White Bean Soup Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Privacy Policy.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

A comforting Italian soup made with cannellini beans, vegetables, garlic, herbs, and optional bacon. It’s perfect for spring or can be enjoyed cold in summer if you leave out the bacon.

Beans are inexpensive, easy to prepare, and healthy. This simple and delicious white bean soup recipe is an easy recipe to make. It’s affordable, nutritious, and absolutely comforting.

A side view of a wide-rimmed, white bowl holding a serving of white bean soup that is garnished with fresh, chopped parsley.

What Are Those White Beans Called?

There are many white beans. But in reference to this recipe, they are called cannellini beans. They are the largest white bean and have a nutty sort of flavor.

Are Cannellini Beans Just White Kidney Beans?

Yes and no. They are not the same bean, just with less color. But because of their shape, they are often called white kidney beans. The flavors of the two beans are different.

What’s The Difference Between Kidney Beans and Cannellini Beans?

Cannellini beans have a nuttier flavor than kidney beans. Both are well suited for chili or salad, but kidney beans have a slightly sweet taste that cannellini beans do not.

Can You Add Meat To White Bean Soup?

You can! Good choices are pre-cooked bacon or shredded chicken, particularly in this recipe.

What To Serve With White Bean Soup?

A green salad is a great addition to this, and you’ll definitely get a few servings of vegetables and fiber! Aside from that, crusty garlic bread is a great option.

If you want to serve this soup as a side dish or first course, a good main course would be any type of meat, potatoes, or other veggies. If you really want to get a feel for what might go with this, imagine what you think goes well with chicken noodle soup. Those same things will go well with this recipe. And yes, you can add pasta to this soup too.

A closeup of a white bowl filled with White Bean Soup.

How To Thicken White Bean Soup

This is meant to be a brothy soup. It’s not intended to be creamy or thick. However, you can blend a few of the beans with a bit of water and starch (arrowroot or cornstarch) and then whisk it into the soup at the end of cooking. This will give it some thickness. You can also add a bit of heavy cream if you want it creamy.

Can This Be Made Vegan?

Yes! Simply use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and don’t add any meat. The recipe is already dairy-free.

Can This Be Made Gluten-Free?

The good news is there are no gluten-based ingredients in this soup. So the only thing you have to do is make sure that your individual ingredients are labeled as gluten-free when you buy them.

Can This Be Made Low Sodium?

Technically, yes. You will want to use home-cooked beans cooked without any salt. You’ll also want a low or no-sodium broth.

Can I Use A Different Bean?

Yes, you can. Try great northern beans, navy beans, or pretty much any white bean other than chickpeas.

Recipe Cost

Prices are estimates and can change from region to region or even from store to store. These are estimates only.

  • Canned cannellini beans: $3
  • Onion: $0.25
  • Garlic cloves: $0.60
  • Carrots: $0.25
  • Celery: $1
  • Canned diced tomatoes: $1
  • Chicken broth: $2
  • Dried oregano: Negligible cost
  • Dried basil: Negligible cost
  • Bay leaves: Negligible cost
  • Salt: Negligible cost
  • Ground black pepper: Negligible cost

Estimated total cost: $8.10

Cost per serving: $8.10 / 7 = $1.16 (rounded to the nearest cent)

A wide-rimmed, white bowl holds a serving of white bean soup that has been garnished with fresh parsley.

Optional Additions

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Red pepper flakes – for a little kick.
  • Parmesan cheese (as garnish)
  • A good quality Italian sausage
  • Heavy cream – if you want this creamy

About The Ingredients

Cannellini beans – Rinsed and drained if canned. You can use 2½ cups of homecooked beans if you prefer to avoid the sodium.

Oil – Any type of oil you prefer will work fine here. Just watch that you don’t use an oil with a super low smoke point.

Red onion – You can also use yellow onion if you prefer that.

Garlic – You will get a lot more flavor from it if you press it with a garlic press. But if you don’t have one, minced is the next best thing. Also, the number of cloves mentioned is a suggestion. Measure that garlic with your heart, honey.

Baby carrots – You can use big carrots too; I just prefer the uniform size of baby carrots in a soup like this. If you use big carrots, chop them small. You don’t want huge pieces in this.

Celery – Slice this thin for the best finished texture.

Canned diced tomatoes – Make sure there is no sugar added.

Vegetable or chicken broth – I used chicken broth, but vegetable broth works great too.

Dried oregano

Dried basil

Bay leaves – Choose medium to large leaves or double up with smaller leaves.

Salt – I used pink Himalayan salt, but you can use whatever salt you normally cook with.

Ground black pepper

Garnish

Fresh basil or parsley – Chopped

Extra virgin olive oil – Drizzle a tiny bit over the top at serving. (optional)

How To Make White Bean Soup

Chopped red onion in two measuring cups on a wood cutting board next to some garlic cloves, a garlic press and a knife.

Prep the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots.

A pot with oil warming in the bottom.

Warm the oil in a medium to large pot.

Onions sautéing in oil in a pot.

Sauté the onions until they become translucent.

Adding pressed garlic to sautéing onions.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more before proceeding.

Celery and carrots added to a pot of sautéing onions.

Add the celery and carrots.

Diced tomatoes added to a pot of cooking veggies.

Once the veggies have softened a bit, add the diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.

Bay leaves added to a pot of cooking veggies.

Then add the bay leaves, but don’t stir until after the next step. (You don’t want to break the leaves apart. You need them whole so you can remove them after cooking.)

Broth added to a pot of cooking veggies.

Add the broth to the pot. Cook at a gentle boil until the veggies are soft.

White beans added to broth and veggies cooking in a pot.

Add in the cooked beans and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, or until the veggies are fully cooked and soft.

A bay leaf being removed from a pot of white bean soup after cooking.

Remove the bay leaves and discard.

Fresh, chopped parsley on a wood cutting board.

Chop your fresh parsley for garnish.

A white bowl filled with white bean soup and garnished with fresh, chopped parsley.

Garnish and serve.

Storage

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days (if you used chicken broth or added bacon or other meat) or 5 days (if you used veggie broth and added no meat).

Freezing

This soup can be frozen in an airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Reheating

If frozen, you can thaw it in a microwave, on the stovetop, or in the fridge for 24 hours.

From the fridge, you can heat this either in the microwave or in a pot on your stove.

Recipe Supplies

A soup pot sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
A soup ladle sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Wide rim soup bowls sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)

More Comforting Soup Recipes

SUBSCRIBE

Remember to subscribe to my free newsletter to receive all my latest recipes in your inbox. Click here to sign up!

White Bean Soup Recipe Card

Copyright Policy
A closeup of a white bowl filled with White Bean Soup.

White Bean Soup Recipe

This classic dish made at home is some of the best comfort food any time of year.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 7 servings
Calories: 189kcal
Author: Tiffany McCauley

Equipment

  • 1 Soup Pot
  • 1 Cutting board
  • 1 chef knife
  • 1 ladle
  • soup bowls

Ingredients

  • 30 oz. canned cannellini beans (rinsed and drained)
  • cups finely chopped onion
  • 6 large garlic cloves (pressed or minced)
  • cups diced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 large bay leaf (remove and discard after cooking)
  • ½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • fresh basil or parsley for garnish

Instructions

  • Prep the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots.
    Chopped red onion in two measuring cups on a wood cutting board next to some garlic cloves, a garlic press and a knife.
  • Warm the oil in a medium to large pot.
    A pot with oil warming in the bottom.
  • Sauté the onions until they become translucent.
    Onions sautéing in oil in a pot.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
    Adding pressed garlic to sautéing onions.
  • Add the celery and carrots.
    Celery and carrots added to a pot of sautéing onions.
  • Once the veggies have softened a bit, add the diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.
    Diced tomatoes added to a pot of cooking veggies.
  • Then add the bay leaves, but don't stir until after the next step. (You don't want to break the leaves apart. You need them whole so you can remove them after cooking.)
    Bay leaves added to a pot of cooking veggies.
  • Add the broth to the pot. Cook at a gentle boil until the veggies are soft.
    Broth added to a pot of cooking veggies.
  • Add in the cooked beans and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, or until the veggies are fully cooked and soft.
    White beans added to broth and veggies cooking in a pot.
  • Remove the bay leaves and discard.
    A bay leaf being removed from a pot of white bean soup after cooking.
  • Chop your fresh parsley for garnish.
    Fresh, chopped parsley on a wood cutting board.
  • Garnish and serve.
    A white bowl filled with white bean soup and garnished with fresh, chopped parsley.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 823mg | Potassium: 868mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5016IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 156mg | Iron: 5mg

Website | + posts

Who me?
I'm Tiffany, a cookbook author, food lover, mom, and writer for MSN and the AP Newswire.
   
Looking to stock your freezer for busy weeknights?
I wrote the book! Grab a copy of my book, Clean Eating Freezer Meals on Amazon here, or at select bookstores nationwide!   

Did you make one of my recipes?
Tag @graciouspantry on Instagram or post your pic on Facebook! I love to see my recipes in action!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.