Yummy White Bean & Vegetable Soup

  

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This week I was in the mood for a vegetable-heavy soup that wasn’t as tomato-y as minestrone and wasn’t as boring as white bean soup, if that makes sense. After three tries, I got it right. Behold our Yummy White Bean & Vegetable Soup. This soup just feels right because it’s very healthy and very easy to make. 

Why White Beans?

I wanted to feature white beans in this soup because they are so high in fiber & protein, are versatile, and can be manipulated to change the consistency of a soup. It’s nice sometimes to make something all healthy and bean-heavy that’s not chili. The first couple times I made this soup I felt it was too thin. I wanted something that felt heartier. So, I took a tip from my always-go-to book, The Food Lab, by J. Kenji López-Alt. If you scoop out a couple cups of the soup to puree and then return to the soup, the soup will be smoother (p.203). You can also just puree the white beans themselves (prior to putting them in the soup). Either way, the pureeing really helps with the soup’s consistency. For this, I used a Vitamix, but any blender would do the job perfectly.

Note: the ladle featured above is the best thing ever, by All-Clad. Even better, I got it on super sale at a kitchen store. But unfortunately, it appears as though the company no longer makes it. I can’t recommend enough a ladle that hooks to the side of your stock pot. Less messy and super convenient. I can’t vouch for this yet (haven’t tried), but this hot pot soup hanging ladle is totally what I’m talking about. 

Another amazing tip I learned from The Food Lab is to add vinegar to the soup at the very end of cooking (p.204). My soup was totally missing something. But when I added just a teaspoon of sherry vinegar, it balanced everything perfectly. My sister used red wine vinegar instead (because that’s what she had in the house), and the delicious outcome was the same!

so customizable

One of the best things about this vegetable soup is that it’s super customizable. I would recommend sticking with the onion, garlic and vegetable broth/stock, but everything else is really up to you. By the way, I’m totally not getting paid by the company, but I can’t help but always suggest my fave Better than Bouillon brand for broth/stock. It’s condensed so it goes a long way, takes up very little space in the fridge, and is better for the environment (less bulky, recycling). Pro-tip: always buy the low-sodium version. This stuff can be pretty salty. Ok, I’ll stop now. Lol!

The veggies I chose to use are: fresh tomatoes, frozen mixed veggies, white beans, and spinach. Other good options are: kale, mushrooms, finely chopped or thinly sliced potatoes, cut green beans, any other frozen veggie medley, or any canned veggies you like. I almost put brussels sprouts in the soup but then got lazy at the last minute and didn’t. Lol. Just note that if you want something like carrots, broccoli, or any other harder veggie, you have to allow enough time for them to boil and soften. I can’t recommend a frozen veggie mix enough. It’s soooo easy, but I do understand if you want to use fresh vegetables.

THE SIDE DISH IS SOOOOOO IMPORTANT

As a side for this vegetable soup, we picked garlic bread. Nothing fancy and handmade, either. Just the good ol’ fashioned frozen Pepperidge Farm Garlic Bread. Seriously, no matter how many different pre-made garlic breads I try, I always come back to Pepperidge Farm Garlic Bread. It’s the best. Not getting paid by the company, FYI. Just love it. My kids also love this bread AND it is excellent for sopping up the broth in the soup. Just make sure you pre-heat your oven when you are starting to cook. The timing should actually be perfect because I think the loaf only needs 8-9 minutes of baking time.

Other excellent carbolicious side options are: simple buttered toast, Texas toast, or Pillsbury Crescents, or Pillsbury Grands. You can also sprinkle some Oyster crackers atop the soup. Seriously, though, garlic toast really compliments the flavors in the soup.

Some veggie-centered side dish options are: salad, any easily steamed veggie (broccoli, green beans) or any of our Potatoes Four Ways Recipes (especially the Potato, Kale & Pancetta Mash)!

How kids can help make this dish

This dish involves many kid-friendly tasks. Here are some ways for your lil’ sous chefs to help out:

  • Your kids can use one of these awesome kids’ knives to cut the onion. If your kids wear swimming goggles, the onion won’t make their eyes tear up. Plus, it’s fun!Child weating goggles to cut onion
  • Measuring! The biggest task in this recipe is measuring. Pull out all your cups and spoons and let your kids do the measuring. It will be messy, but kids really like this task!
  • Trust your kid to use the blender. Even if it’s just pushing the buttons, they will feel very involved and accomplished. child operating vitamix
  • As long as they don’t eat all the cheese in the process (haha), your kids can sprinkle the shredded parmesan on top of all the soup bowls. Easy job. Yummy reward.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Final Tips To ensure smooth sailing!

Mimi’s Cooking Tips:

Check out these tricks and shortcuts from our in-house expert/Mom:

🍅 Don’t feel like you have to use fresh tomatoes. You can buy canned tomatoes. I recommend a 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (undrained).

🍅If your pot is slow to boil, put a lid on it to speed up the process. Simmer the soup as long as you like, to get the veggie softness and soup consistency just how you like it.

OUR “kidify” Tips:child sitting at table unhappy

Have picky eaters? Check out these tips:

🍅Kids pick the veggies! Most veggies will work in this soup, so long as they don’t take an epic amount of time to cook. Softer veggies work best. 

🍅Ice cubes to the rescue! My kids are always overly dramatic about food being too hot. Lol. If your kids are the same, let them drop 1-2 ice cubes in the soup and stir them around.

🍅Side dish is key! The garlic bread really eased my kids into eating the soup. I highly recommend a bread-y side.

SEE HOW TO MAKE THIS YUMMY WHITE BEAN & VEGETABLE SOUP

 

Yummy White Bean & Vegetable Soup
Total Time
28 mins
 
Servings: 8
BUY IT
  • 1-2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion (chopped)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups frozen veggie mix (i.e. carrots, corn, peas, green beans, lima beans)
  • 1 t Italian seasoning
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 3 15 oz cans white beans (with the liquid)
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 1 t sherry vinegar
  • shredded parmesan cheese (for a topping)
  • sour cream (optional)
MAKE IT
  1. Heat olive oil in large pot on low-medium. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 mins, stirring frequently.

  2. Add broth, tomatoes, frozen veggies, and seasonings. Bring to boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low, add beans, and simmer for 3 mins.

  3. Scoop out 3 cups of the soup (Pyrex is great for this) and put in blender/Vitamix. Blend until pureed (like 15 seconds) and return the puree to the soup. Stir, adding spinach and sherry vinegar. Cook until spinach has shrunk down (less than 1 minute).

  4. Remove from heat. Serve in bowls, with shredded parmesan on top.

    {Optional: stir in 1 T of sour cream}

PLATE IT

Serve soup in bowls, with some parmesan sprinkled atop. For a creamier soup, you can mix in a dollop of sour cream.

 

We recommend all meals for children be served with milk.

 

 

What Can Kids do While Grown-ups Cook?

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