The cold weather¬†we’ve been having lately¬†has put me in a serious soup/stew/chili-making mood.

And since my husband gave me this cast iron Dutch oven for Christmas, making these one pot meals has been easier than ever!

Atwater’s, Great Sage, and Zia’s Cafe are my favorite places in Baltimore to buy¬†soups for lunch or dinner when I’m out on the road, but I also like¬†making them myself.

Today’s recipe is for a hearty, colorful¬†White Bean & Fennel Soup¬†that is¬†bursting with flavor. It’s¬†full of powerful, anti-inflammatory veggies like onions, garlic, fennel, and kale, along with fiber-filled beans and a tasty blend of Italian herbs.

When you eat it, it’ll make you smile¬†and warm your soul. That’s why I call it Love in a Bowl ūüôā

crockpot bean soup ennel bean souplove in a bowl


1 tablespoon coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb (stalks removed) and thinly sliced (see how to pictures below directions)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, divided
1 box or can¬†no/low-sodium fire roasted or plain diced tomatoes, with juices (don’t drain)
6 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
4 cups dino kale, destemmed and shredded
1 (15-ounce) BPA-free can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (We love the brand Eden)
Juice from half a lemon, more to taste


  1. In a large Dutch oven or 8-quart pot, saute onion and fennel in coconut oil until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, herb blend, pepper, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir constantly for 30 seconds.
  3. Add tomatoes with juices, broth and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Discard bay leaf. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and kale, and continue simmering until kale is tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in beans, and simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.  Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if necessary. Finish with lemon juice. Serve & enjoy!

In case you missed it, make sure you check out this post for the easiest and cheapest way to make your own vegetable broth from scratch.

How to chop fennel