Seriously Good White Bean Soup
Meet our go-to bean soup recipe! This homemade vegetable and white bean soup is healthy, easy to make, and tastes fantastic. It’s also vegan when you use vegetable broth! Jump to the Lemony White Bean Soup Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.
Watch us make the recipe
Why we love this soup
If you are looking for a comforting meal packed with protein, fiber and vegetables, this easy bean soup is perfect. It’s made with a light tomato broth and adapts to all seasons. Feel free to use any seasonal vegetables you have on hand. This soup is so good, you will want a batch in the freezer at all times.
This soup is perfect for busy nights. Here are a few reasons we love this bean soup recipe:
- It’s easy to make and tastes incredible.
- There’s no fancy ingredients and everything needed is affordable.
- You can use any variety of beans to make it — home cooked or canned. (If you want to cook dried beans, here’s our recipe for black beans or how we cook dried chickpeas).
- You can take advantage of seasonal ingredients. Add zucchini or tomatoes in the summer or use winter squashes during the winter months.
- It’s healthy, comforting, and vegan (when you use a vegan-friendly veggie broth).
- It keeps well! Leftover soup will last about three days in the refrigerator. Or you can freeze it up to a month, if not more!
How to make the best bean soup
Making our vegetable and white bean soup is simple, and it all happens in one pot! Here’s an overview of how to make it (the soup recipe is below).
- Sweat onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil and tomato paste. The tomato paste adds lots of flavor and color to the soup.
- Add more flavor with garlic, red pepper flakes and salt.
- Add stock, beans, fresh thyme and bay leaves.
- Simmer until the veggies are tender (about 20 minutes).
- Add small pasta and cook until done.
- Serve with a few lemon slices added to the pot.
We add lemon slices to our lentil soup, too. They are not intended to be eaten, but they do perfume the soup with the aroma and taste of lemon. We just love it!
What beans should I use?
We typically make this a white bean soup and use canned white beans to make it, but any cooked or canned bean will work in the soup. You can see how we cook black beans or chickpeas if you would like to cook the beans from scratch.
Lentils or split peas can be used, as well. When using lentils or split peas, there is no need to cook them before adding them to the soup. Simply add them along with the broth and cook until they are tender before adding the pasta. You might find that this adds an extra 10 minutes of cook time.
Can I make the soup creamy?
For a creamy bean soup, add a splash of cream, coconut milk or dairy-free milk to the soup just before serving. Or, remove 1 cup of the soup (with some veggies and beans), and then blend the cup of soup until smooth. Stir the blended cup of soup back into the pot to thicken the soup and add some creaminess.
More easy vegetarian recipes
- This soup is very similar to our Homemade Vegetable Soup.
- For a creamy blended soup, try our Creamy Vegetable Soup Recipe. It has lots of rave reviews.
- Our Lentil Soup with Lemon and Turmeric is hearty, nutritious, and delicious.
- Try our Black Bean Soup with vegetables and flavorful spices.
- For another popular bean recipe, try our Easy Bean Salad!
- Try our Easy Black Bean Burgers!
Seriously Good White Bean Soup
This hearty vegetable and white bean soup recipe is healthy, easy to make, and tastes fantastic. It’s also vegan when a vegan friendly broth is used! Since vegetables vary by seasonality, feel free to swap or add different vegetables for the ones listed below. Both cooked or canned beans can be used in this recipe. When using canned beans, we prefer to drain and rinse them before adding to the soup.
You Will Need
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cups chopped carrot (4 to 5 carrots)
1 1/2 cups chopped celery (2 to 3 stalks)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional for heat
2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed or substitute 3 cups cooked beans
3 to 4 fresh thyme stalks or use 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup (4.5 ounces) small dried pasta like Ancini di Pepe, orzo or pearl couscous
3 to 4 heaped cups baby spinach or torn kale leaves without stalks
3 to 4 lemon slices
Heat the oil in a stockpot pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and the tomato paste. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables have softened and the onions are translucent; 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the garlic, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the red pepper flakes. Cook, while stirring, for one minute.
Stir in the beans, broth, thyme and the bay leaves. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil. Partially cover the pot with a lid, and then reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer.
Simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes more, and then add the spinach or kale and cook until its bright green and tender and the pasta is cooked, about 5 minutes more.
Take the pot off of the heat and remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Stir in the lemon slices. Taste and season with more salt and pepper. Serve. The lemon slices are not intended to be eaten, but they add a lovely lemon flavor to the soup.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Any variety of bean will work in this recipe, we typically use white beans.
- Lentils or split peas: When using lentils or split peas, there is no need to cook them before adding them to the soup. Simply add them along with the broth and cook until they are tender before adding the pasta. This will add approximately 10 minutes to the cook time.
- Store leftover soup up to 3 days in the refrigerator and up to a month in the freezer.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values. Calculations included vegetable broth.