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Jackie Bea’s White Bean And Kale Soup

Simmer this soup in the crockpot or on the stovetop over low heat (Kayte Young/WFIU)

Jackie chose these ingredients based on what she had on hand. Feel free to change it up based on what you have available and what you enjoy. For instance, you could use a different type of bean, or green, or you could use different spices. You could also use a flavorful meat or vegetetable stock in place of the beer and water.

These are the basic building blocks for a bean and green soup in the crockpot.

You can make this vegetarian, and omit the bratwurst, or use a vegetarian type such as Field Roast. If you omit it, be sure to increase your seasonings since the brats offer so much flavor.

Jackie Bea’s White Bean And Kale Soup


  • 2-3 cups of chopped bratwurst (or ham, bacon or sausage)
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 cans of white beans, mostly drained (or home cooked, 1-2 cups)
  • 1 cup cooked butternut cubes*
  • 1/4 of a white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 oz beer (any type)
  • 3 cups of water (maybe more, maybe less)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (dry or prepared)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh chopped garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (more or less, to taste)


  1. Brown the brats in a skillet over medium heat. Transfer them to the crockpot.
  2. Saute the onion in olive oil (with 1/4 teaspoon of salt) until translucent and transfer to the crock pot.
  3. Add the beer and water to the pan, then the herbs and spices and another 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Cook over medium heat to reduce the liquid until it thickens a bit, and taste to see if it needs more water or seasoning.
  5. Add the liquid to the crock pot along with the beans, roasted butternut and fresh kale.
  6. Set the crockpot to high, and let the soup simmer for 2 hours or so.
  7. Enjoy right away, or freeze for later.
  8. Allow to cool before transfering it to freezer containers.
  9. *Peel the butternut, cut into cubes, toss in olive oil and seasonings of your choice and roast in a 400F oven for 10-20 minutes

Earth Eats Staff

Earth Eats Staff is a weekly podcast, public radio program and blog bringing you the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

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