Butterbean Bistro + White Bean, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup Recipe

My friends up in the northern suburbs had been telling me for ages that I needed to try Butterbean Bistro, a little cafe in Gallatin that originally served all vegetarian and gluten-free foods. But Gallatin is nearly an hour's drive from my house, so it really wasn't practical for me to drive all the way out there for lunch.

Luckily, one day I was visiting one of my friends and she suggested we go (since I was already more than half-way there).  I'm really glad I did. What a great place with amazing food. I was actually a bit skeptical of the day's soups (tomato carrot and kale, white bean and sweet potato), but my friend assured me that they'd be good. What the heck, right? I got the white bean and kale soup plus a panini known as the Hot Italian (almond chipotle roasted eggplant with sundried tomato pesto and whole milk mozzarella).


And then there were desserts and cake balls and cupcakes and oh my God, was that all actually gluten-free? How? Anyway, it was seriously good. Well worth the drive. And the owner is planning to move to a new location that's actually a little closer to Nashville and--get this--on a farm, so she'll have farm-fresh food. Amazing! It's no longer strictly vegetarian, but the vegetarian and vegan items still comprise a good portion of the menu. And I believe that all (maybe just most) of the breads are gluten-free and homemade. I'm really excited to visit again, particularly when I can look at a beautiful farm while enjoying my lunch.

Butterbean Bistro
Butterbean Bakery and Bistro
112 College Street
Gallatin, Tennessee
**new location opening soon! check the Butterbean Bistro Facebook page for more information**

I liked that kale soup so much (I still can't believe it) that I wanted to figure out how to make it myself. I found this recipe via Vegetarian Times and while it's not *quite* the same, it's really darn close (I think the recipe could use some garlic) and it's actually pretty good. I served it to some friends and to Mr. Eats and got thumbs up all around. But do use a good vegetable broth as a base. And think about some minced garlic added in with the onion in the first step.


White Bean, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup
adapted (slightly) from Vegetarian Times (Amanda Mauser)
serves 6

1  tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced (1 cup)
3  cups coarsely chopped kale
1  small garnet sweet potato, peeled and diced (1 cup)
1  tablespoon smoked sweet paprika, plus more for garnish
1  tablespoon curry powder
1 bay leaf
4  cups (low-sodium) vegetable broth
2  15.5-ounce cans great Northern beans, drained and rinsed, divided
2  tablespoons red wine vinegar
recommended: 1 tablespoon minced garlic

Heat oil in a large saucepan/soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and cook an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring often until onions are slightly caramelized.

Add kale, and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until wilted. Stir in yam, paprika, curry powder, and bay leaf; cook 1 minute more, or until fragrant.

Add broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 30 minutes, or until kale and sweet potato are tender.

Puree 1 cup beans with 3/4 cup water in blender or food processor. Add puree and remaining beans to soup. Simmer 10 minutes, then stir in vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle each serving with paprika.

13 thoughts on “Butterbean Bistro + White Bean, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup Recipe

  1. How have I never heard of this Butterbean Bistro place? It sounds awesome. And I love the looks of your soup. If you make it again + have extras, I know someone who will take 'em off your hands. *cough* =)

    1. Post author

      Now that Trader Joe's has pre-cut, pre-washed kale, this is super easy to make. I will definitely save some for you next time (which should be soon!).

  2. I'm interested in the recipe, just a little skeptical because of the addition of the curry powder. So I apologize for my lack of spice palette here. While I enjoy Thai curry flavors (in limited portions), I'm not a huge Indian curry fan. (Does that make sense?) Is the curry powder in the recipe a major flavor in the soup? Again, sorry if that is a stupid question. I'm a "foodie in training" when it comes to spices.

  3. April Graves

    No one makes soup like Meredith (the owner of Butterbean)! All of her baked goods are fabulous too! It is well worth the drive for a great meal. I am pretty excited about the new location, but my wallet isn't!

  4. Jason M. Phelan

    As a just about monthly visitor to the Butterbean since it opened, I have to agree and expand on Lesley's report.

    I have never - never ever ever - had as soup or stew at this Bistro that wasn't anything but mind blowingly delicious. It is one of my favorite places to eat and if I could go everyday and afford it...I would...because it also makes you FEEL really good to eat there.

    It is honestly too good for Gallatin - it certainly stands out as the only decent place to eat - but it's not just "decent" it is exceptional.

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