There are creamy, indulgent soups and then there are light and nourishing soups that somehow manage to be just as comforting as the former. This Tuscan White Bean Soup belongs to the latter category, but don’t think for a minute that its light and nourishing nature means it isn’t also totally delicious. It’s full of creamy cannellini beans, aromatic herbs like rosemary and oregano, and plenty of tender wholesome veggies, and unlike a heavy stew it won’t take you all day to simmer. (Not even close. This is done in a quick half-hour.)
There’s carrots and onions and celery and garlic to start it off. (So many great things start that way, no?)
And then chicken broth, a couple of cans of cannellini beans, some oregano, bay leaves, and some nice sprigs of rosemary. (Which is to say, your house is going to smell good while this simmers.)
And that simmering time is just fifteen minutes since there’s no meat to cook or hearty potatoes to make tender; you’re just giving everything a change to get hot and bubbly and come together.
Once that happens, you stir in a bit of spinach just so it has a chance to wilt and a touch of cream to give the broth a silkier feel. (Half and half is fine if you’d like this even lighter!) A little Parmigiano adds some depth of flavor, but doesn’t make it cheesy, per se.
And that’s it, you’re done! No more simmering, no blending, no pureeing… it’s just time to tuck in. And, trust me, it’s an easy soup to tuck into. Vibrant and brothy with a hint of nuttiness from the cheese and a creamy bite from the cannellini beans, every bite is delicious and filling in the sort of way that doesn’t weigh you down.
Tuscan White Bean Soup
5m prep time
25m cook time
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 cans (15.5 ounces, each) cannellini beans, undrained
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half
- 1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated, plus more for serving
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
- Stir in chicken broth, oregano, bay leaf, and rosemary. Stir in undrained beans and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook 15 minutes.
- Uncover, and remove rosemary sprigs and bay leaf. Stir in the cream (or half and half), spinach, and Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve with more cheese if desired, and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from No Spoon Necessary.