Jeff Rosen’s Lemony Kale Leek Soup

Last December we shared this comforting, garlicky soup recipe from Chef Jeff Rosen in our inaugural newsletter. Winter showed up again, we are craving soup and thought you might be too. Enjoy.

It’s officially Peak Party Season. Do you find it daunting to host and feed a crowd at a holiday gathering? Are you hoping to serve something a little more satisfying and impressive than cheese and crackers, but not sure what? Oh yes, it should accommodate most dietary restrictions. One more thing. You need to make it ahead of time and have it taste just as good, if not better, than when you made it.


Chef Jeff Rosen of Cannery Kitchen and Tap, who develops event menus for Blue Heron Catering, brings us this comforting, garlicky soup with winter greens, white beans and lemon. “A shot glass of soup as a passed appetizer can be a real conversation starter. We take advantage of the beautiful root vegetables and dark leafy greens available this time of year. We love the crisp green swiss chard from Full Belly Farms for this soup.”


If you’re not a fan of kale, feel free to substitute any winter greens you can find. Spinach will work, but will wilt much faster, reducing the cooking time.


No shot glasses handy? Teacups, mugs or compostable bamboo work, too.


Prep Time

40 minutes

Cook Time

45 minutes


4 servings


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 leeks, thinly sliced (white & pale green parts only)
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, rosemary or thyme leaves
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 6 – 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups cooked cannellini beans
  • 1 bunch kale (lacinato/dino or curly), middle stem removed and cut into thin ribbons
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, finely chopped (optional)


In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm olive oil, then add chopped leeks, carrots and celery. Stirring occasionally, cook about 5 minutes, or until leeks are softened and wilted.

Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add herbs and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about another minute.

Add the vegetable broth and beans, then bring the soup to a slight boil. Add kale to the pot, and turn down the heat to low. Cook until kale softens and wilts. Add the lemon zest and juice, then add salt and pepper to taste. If soup seems too thick, add extra water or broth as needed.

Garnish each serving with parsley if desired.

Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week before the party.