Tuscan White Bean Kale Soup

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Published September 3, 2023

This easy vegetable soup makes a warm comforting meal for those cool autumn days.

This hearty and flavorful dish brings together an array of wholesome ingredients to create a satisfying and nourishing experience. With a base of sautéed garlic, onions, carrots, and celery, complemented by the creaminess of cannellini beans and the freshness of kale, this soup is a testament to the beauty of simple, plant-based cooking.

Nutrient-Rich Yellow Onions: Flavorful Allies in Diabetes-Friendly Cooking!

Yellow onions, a kitchen staple appreciated for their robust flavor, are more than just a culinary delight – they also offer notable nutritional benefits. Rich in essential vitamins and minerals, a medium-sized yellow onion contributes to your daily intake of vitamin C, providing support for your immune system, and vitamin B6, which aids in metabolism and nervous system health. 

Additionally, they contain small amounts of folate, manganese, and potassium, contributing to various bodily functions.

In the context of diabetes management, yellow onions can be a valuable addition to your diet. They have a relatively low glycemic index (GI), which is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose levels. This low GI suggests that yellow onions have a mild impact on blood glucose, making them suitable for individuals seeking to regulate their blood glucose levels. 

Furthermore, the glycemic load (GL), which considers both the quantity and quality of carbohydrates in a food, of yellow onions is also low, further supporting their diabetes-friendly profile.

Incorporating yellow onions into your meals can bring depth and flavor without causing significant spikes in blood glucose. Their nutrient content and favorable glycemic characteristics make them a versatile ingredient that aligns well with a plant-based whole food approach – a cornerstone of effective diabetes management. 

As always, consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can help tailor dietary choices to individual needs and preferences.

Unveiling the Mighty Russet Potato: Tasty Taters in Diabetes-Friendly Dining!

Russet potatoes, known for their versatility and beloved for their fluffy texture, offer a range of essential nutrients that contribute to a balanced diet. A medium-sized russet potato is a good source of vitamin C, providing immune system support, and vitamin B6, which plays a role in metabolism and nervous system health. Additionally, they contain potassium, a mineral crucial for maintaining proper heart and muscle function, as well as small amounts of manganese and folate.

For those managing diabetes, russet potatoes can be included as part of a well-balanced diet. It's important to note that russet potatoes have a higher glycemic index (GI) compared to some other vegetables. The GI measures how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose levels. However, the glycemic load (GL) of russet potatoes is influenced by portion size – consuming moderate portions can help mitigate their impact on blood glucose levels.

Incorporating russet potatoes mindfully, such as pairing them with sources of fiber and protein, can help manage their effect on blood glucose levels. Balancing them with non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats is a strategic way to include them in your meals.

Crunching the Numbers: Celery's Diabetes-Friendly Delight!

Celery, known for its crisp texture and refreshing taste, brings a subtle yet impactful array of nutrients to the table. Rich in vitamin K, celery contributes to bone health and blood clotting regulation. It also contains small amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and folate, offering a modest boost to these essential nutrients.

For those with diabetes, celery can be a valuable addition to the diet. Notably, celery has an extremely low glycemic index (GI) due to its minimal carbohydrate content. The GI measures how quickly a food raises blood glucose levels, and the fact that celery's impact is negligible makes it a diabetes-friendly choice. 

Furthermore, its glycemic load (GL), which considers the overall impact of carbohydrates in a food, is virtually insignificant due to its low carbohydrate content.

Incorporating celery into meals and snacks can provide a satisfying crunch while keeping blood glucose levels stable. Its negligible GI and GL make it a wonderful option for adding texture, flavor, and a touch of hydration to dishes. Combining celery with sources of protein, healthy fats, and other non-starchy vegetables can create balanced and nourishing meals that align well with diabetes management goals.

Tuscan White Bean Kale Soup

Beverly Verwey
Servings 4 people
Calories 154 kcal


  • 1 - 2 tbsp water or vegetable broth for sautéing
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion diced
  • 3 medium carrots diced
  • 3 medium celery stalks diced
  • 2 - 3 medium russet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 19 oz can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp pepper flakes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 15 oz can tomato diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dries basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 medium zucchini diced
  • 1 cup kale chopped
  • to taste black pepper


  • In a large pot, sauté garlic, onion, carrots, celery and potatoes in 2 tbsp of water or vegetable broth for approximately 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Add more liquid if needed 1 tbsp at a time.
  • To pot, add beans, bay leaf, pepper flakes, vegetable broth, tomatoes with juices, tomato paste, basil, oregano, thyme. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add zucchini and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add kale and black pepper to taste and cook until kale is wilted.
  • Serve.


Calories: 154kcalCarbohydrates: 26.1gProtein: 0.9gFat: 5.5gSodium: 127.2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD is a New York Times bestselling co-author of Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes.

He is the co-founder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green, and is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. He co-created the Mastering Diabetes Method to reverse insulin resistance in all forms of diabetes, and has helped more than 10,000 people improve their metabolic health using low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition, intermittent fasting, and exercise.

Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-author of many peer-reviewed scientific publications.

He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference (ACLM), Plant Stock, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and has been featured on The Doctors, NPR, KQED, Forks Over Knives, Healthline, Fast Company, Diet Fiction, and the wildly popular podcasts the Rich Roll Podcast, Plant Proof, MindBodyGreen, and Nutrition Rounds.

Scientific Publications:

Sarver, Jordan, Cyrus Khambatta, Robby Barbaro, Bhakti Chavan, and David Drozek. “Retrospective Evaluation of an Online Diabetes Health Coaching Program: A Pilot Study.” American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, October 15, 2019, 1559827619879106. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827619879106

Shrivastav, Maneesh, William Gibson, Rajendra Shrivastav, Katie Elzea, Cyrus Khambatta, Rohan Sonawane, Joseph A. Sierra, and Robert Vigersky. “Type 2 Diabetes Management in Primary Care: The Role of Retrospective, Professional Continuous Glucose Monitoring.” Diabetes Spectrum: A Publication of the American Diabetes Association 31, no. 3 (August 2018): 279–87. https://doi.org/10.2337/ds17-0024

Thompson, Airlia C. S., Matthew D. Bruss, John C. Price, Cyrus F. Khambatta, William E. Holmes, Marc Colangelo, Marcy Dalidd, et al. “Reduced in Vivo Hepatic Proteome Replacement Rates but Not Cell Proliferation Rates Predict Maximum Lifespan Extension in Mice.” Aging Cell 15, no. 1 (February 2016): 118–27. https://doi.org/10.1111/acel.12414

Roohk, Donald J., Smita Mascharak, Cyrus Khambatta, Ho Leung, Marc Hellerstein, and Charles Harris. “Dexamethasone-Mediated Changes in Adipose Triacylglycerol Metabolism Are Exaggerated, Not Diminished, in the Absence of a Functional GR Dimerization Domain.” Endocrinology 154, no. 4 (April 2013): 1528–39. https://doi.org/10.1210/en.2011-1047

Price, John C., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Kelvin W. Li, Matthew D. Bruss, Mahalakshmi Shankaran, Marcy Dalidd, Nicholas A. Floreani, et al. “The Effect of Long Term Calorie Restriction on in Vivo Hepatic Proteostatis: A Novel Combination of Dynamic and Quantitative Proteomics.” Molecular & Cellular Proteomics: MCP 11, no. 12 (December 2012): 1801–14.

Bruss, Matthew D., Airlia C. S. Thompson, Ishita Aggarwal, Cyrus F. Khambatta, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “The Effects of Physiological Adaptations to Calorie Restriction on Global Cell Proliferation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 300, no. 4 (April 2011): E735-745. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00661.2010

Bruss, Matthew D., Cyrus F. Khambatta, Maxwell A. Ruby, Ishita Aggarwal, and Marc K. Hellerstein. “Calorie Restriction Increases Fatty Acid Synthesis and Whole Body Fat Oxidation Rates.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 298, no. 1 (January 2010): E108-116.