We are all about comfort food, especially belly-warming soups! If you love Italian soups as much as we do, be sure to check out our Healthy Italian Wedding Soup and Italian Sausage Soup with Orzo for more inspiration!
👌Why we Love this White Bean Soup
✔️Easy to make. Ingredients are simple, inexpensive and accessible and there are no complicated steps. Like all of our recipes, our Italian Vegetable White Bean Soup recipe can be made in 28 minutes or less!
✔️One pot is all you need (plus a Vitamix/blender).
✔️Vegetarian & gluten free!
✔️Super customizable! Make it vegan, make it meaty, or just use different veggies.
✔️Family-friendly! My kids loved this white bean soup recipe, and I ate it all week without getting tired of it! I think I developed an addiction!
You can find all of these ingredients easily at the store, for fairly cheap. And you might already have some in your pantry.
Notes on Ingredients (full ingredient list available in recipe card):
Beans: We used canned white cannelloni beans, but any bean is fine (white kidney, Great Northern or navy beans).
Veggies: Go with what you like! This white bean soup recipe is very flexible. Frozen, canned...it doesn't matter. Just make sure, if you add in a harder veggie, that you allow enough time to soften.
Vinegar: An amazing tip I learned from The Food Lab, J. Kenji López-Alt, is to add something acidic to the soup at the very end of cooking (p.204). This was the missing link for me! Sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar and lemon juice all work.
Vegetable base: 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, recyclable). Pro-tip: buy the low-sodium version if available.
👩🍳 How to Make this White Bean Soup
Step 1: Cook onion and garlic.
Step 2: Add broth, veggies and seasonings and bring to boil.
Step 3: Add beans and simmer.
Step 4: Puree 3 scoops of soup and pour into pot.
Step 5: Stir in spinach and vinegar and top with cheese!
🥄 Kids Step: These awesome kids' knives are great for cutting the onion. If your kids wear swim goggles, the onion won't make their eyes tear up. Also, trust your kid to use the blender. Even if it's just pushing the buttons, they will feel very involved and accomplished.
✔️Expert Tips and Tricks
- Use the puree method to thicken your soup, as described in The Food Lab, by J. Kenji López-Alt. You just take a couple scoops of the soup out of the pot, puree it in a Vitamix or blender, and then stir it back into the soup (p.203).
- Some ingredient swaps: spinach can be replaced with kale, almost any white bean will work, and sherry vinegar can be swapped with lemon juice or red wine vinegar.
- Stir the soup as it simmers. If you slightly smash the beans as you stir, the beans will breakdown faster and help thicken the soup.
- Put a lid on your pot to speed up the boiling process. Simmer the soup as long as you like, to get the veggie softness and soup consistency just how you like it.
If you want to round out the meal, here are some delicious sides to consider:
- Garlic bread! Pepperidge Farm Garlic Bread is my forever favorite. Just make sure you pre-heat your oven as you start to cook.
- Simple buttered toast, Texas toast, Pillsbury Crescents, or Pillsbury Grands
- Oyster crackers on top of the soup
- Side salad
- Any easily steamed veggie (broccoli, green beans, etc.)
- One of our Potatoes Four Ways Recipes (especially the Potato, Kale and Pancetta Mash)!
If you see a can of "white kidney beans," that's the same as cannellini beans. If you can't find either, Great Northern beans or navy beans will work just fine.
We love cannellini beans (aka white kidney beans) because they are packed with all the good stuff for your body! Namely, protein, fiber, iron and antioxidants.
We like the puree method, which I discovered from my always go-to book, The Food Lab, by J. Kenji López-Alt. You just take a couple scoops of the soup out of the pot, puree it in a Vitamix or blender, and then stir it back into the soup (p.203). Other thickening techniques: (1) Run an immersion blender briefly in the soup. (2) Mash some of the beans against the side of the pot. (3) Add potatoes. (4) Add cream or a non-dairy milk towards the end of cooking.
Store-Store this white bean soup in fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Or freeze in 2 serving-size bags for up to two months.
Reheat- If frozen, thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
🧂Customize this White Bean Soup
Make it vegan and dairy free! Eliminate the cheese and add in a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast.
Make it meaty! The vegetable base can be switched out with chicken or beef base, and you can easily add in sausage or bacon.
Change the veggies! Almost any veggie will work in this white bean soup. Add in whatever you like or use up the veggies in your fridge. Good options that I didn't include: celery, zucchini, cabbage, kale, fennel, potatoes & cauliflower. And note - it's okay to use canned or frozen veggies.
👶 Tips for Picky Eaters
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.
🧶Crafts for this Recipe
Need a craft to keep kids busy while you cook? We've got you! While you're making our Italian White Bean Soup, kids can use extra raw veggies to make this spooky Skeleton Veggie Tray! Or use empty cans of beans to make a DIY Tin Can Pencil Holder!
🥄Other Soups to Try
🥣 Italian Vegetable White Bean Soup
- Vitamix or blender
- 1-2 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ large yellow onion, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 16 ounce chopped tomatoes, canned (or 2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped)
- 16 ounce bag of frozen veggie mix (i.e. carrots, corn, peas, green beans, lima beans)
- 1 Teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- ½ Teaspoon black pepper
- 45 ounce cannellini beans, canned with the liquid (3 x 15oz cans)
- 3 handfuls spinach
- 1 Teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 1+ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Heat olive oil in large pot on low-medium. Once heated, add onion and garlic. Cook for 3 mins, stirring frequently.
- Add broth, tomatoes, frozen veggies, and seasonings. Bring to boil.
- Once boiling, turn heat to low, add beans, and simmer for 3 mins.
- Scoop 3 cups of the soup from the pot and put in blender/Vitamix. Blend until pureed (like 15 seconds), return the puree to the soup and stir.
- Add in spinach and sherry vinegar. Cook until spinach has shrunk down (less than 1 minute). Remove from heat. Serve in bowls, with shredded parmesan on top.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. While we are not certified nutritionists, we work with a WordPress-integrated nutrition API to calculate our recipes' ingredient values.
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