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Tuscan white bean soup recipe

Tuscan white bean soup recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Soup
  • Bean and lentil soup
  • Bean soup

This simple, wholesome soup, typical of the cooking of Tuscany, makes a delicious starter. Serve with warm ciabatta or rustic bread.

10 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 rashers lean smoked back bacon, rinded and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 100 g (3½ oz) dried cannellini beans, soaked for at least 8 hours
  • 1.4 litres (2½ pints) hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 100 g (3½ oz) Savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • salt and pepper

MethodPrep:8hr10min ›Cook:1hr30min ›Ready in:9hr40min

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the bacon and onion, and cook gently for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened. Add the garlic and red pepper, and cook gently for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Drain the soaked beans and rinse under cold running water. Add them to the pan together with the stock. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat so the liquid is simmering. Skim off any froth.
  3. Add the rosemary. Partly cover the pan and simmer for 45–60 minutes or until the beans are very tender.
  4. Remove about 3 tbsp of the beans with a draining spoon, place them in a basin and mash with a fork.
  5. Add the cabbage to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the rosemary twigs, if using fresh rosemary, then stir the mashed beans into the soup to thicken it slightly. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

Some more ideas

For a very quick version of this soup, use 1 can cannellini beans, about 410 g, drained and rinsed, instead of dried beans. Cook the vegetables and bacon as in the main recipe, then add 1.2 litres (2 pints) stock and the rosemary, and bring to the boil. Add the beans and simmer gently for 5 minutes, to heat the beans through. Continue from step 4 as above. * You can substitute dried haricot beans for the cannellini beans. * For a flageolet bean soup, replace the cannellini beans with dried flageolet beans. Soften the onion and garlic in the olive oil with 2 finely chopped celery sticks (omit the bacon and red pepper). Add the beans and the stock. Bring to the boil, then add 1 tbsp pesto sauce instead of the rosemary. Simmer for 45–60 minutes or until the beans are very tender. Remove about 3 tbsp of the beans and mash them. Instead of cabbage, add 100 g (3½ oz) frozen peas to the soup. Bring back to the boil and simmer for 3–4 minutes, then add 85 g (3 oz) baby spinach leaves and the grated zest of 1 lemon. Simmer for 1 minute or until the spinach has wilted. Stir the mashed beans into the soup, season to taste and serve.

Plus points

Dried beans are an excellent source of soluble fibre, which can help to reduce high blood cholesterol levels. * Savoy cabbage, one of the hardiest of all cabbages, is easily recognized by its crinkly leaves. It contains a number of different phytochemicals that appear to help reduce the risk of cancer.

Each serving provides

A, C * B1, B6, folate, niacin, calcium, copper, iron, potassium, zinc

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4)

Reviews in English (4)

Thanks for the recipe, I just adored it. I tweaked a little just because I was trying to use up ingredients in the pantry and fridge (i.e. chicken, smoked sausage, anchovy and tomato paste) but needed a good base to go off of. Also wanted to use lots of garlic...So good! Baked a loaf of Irish brown soda bread to go with and couldn't have asked for a better or more nutritious meal.-28 Jun 2010

Made this - added more water and a touch of chilli sauce. Really lovely soup/broth - recommend this for a winter warmer.-15 Jan 2017

This was amazing. So easy to make and very comforting. For convenience I threw it all in a slow cooker on low and it was well appreciated after getting back drenched following a long bike ride. Recommended.-12 Jun 2016


30-Minute Tuscan White Bean Soup Recipe

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and dried red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth, beans and their liquid, rosemary stems, parmesan rind, and bay leaves. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a bare simmer, add kale, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Discard the bay leaves and rosemary stems. Use a hand blender to roughly puree part of the beans until desired consistency is reached. Alternatively, transfer 2 cups of soup to a blender or food processor and process until smooth (start on low speed and increase to high to prevent blender blow-out). Return to the soup and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with reserved chopped rosemary leaves, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and a grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve with crusty toasted bread.


Reviews ( 22 )

It wasn't awful, but it wasn't worth making again. First off, forget that 15 minutes of prep. I used lacinato kale and the kale alone took 20 minutes to wash, devein, and chop. It would be shorter with escarole, but even then, there is no way this takes 15 minutes to throw together. All told, using only 1 lb. of kale, the whole thing took about an hour to prep, including cleaning as I went, which is something CL never figures into their time estimates. The soup itself was alright, but a bit bland. Most CL soups are bland, but this actually looked promising. Oh well, I guess CL can make even a promising soup end up severely lacking in flavor. In my case I even used a homemade veggie broth taken from seriouseats that is very flavorful and, IMO, kle is both tastier and more flavorful than escarole. The soup definitely needs more salt - maybe it would be better with the miso instead of the parmesan rind. At the very least I'd double the thyme sprigs and up the rosemary. Also, I looked at three DC area grocery stores for no-salt Great Northern beans and neither Whole Foods, Giant, or Safeway carried them.


How to Make It

Place beans in a large pot cover with water 2 inches above beans. Soak at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans well combine with stock in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high. Transfer to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker.

Cook pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high for 5 minutes or until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to drippings in pan sauté 1 minute. Place veggie mixture, rosemary, and next 5 ingredients (through bay leaf) into slow cooker. Cook on low 8 hours. Discard Parmesan rind and bay leaf.

Add kale cover and cook 1 hour. Stir in reserved pancetta and vinegar. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.


Tuscan Style White Beans

Recipes like this Tuscan white bean soup are the basis of the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is a healthy eating plan consisting of many plant-based recipes, fish and seafood from the Mediterranean Sea, and small amounts of meat. Oh, and abundant olive oil!

Beans are a very important part of this diet and many generations have grown eating beans and legumes as a source of plant based protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber.

As I said above, beans have raised many generations, simply because they are really cheap and an almost complete meal. They contain complex carbohydrates to give you energy throughout the day, a lot of protein for healthy muscles and they’re low in fat. That’s the reason they’re very popular until today.

How do you cook dried white beans?

If you have a pressure cooker, this is an excellent way to achieve tender beans in short amount of time. But since many people don’t have one in their homes and because slow cooking in a pot is many times tastier, I prefer cooking them the traditional way.

So, there are 3 basic steps you have to remember:

  • First, soak the dried beans overnight in plenty of water. At this point you can also add some table salt to the water, but make sure you rinse the beans very well afterwards.
  • The next day, cook the beans by slowly simmering them in a pot filled with fresh water until tender (if they start to foam you can change the water or skim the foam with a slotted spatula). A slow simmer will ensure that they’ll keep their shape better.
  • When the beans are tender, add the salt, the vegetables, and the rest of the ingredients according to your recipe.

How long do beans take to cook?

Depending on their age, size, and variety, beans can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours to cook through.

In Italy there are no canned beans. I mean, you can buy them from a supermarket if you want to, but nobody does. Everyone I know uses dried beans. That’s the cheapest way, and that’s what they did in the past.

What’s the most common type of white beans?

Probably, the most common type of white beans are Canellini, but you can also use Navy beans or Great Northern beans.

Cannellinis are the largest and have a nutty, earthy flavor and tender flesh. Great Northern are medium-sized with mild flavor and firm flesh, while Navy beans are small, oval-shaped, and quick-cooking.

How do I stop bloating after eating beans?

Some people complain that beans cause bloating mostly because of their high fiber content. This is especially true for people who are not used to eating a lot of fiber.

To fight bloating, you should ad beans slowly into your diet and remember that the more often you eat them the more your body “adjusts” to them. Also, you should boil them for 10 minutes, discard the water and add fresh hot water in the pot. Some say that adding some ground mustard seeds during cooking, will also help.

Some notes/tips for perfectly cooked beans:

  • Soak them overnight in a large bowl with salted water. Rinse well before cooking.
  • Slowly simmer them in soft water (low in minerals) and don’t add any salt until they’re soft. In some places they even use rain water to cook them!
  • Don’t use very old beans (older than a year).

Not a big fun of beans? Another healthy recipe is this spaghetti with winter vegetables sauce!
For more healthy recipes, check the extra healthy category!

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Recipe Summary

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ⅓ cup creme fraiche
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 ½ cups fresh bread cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add butter allow butter to melt. Add onion, celery, and carrot and cook and stir until onion begins to turn translucent and golden, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic cook 1 more minute. Add beans and broth. Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Set heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

Place bread cubes in a saute pan. Drizzle with olive oil season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toast bread cubes over medium heat until golden brown and crunchy, tossing occasionally, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle grated cheese over the bread cubes and continue to brown cubes about 2 more minutes.

Puree soup with an immersion blender until it is very smooth. Whisk in creme fraiche. Stir in lemon juice. Serve topped with browned bread cubes and chopped parsley.


  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 chocolate bar biscuit croissant topping
  • 1 jelly cotton candy
  • ½ jelly gummies
  • 2 cups liquorice chocolate
  • 2 jelly beans bonbon
  • 2 caramels tart gummi bears
  • 6 butterscotch caramel lollipops
  • 12 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup sugar

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit amet chocolate bar halvah carrot cake donut. Caramels chocolate bar donut cookie. Halvah apple pie apple pie brownie donut cheesecake. Powder sugar plum liquorice. Jelly jelly beans candy. Brownie muffin pastry cupcake cake dessert chocolate cake. I love cake indeed.

Chupa chups sesame snaps chocolate cake tart icing chupa chups sesame snaps. Croissant marshmallow biscuit. Cookie topping wafer bonbon tootsie roll tart. Fruitcake topping tart caramels wafer donut topping pie pastry. Tiramisu caramels tiramisu marshmallow pudding pastry.

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit amet chocolate bar halvah carrot cake donut. Caramels chocolate bar donut cookie. Halvah apple pie apple pie brownie donut cheesecake. Powder sugar plum liquorice. Jelly jelly beans candy. Brownie muffin pastry cupcake cake dessert chocolate cake.

Chupa chups sesame snaps chocolate cake tart icing chupa chups sesame snaps. Croissant marshmallow biscuit. Cookie topping wafer bonbon tootsie roll tart. Fruitcake topping tart caramels wafer donut topping pie pastry. Tiramisu caramels tiramisu marshmallow pudding pastry. Jelly jelly beans candy. Brownie muffin pastry cupcake cake dessert chocolate cake.

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit amet chocolate bar halvah carrot cake donut. Caramels chocolate bar donut cookie. Halvah apple pie apple pie brownie donut cheesecake. Powder sugar plum liquorice. Jelly jelly beans candy. Brownie muffin pastry cupcake cake dessert chocolate cake. I love cake indeed.

Chupa chups sesame snaps chocolate cake tart icing chupa chups sesame snaps. Croissant marshmallow biscuit. Cookie topping wafer bonbon tootsie roll tart. Fruitcake topping tart caramels wafer donut topping pie pastry. Tiramisu caramels tiramisu marshmallow pudding pastry.

Cupcake ipsum dolor sit amet chocolate bar halvah carrot cake donut. Caramels chocolate bar donut cookie. Halvah apple pie apple pie brownie donut cheesecake. Powder sugar plum liquorice. Jelly jelly beans candy. Brownie muffin pastry cupcake cake dessert chocolate cake.

Chupa chups sesame snaps chocolate cake tart icing chupa chups sesame snaps. Croissant marshmallow biscuit. Cookie topping wafer bonbon tootsie roll tart. Fruitcake topping tart caramels wafer donut topping pie pastry. Tiramisu caramels tiramisu marshmallow pudding pastry. Jelly jelly beans candy. Brownie muffin pastry cupcake cake dessert chocolate cake.


Tuscan White Bean Soup

Cut off the tough ends of the chard and rinse the greens thoroughly. Shake or pat dry and tear into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottomed pot. Saute the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent, stirring often. Add the prosciutto, HALF the herbs, the red pepper flakes (if you choose), and bay leaf and saute for another 3 minutes until fragrant. Stir in the beans and saute for another minute or two. Pour in the chicken broth, toss in the Parmesan rind, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the Swiss chard and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes or until the greens have wilted. Season with salt, pepper, the other half of the herbs, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Remove the Parmesan rind before serving (if you can find it!).

Serve with grated Parmesan cheese and warm crusty bread.

TIP: When I am running short on time, I will sometimes buy the pre-cut “Mirepoix” blend of onion, celery, and carrot at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. You can find it in the produce section. This seems like cheating, but it really does save time in a pinch!

TIP: Another time-saving tip: substitute chard or kale for a bag of baby spinach leaves.

TIP: This soup gets thicker the longer it sits, so when reheating leftovers I always add some water to thin it out a bit.


How to Make Tuscan White Bean Soup

This soup is essentially made in three parts - cooking the vegetables, simmering the broth, and finishing with the greens. Here's how you'll make it.

  1. Cook the vegetables - heat the olive oil and sauté the shallots, then add the garlic (just till it's heated), then the carrots and celery and cook them. Finally, add the herbs and bloom them to bring out their flavor.
  2. Simmer - add the liquid (broth and heavy cream), beans, and bay leaf and bring to a low boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Finish the soup - add the chard and simmer till it's wilted, remove the soup from the heat and finish with the lemon juice and optional herbs.

White Bean Soup

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White Bean Soup is the perfect, flavorful soup to keep you warm through fall and winter. With rosemary, garlic, thyme, and cannellini beans in 30 minutes!

Just like White Bean Kale Soup, this Healthy Soup Recipe is packed with protein and the perfect remedy for a cold, or comfort food on a chilly night.

WHITE BEAN SOUP

Warm Bean Soup is the ultimate comfort food. It’s a gluten-free recipe made in one-pot that your whole family will love. There’s nothing like a warm bowl of soup after a long day. It’s especially incredible served with a piece of crusty bread. It’s soothing, delicious, and this one has the added benefit of being full of healthy ingredients!

You can serve Bean Soup as a main on its own or as a side dish for another great recipe. It would taste amazing with Garlic Braised Chicken with Kale, Healthier Chicken Parmesan, or Balsamic Bruschetta Chicken.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF WHITE BEAN SOUP

This soup is low in calories, but high in healthy proteins. And that’s thanks to the white beans. Beans are a great source of lean protein, especially on a vegan or vegetarian diet.

And white beans bring more than protein to this soup. They are also high in fiber, and bring a great flavor and texture to the soup. White beans also have micronutrients like folate, magnesium, and vitamin B6 that are important for a healthy diet.

Another advantage to this simple soup, is you can add more healthy ingredients if you’d like. The soup is great as is, but feel free to add extra vegetables you have around. Some chopped celery, carrots, or green onion will add a lot.