Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Rose Nguyen
8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups soup and 1 tablespoon cheese)

Borlotti beans—the Italian variety of cranberry beans—can be ordered from, among other online retailers.

How to Make It

Step 1

Sort and wash beans; place in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cover and let stand 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans.

Step 2

Place beans in a large saucepan, and cover with water to 3 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 1 1/2 hours or until tender. Drain.

Step 3

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add bacon to pan; cook 6 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through garlic); sauté 4 minutes. Add zucchini; sauté 3 minutes. Add kale; sauté 2 minutes or until kale wilts. Add 3 cups water, tomato paste, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add beans; simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes. Stir in salt and pepper; sprinkle with cheese.

Ratings & Reviews

Ashley010491's Review

January 17, 2014

rottrod's Review

December 27, 2013
I think this is a good base but is fairly bland as written. I debated throwing it out but then I added a handful of fresh chopped basil, some WW orzo, some tarragon, and dry sherry. The basil and dry sherry gave it a depth of flavor it lacked before. Now it's a keeper and my husband is asking for more.

Angelyn1976's Review

September 20, 2012

Qatz4me's Review

February 22, 2012
Dried Cranberry beans are easy to find at Kroger and not too expensive. The fresh ones are awesome if you can find them. Publix used to carry them. Good soup!

eatumup's Review

November 08, 2011
Borlotti beans were hard to find, and very expensive. This recipe seemed to take a LONG time to prepare. It is good, but didn't wow us as I had hoped. I put some in the freezer. Not sure I will make again though. Definitely won't spend $5 on beans again.

CherylR1954's Review

March 22, 2009
I thought that this was just incredible. I think that it's worth finding cranberry beans; they're incredible. They're also easily found if you have a Whole Foods near you or your store carries Bob's Red Mill. That's my source of these wonderful, creamy beans. The recipe is perfect as is. Even the grocery clerk (a young man) commented on the ingredients as he was scanning everything through--wanted to know what I was cooking, especially commenting on the use of really healthful produce. And no, this isn't Whole Foods, but the local market. I made the recipe exactly as is and have already invited a friend over for lunch later this week after freezing leftovers. I'm sure that they will be fine.

Peachygirl76's Review

March 02, 2009
I very much enjoyed this recipe. The soup is hearty and filling, great for a winter day. I also like that it has a variety of vegetables. I think I'll add this one to my regular recipes. I read on the internet that Roman beans and borlotti beans were the same. I could not find borlotti beans (even the people at the Italian specialty store had never heard of them) so I used Roman beans and liked the flavor of them.

mthomas393's Review

February 28, 2009
Yummy, satisfying soup. I didn't actually have dried borlotti beans so I added a can of garbanzo beans and a can of red kidney beans during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Lots of good vegetables in this soup! I really liked the kale and fennel.