This super-simple Italian White Bean Soup Recipe is hearty and packed with the flavor of a soup that’s cooked all day.
This recipe is great for nights you want a home-cooked meal, but don’t have a lot of time to cook. Fresh spinach cooks in no time, but you can always substitute it for frozen (just defrost it first, squeeze out the liquid, and add it a few minutes before serving).
Why This Recipe Works
- Fresh garlic adds a lot of flavor to the soup without the need to cook for very long.
- Pureed canned cannellini beans add body to the soup without requiring a lengthy simmer.
- Giving the option to add pasta or not makes this dish as light or hearty as you like.
Speedy Tuscan White Bean Soup
Tuscan white bean soup is usually a slow-cooked soup, but my version was created to get that long-cooked taste and consistency of the traditional comfort food without the time or effort.
What Beans Are Best
For this recipe, canned cannellini beans, navy beans, and Great Northern beans all work great. If you don’t have white beans, you can also use other types of beans such as kidney beans or even chickpeas.
How To Make White Bean Soup
- Brown garlic in olive oil.
- Add stock, pureed beans, and cannellini beans, season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer for ten minutes.
- Add the spinach and cook until wilted.
- Serve hot with (or without pasta).
Step By Step Instructions
Cook the garlic in olive oil just until it starts to brown (be careful not to let it burn as it will taste bitter).
Add the pureed beans, and whole beans to the pan.
Add the stock and simmer ten minutes before adding the spinach.
Cook until the spinach reaches your desired softness and serve over pasta sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
Recipe Tips & Variations
- Use homemade stock – quickly cooked soups have a long cook flavor when you use homemade stock instead of store-bought.
- Switch Up The Vegetables – The beauty of quick soups is flexibility. You can switch the spinach with kale, escarole, or any vegetables you like (just change the cooking time accordingly).
- Simmer with the stock – Since the canned beans are already cooked, it may seem redundant but cooking them in the stock allows them to absorb the flavor of the garlic and stock.
- Stir often to avoid sticking.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
Stored in an airtight container, this soup keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
To freeze, divide among airtight, freezer-safe containers (leaving 1-inch space at the top), and freeze up to three months.
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Let’s Make White Bean Soup
- 8 ounces Ditalini Pasta
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic chopped or finely sliced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 12 ounces fresh baby spinach (or 9oz Frozen Leaf or chopped Spinach)
- 14 ounces cannelini beans pureed
- 14 ounces cannellini beans drained
- Fresh parsley or basil chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- grated Parmesan cheese for serving
- If using pasta, start a pot of water for your pasta, bring to a boil and cook the pasta while you cook the soup.
- In a separate large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and lightly brown it in the oil. As soon as you see it start to brown add the chicken stock, and, pureed beans, cannellini beans, and herbs.
- Season with salt and pepper, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a medium-low heat and cook for 10 minutes.
- If using frozen spinach, cook it in the microwave and squeeze out the liquid. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
- Serve hot with or without pasta and plenty of grated parmesan cheese.