Tuscan Bean and Kale Soup with Crispy Quinoa and Kaniwa

One of my son’s referred to this soup as “A hug in a bowl”!  It must have something to do with the copious amount of really great Italian olive oil and the love that goes into making a soup stock from scratch! This is my version of a hearty soup that I had on a recent trip to Tuscany. Feel free to mix up the beans. In Italy they use a lot of pinto beans however I have made it with navy beans and chickpeas with equally delicious results.  Kaniwa is a cousin to quinoa and is more nutrient-dense. It has a grittier texture than quinoa and I find it more palatable to combine the two.  I have steamed the two together to create a crunchy topping that replaces croutons in the traditional version of this soup.



The Stock: (You can substitute the home made stock for 8 cups of store bought vegetarian broth)


  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 roughly chopped carrots
  • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • a hand full of parsley stalks
  • 2 bay leaves

Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot. Simmer for about an hour. Set aside.


The Soup:

makes 6-8 servings

  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups of potatoes, cubed (no need to peel if you are using organic potatoes)
  • 2 heads of tuscan kale (this is the one that has a scaly appearance) Remove ribs and chop.
  • 1 398 ml. can of pinto beans, chickpeas or navy beans
  • 2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. pink himalayan salt
  • lots of fresh cracked pepper

In a large pot heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil. Saute the onions until translucent. Add the minced garlic, chopped carrot,  and the full sprigs of rosemary.



Stir to coat the vegetables with the olive oil. Add the potatoes.



Add 8 cups of your prepared broth to the pot along with the additional 2 tbsp. of olive oil.  Simmer over medium heat until the potatoes are tender. Add 2 tsp. of salt or more to taste. Keep in mind that if you are using a store bought stock that it might be salted. You may need to reduce the amount of salt added.  Add the chopped kale and the beans. Simmer until the kale is tender.






Season with lots of fresh cracked pepper. Remove from the heat while you prepare the Quinoa Kaniwa crumble.


The Quinoa Kaniwa Crisp:

  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1/2 cup of kaniwa
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 heaping tbsp. of nutritional yeast ( a cheesy tasting flaked yeast that contains loads of protein and b vitamins)



In a medium sized pot combine quinoa and kaniwa with 1 3/4 cups of water and 1 tsp. of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 min. or until all of the water has been absorbed. Allow it to sit covered for an additional 15 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.




Scoop the cooked quinoa and kaniwa onto a large cookie sheet. Toss with 3 tbsp. of olive oil and the 3 heaping tbsp. of nutritional yeast. With your hands mix well to combine. Place in the 350 degree oven for about 30 min. stirring several times throughout to make sure that it is evenly crisped.

To Serve:

Fill bowls with soup and top with a few tbsp. of Quinoa Kaniwa Crisp. Left over crisp can be stored in an air tight container. It is also delicious sprinkled on salads for texture and added nutrition.


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