Recipe for Broccoli and Cannellini Bean Soup, Direct from one small kitchen – Australia

Broccoli Cannellini Soup

A thick, nourishing soup of broccoli, kale and creamy cannellini beans that’s nutrient-loaded and quick to prepare. Top with fresh grated parmesan and serve with buttery toasted muffins.

Phew. I’ve just finished packing for my first visit to Moreton Island – my soon-to-be home! Actually, I have been there once before, by boat, for a fleeting splash on the beach, but this will be my first chance to really get to see the place. I am giddy with anticipation. My camera batteries are charged! Before I go, I wanted to share this, my new favourite soup. I hope I haven’t bored you with the recent run of soups. It has been rather icy round here, in this house built for summer, and I still have both feet squarely in soup territory.

This soup is nutrient-loaded and quick to prepare. Broccoli, kale – now popping up regularly at my local market – and cannellini beans over a base of onion, garlic, leek and celery. Simple, comforting and nourishing. But seriously, it is this good. Let me explain. What I really, badly wanted for lunch last Saturday was leftover pizza – which probably would have been fine, but I’m a little more cautious around leftovers with the Bunyip in mind. Instead I made this soup, topped it with fresh grated parmesan and ate it with buttery toasted wholegrain muffins. The cannellini beans give the soup a thick creamy texture and a nuttiness that you wouldn’t guess is lurking in that puddle of earthy green. I have to say, I did not regret the lack of pizza! Yep, it’s that good.

The recipe is based on this, which I saw on Pinterest (an irresistible lure for my bowerbird eyes) and filed away under ‘need to make’, though didn’t actually think to look at the recipe until after I’d made it! You can steam the greens as per the original recipe, though I don’t think it’s necessary as all their goodness is retained by throwing them into the stock – just don’t overcook them.

One more thing. I didn’t mean to mislead you when I mentioned that I don’t own a food processor. Well, it’s true, I don’t. But I do own a bench-top blender which was gifted to me many years ago, and have been pulling it out recently to make smoothies, and this soup. Well worth it for that creamy texture of the beans, though if you have a stick blender, that’s probably a lot easier.

This is a quick soup, so I used canned beans. But I imagine it would be immeasurably better with beans you’ve prepared yourself. If you don’t have kale, you could leave it out or substitute spinach or chard/silverbeet. Toasted pinenuts thrown on top also hit the spot.

Broccoli and Cannellini Bean Soup

Serves 4
Meal type Beans, Broccoli, Cheese, Kale, Leek
Season Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter


  • medium-sized head broccoli

  • small fistful kale leaves

  • 1 can cannellini beans

  • 1 brown onion, sliced into half-moons

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

  • 1 leek, sliced into half-moons

  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • splash olive oil

  • 3 cups vegetable stock

  • couple of shakes of cayenne pepper
  • sea-salt and pepper

  • fresh grated parmesan, olive oil and toasted pinenuts to serve


1 Warm olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over low heat.
2 Add onions, garlic, leek and celery and cook for about 8-10 minutes, until softened.
3 Add greens and stock, bring to boil then reduce to a simmer for about three minutes.
4 Add drained beans, return to simmer and remove from heat.
5 Place three quarters of the soup into a blender – or remove a quarter and hand-blend the rest.
6 Return removed portion to saucepan, reheat, stir through cayenne and season to taste.
7 Serve with fresh parmesan, a drizzle of olive oil, toasted pinenuts and buttery toasted English-muffins.

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