White Bean, Kale & Rosemary Soup: Scandal In The Kitchen

White Bean Rosemary Soup

What do you do when Olivia Pope walks into your kitchen, hands you her gorgeous designer handbag that you’ve been coveting, and asks you to cook a soup in it for the president of the United States? You put the bag on the stove, turn the heat on, and say “I’m a gladiator in the kitchen. I’ll handle it.”

You then spend the next few minutes making a soup of white beans and the bunches of rosemary that she keeps handing you as she whispers “Lots of rosemary. Fitz loves lots of rosemary.”

You do this without asking any questions since… it’s all a dream.

Bowl of White Bean Rosemary Soup

This, my friends, was a recent dream I had about Olivia Pope from one of my favorite TV shows, Scandal. I’ll admit, I’m prone to having strange dreams. We all are, right? But this is the first one where I’ve cooked for a fictitious character from a TV series, and definitely the first where I’ve cooked anything in a handbag. And as I slowly woke up the next morning and tried to make sense of this dream, I couldn’t help but wonder what, in fact, would I cook if this actually happened.

White Bean Rosemary Soup with Rosemary Oil

Olivia not only wears the proverbial white hat, but she also wears a lot of white in her wardrobe. So I knew the soup would be light in color and it would have to be luxurious like her flawless sense of fashion (see below for picture). For this I chose creamy white beans and mild flavored leeks. I used Great Northern beans since they were easily available but you can also use CannelliniI beans. I added kale to make it heartier and to add a little color and texture. Plus, the president has to have his greens, right? I also sprinkled in cumin seeds for a warm sumptuousness while sautéing the kale.

Rosemary Garlic Pepper Oil

Lastly, I knew I had to add rosemary and lots of it. Rosemary is such a great choice for this Scandal inspired soup since it symbolizes remembrance, love, loyalty and fidelity. Freud would have had a field day with this! I added a few leaves while I stirred in the beans but I also made a rosemary oil garnish with two known aphrodisiacs, garlic and red chili pepper. The oil not only turned up the heat but added just the right amount of drama to the bowls of finished soup.

Now, where did I put my white hat?

Olivia Pope's Handbag

Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope
Image Credit: ABC

A printable list of ingredients and directions are at the end of this post,
along with an image of this Perfect Morsel.

Leeks and Garlic

For the Soup: Add the olive oil, leeks and garlic to a large stock pot and stir on medium heat till the leeks begin to wilt. About 3 minutes.

Kale and Cumin Seeds

Add chopped kale to stock pot and sprinkle in the cumin seeds. Sauté for another 5 minutes.

Scandal Bean Soup-09

Stir in white beans, rosemary and broth. Cover the stock pot and cook for about 30 minutes. Add the lemon juice and salt, and stir for another 3 minutes.

Rosemary Sprigs for Soup

And now on to the rosemary oil since we need to use lots of it.

Rosemary Garlic Oil

Heat the oil in a small saucepan on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add garlic, rosemary and red chilli pepper flakes. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the garlic turns golden brown. Transfer to a bowl for serving.

White Bean Kale Garlic Soup

Serve the soup in individual bowls and garnish with the rosemary oil. Enjoy with a crisp white wine and some crunchy rustic bread.

Perfect Morsel: White Bean Rosemary Soup

Look at all the drama and heat in this Perfect Morsel of white bean and rosemary soup!


  1. Neena says

    I just love the story behind each dish.Something I always look forward to for i know how it all comes about. It is a soup to savour and the tempering is the icing to relish!
    Keep dreaming my dear one for who knows one day…….!
    As always wishing you lots of joy and success in whatever you create .
    lots of love

  2. says

    Oh my gosh, I’m making this this week. I’ll try to check back in and let you know how it goes. I make a lot of soup but this has all of my favorite things in it. I know it’ll be a new favorite!

  3. hannah says

    This soup is positively dreamy. Perfectly balanced, hearty yet delicate, with a subtle lemony finish. The rosemary oil garnish is a revelation! I literally couldn’t stop eating it. Bravissima Anjali. Yet another masterpiece!


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