Creamy White Bean Soup with Tadka


  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 large jalapeño, finely chopped
  • 1 2″ piece ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • (2) 15.5 ounce cans of white beans, rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch kale greens, ribs and stems removed, and chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • cilantro leaves


  1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño, ginger, kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and onion is stating to brown at edges (8-10 minutes).
  2. Sprinkle garam marsala and turmeric over vegetables, stir in and cook until fragrant (1-2 minutes).
  3. Add beans and broth to pot and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer and cook, occasionally mashing some of the beans (15-20 minutes).
  4. Add greens and lime juice to pot and stir to wilt greens. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat remaining 1/3 cup oil in a small saucepan over medium. Add cumin and mustard seeds and a big pinch of salt. Cook swirling, until fragrant and mustard seeds begin to pop, about 1 minute. Remove *tadka from heat.
  6. Divide beans and greens among bowls and top with tadka and cilantro.

Note: Tadka is a core technique in Indian cooking where spices bloom in fat to extract bold flavors. The highly perfumed fat and its contents are either spooned onto a finished dish (which often incites a flourish of crackling and sizzling) or incorporated during cooking.

Thank you to the big community of food visionaries out there in the world, working together to inspire and pass on food traditions and flavors. The recipe found on this page started in the May 2022 edition of Bon Appétit Magazine.


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