Vegetable Kale Soup

A hearty and healthy soup with rice, white beans, ham, kale, and your favorite vegetables. Naturally gluten free and one of our favorite recipes for the crock pot.
Ryan has been hoarding all of the peanuts in our house. He’s not hoarding them to eat them, I don’t think he likes peanuts that much.. he’s hoarding them because he’s feeding them to the squirrels.

Something you should know about Ryan, really loves squirrels. This all started in college. College campuses almost have more squirrels than they do students, and these squirrels always seem to be the extra friendly ones. If you start calling them with your squirrel noises they will actually come towards you instead of running up the nearest tree, and practically eat food from your hand. Probably not a good idea, especially when the university doesn’t endorse feeding the squirrels. I bet the university doesn’t endorse chasing the squirrels either. And I don’t mean chasing them just to chase them, I mean chasing them to try and corner one to catch it. But that story is definitely not about Ryan (and when I say definitely not, I mean it is 100% about Ryan). Ryan really wants a pet squirrel. Have you seen the video on youtube of the house squirrel trying to bury his acorn in the fur of the family dog? Wally, the squirrel, has his own youtube channel. I’m pretty sure Ryan subscribed to it.

So everyday Ryan leaves 3 peanuts on the back porch and the squirrels eat them. Well, it could really be the birds or bunnies eating them, but I won’t tell Ryan that, he just really wants a Wally.

A hearty and healthy soup with rice, white beans, ham, kale, and your favorite vegetables. Naturally gluten free and one of our favorite recipes for the crock pot.
Since I can’t use the peanuts, Ryan even labeled the container ‘squirrel food’, you won’t be seeing any recipes for peanut soup, but I have the next best thing, Vegetable Kale Soup. Since kale is a superfood, I pretty much like to think that any recipe with kale in it is also a superfood. Adding rice to this dish gives it some extra ummph and I love really it that way.

Vegetable Kale Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours

Total Time: 4 hours, 10 minutes

Serving Size: 6-8


  • 1, 15 oz, can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/3 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced into rounds
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz fully cooked ham, diced
  • 1, 14.5 oz can, diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, plus more if you like it to have more broth
  • 1 cup of uncooked rice, prepare in rice cooker


  1. Add the white beans, onion, kale, carrots, garlic, and olive oil to the crock pot. Stir with a spoon to combine. Add in the diced ham, tomatoes, salt, and vegetable broth. Cook on low for 4 hours or until hot. Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of rice in a rice cooker or on the stove. Once the soup is done simmering, add in the rice, and mix to combine.
  2. Serve with shredded parmesan cheese and your favorite baked bread.

Recipe inspired from 365 Days of Slow Cooker Suppers

A hearty and healthy soup with rice, white beans, ham, kale, and your favorite vegetables. Naturally gluten free and one of our favorite recipes for the crock pot.

Squirrels and soup, that’s what fall is all about.

22 Responses to “Vegetable Kale Soup”

  1. Christie - Food Done Light — October 15, 2014 at 7:04 am

    What a fantastic soup. I am all about soup right now.

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 15, 2014 at 7:30 am

      Me too! Or anything in the crock pot is my best friend!

  2. Jordan @ Smile Sandwich — October 15, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Oh my gosh, I thought my college was the only one with terrifyingly friendly squirrels! Not sure if I could handle a pet squirrel … I COULD handle a bowl of this soup right now though. Great way to use up leftover Christmas ham!

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 16, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      I take it you didn’t like the squirrels? :)

  3. Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes — October 15, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I could really go for this soup on this rainy day!

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 16, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Sounds like the perfect lunch or dinner!

  4. genevieve @ gratitude & greens — October 15, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    That’s so funny that he chases squirrels to corner them and feed them! Made me chuckle, haha. This soup sounds and looks so hearty, perfect for cooler weather!

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 16, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      I always tell him that he should switch to researching squirrels not polymers!

  5. Danae @ Recipe Runner — October 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I need to check out this Wally the squirrel! I also need to check out this soup, it looks so healthy and delicious!

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 16, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Oh goodness, Wally the squirrel can provide hours of entertainment!

  6. Lauren Kelly Nutrition — October 15, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I could eat this soup all year long!

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      I think I could too!

  7. Laura O @PetiteAllergyTreats — October 16, 2014 at 10:04 am

    I like Ryan…and squirrels. I grew fond of squirrels in collage too since we never saw any where I lived (all the coyotes and owls ate them!). I love watching them jump around with their fluffy tails busy collecting acorns. I also love this sound that’s perfect for cooler weather. Pinned

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 16, 2014 at 4:32 pm

      Oh gosh! The sound that squirrels make, it still scares me!

  8. Julie @ Julie's Eats & Treats — October 16, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Oh my gosh. What is with college campuses and all the squirrels?! It’s so true. Maybe it’s because there are a bunch of Ryans out there on the campuses feeding them! I love that he wants a pet squirrel. Loving this soup for fall too!

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 17, 2014 at 7:18 am

      Hahaha, yes, the Ryans must band together and have this secret agreement about feeding the squirrels of america.

  9. heather @french press — October 16, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    I LOVE kale in soup almost as I love feeding our squirrels – although they pretty much help themselves to anything we have growing

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 17, 2014 at 7:17 am

      Do you ever leave things out for your squirrels to eat? Kale stems? :)

  10. Christina @ Whip This Up — October 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    My dad still has a big scar on his hand from his “pet squirrel” from childhood. :) Wily creatures. Chipmunks, on the other hand? Totally want one.

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 20, 2014 at 7:01 pm

      Chipmunks?!! I don’t think so! They are so much bigger!

  11. Cathy@LemonTreeDwelling — October 21, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Haha – this makes me laugh. My hubby can’t stand squirrels….so much that he sets live traps and then carts them off to the woods! Ha! This soup, though…..I think this is something we could ALL agree on! Looks delicious, Beth!

    • Beth @ The First Year — October 22, 2014 at 7:08 am

      WHAT?!! Bring them to our house!! My husband would be so happy :)

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