are the stamens of the crocus flower. This particular flower blooms for one week and produces about three stamens. The stamens are handpicked and dried. According to SeriousEats.com, out of 150 flowers are needed to produce 1 gram of saffron.

saffron steeping for Spanish-Style White Bean Soup

This makes Saffron one of the most expensive spices in the world! It is not surprising that you find it ridiculously overpriced in the spice section of the local grocery store.

You can purchase some reasonably priced Saffron from Amazon.com.

Spanish-Style White Bean Soup

Using Saffron In This Spanish-Style White Bean Soup

Please don’t think you can’t make this soup without saffron. You can!

In fact, if you have never had saffron, then you will never miss it. Saffron has a very distinct smell and taste. I have never had anything that smells or tastes quite as it does. It is hard to describe and I cannot really put it into words. The only real way to find out what saffron tastes like is to try it yourself.

I highly encourage you to purchase some saffron and try this using it in this wonderful soup. Once you know the level of flavor that saffron can bring to a dish, you will never forget it. It’s pretty amazing!

sausage draining on paper towels

The Spanish Chorizo:

I use a very good quality Spanish chorizo sausage that I purchase from a local butcher. Good quality chorizo plays a big part in this soup.

Spanish Chorizo is a highly seasoned chopped or ground pork sausage used in Spanish cuisine that adds big flavor to any dish it is added to. It is made with garlic and Spanish smoked paprika that gives it a deep red color and smoky flavor. You can purchase it in both a sweet or spicy variety.

We like our chorizo spicy!

stirring in smoked paprika

The Smoked Paprika:

As for the paprika, for a long time, I didn’t know the secret powers of a really good smoked paprika. Heck, mama told me a long time ago paprika was just for looks when she sprinkled it on her chicken salad.

The powerful flavors of smoked paprika give this soup whole new meaning, without overpowering it and it is definitely not for looks!

ingredients to make recipe

How To Make Spanish-Style White Bean Soup With Kale and Chorizo

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook until browned, do not overcrowd the pan.

chorizo sausage cooking in pot

Once the sausages have browned, remove them and allow them to drain on paper towels.

Drain excess grease from the pan (if needed), but leave about a tablespoon or so in the pan.

Add the onions, into the same pot. Cook, stirring often until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. 

veggies cooking in pot

Add in the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Then add bell peppers; cook for 2 minutes longer.

Next, add the cooked sausage, smoked paprika, and the drained beans to the pot. Then stir in the vegetable broth, chicken broth, water.

adding white beans to pot
adding broth to pot

Bring the pot to a boil, over medium-high heat. Then reduce the heat and simmer stirring occasionally.

When the broth is warm, ladle ½ cup of the hot broth into a cup or mug. Stir in the saffron threads and allow to steep in the warm broth for about 5 minutes, while continuing to simmer the soup.

After 5 minutes, stir the saffron along with the soaking liquid and bay leaf to the pot of soup.

pouring saffron liquid into soup

Cover and continue to simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.

About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup, add in the kale and bring the pot back to a simmer. Cook until the kale becomes wilted; about 5 minutes.

adding kale to pot of soup

Remove the bay leaf before serving and season with salt and pepper, to taste if needed.

Serve this soup hot with a few splashes of red wine vinegar, to taste. The red wine vinegar gives this savory soup a tang that sends it over the top!

bowl of Spanish-Style White Bean Soup

This is one of my favorite soup recipes. David and I are all about clean eating, with fresh, wholesome ingredients. Over time, we have realized that good quality ingredients matter even more than I knew. This soup is proof of that.

I know if you try this soup it will become your favorite too!

Spanish-Style White Bean Soup in bowl
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4.5 from 2 votes

Spanish-Style White Bean Soup With Kale and Chorizo

This Spanish-Style White Bean Soup is based on fresh ingredients, with chorizo sausage and kale, in a rich saffron broth with smoked paprika, and white beans.
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Spanish
Keyword Chorizo Sausage, Kale, soup, Spanish, White Bean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 566kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 can Great Northern white beans ((2) 15.5-ounce cans) drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ pound Spanish chorizo sausages cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper finely diced
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika MUST SAY “SMOKED”
  • ¾ pound kale small bunch, tough stems removed, washed well, and coarsely chopped
  • red wine vinegar to taste, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook until browned, do not overcrowd the pan.
    Once the sausages have browned, remove them and allow them to drain on paper towels.
    Drain excess grease from the pan (if needed), but leave about a tablespoon or so in the pan.
  • Add the onions, into the same pot. Cook, stirring often until lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. 
  • Add in the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Then add bell peppers; cook for 2 minutes longer.
  • Next, add the cooked sausage, smoked paprika, and the drained beans to the pot. Then stir in the vegetable broth, chicken broth, water.
  • Bring the pot to a boil, over medium-high heat. Then reduce the heat and simmer stirring occasionally.
  • When the broth is warm, ladle ½ cup of the hot broth into a cup or mug. Stir in the saffron threads and allow to steep in the warm broth for about 5 minutes, while continuing to simmer the soup.
  • After 5 minutes, stir the saffron along with the soaking liquid and bay leaf to the pot of soup.
  • Cover and continue to simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.
  • About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup, add in the kale and bring the pot back to a simmer. Cook until the kale becomes wilted; about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaf before serving and season with salt and pepper, to taste if needed.
  • Serve this soup hot with a few splashes of red wine vinegar, to taste. 

Notes

Recipe adapted from Sara Moulton

Nutrition

Calories: 566kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 1604mg | Potassium: 1575mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 7260IU | Vitamin C: 116mg | Calcium: 247mg | Iron: 7.9mg
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