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If you’re looking for more vegan soup recipes that are going to fill you up and give you energy, this Mediterranean White Bean Soup is definitely one to try! It’s a super easy recipe to make with no fancy ingredients or complicated steps. And you can use canned white beans to make it even faster and easier.
It’s a hearty vegan soup with 15 grams of protein per serving, thanks to those powerhouse beans! The white beans are the essence of the soup because they are naturally creamy, making the soup rich without adding any dairy.
RECIPE VIDEO TUTORIAL
What ingredients do you need for white bean soup
- White beans: This is the base of the recipe so you’ll need 3 15-ounce cans of white beans. You can use navy beans, cannellini beans, Great Northern beans or any white beans. You can make this though with other types of beans or even chickpeas if you’d like. For convenience purposes, I use canned beans. However you can start with dried beans and soak them overnight instead.
- Onions, carrots, & celery: This forms the mirepoix of the soup base, which is essentially the aromatics that flavor this soup and many others.
- Garlic: Minced garlic or garlic paste, fresh garlic or frozen garlic, it all works in this white bean soup so you can use what you have. I love freezing garlic and using it in soups or other recipes that require cooking.
- Vegetable Broth: Look for one made with simple minimal ingredients. You can use low sodium or regular. If you use low-sodium, you may need to add more salt.
- Herbs: Fresh or dried work here. If you’re using fresh, you’ll want about 2 tablespoons total compared to 2 teaspoons total for dried. Since it’s a Mediterranean white bean soup, I think thyme and oregano work really well with the flavors.
- Spinach (optional): You can use other greens too like kale or collard greens.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional): This is for topping at the end, but you can leave it out to keep it vegan.
How to make white bean soup
This is a pretty standard recipe starting with the mirepoix: mix of onions, carrots and celery. You’ll want to add the herbs pretty early on so they can help flavor the soup from the get-go. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, about 5-7 minutes.
Next add the vegetable broth and the white beans and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The vegetables will continue to get tender and the soup will thicken.
Finally, add some fresh baby spinach or frozen chopped spinach, and mix it around until it wilts. This adds more nutrients to the white bean soup and also makes it more hearty.
And in about half an hour, this white bean soup is done and ready to be served. When the beans sit longer in the soup, the broth will thicken, so you can always add more water if it gets too thick. And if it’s not thick enough for your preference, you can use an immersion blender to blend the beans into the broth, which will thicken it.
You can enjoy the soup right away or let it sit for a while so it gets more creamy and thick.
Tips for making white bean soup
- Add more vegetables. What makes this such a great easy soup recipe is its flexibility. Aside from onions, carrots and celery, it’s very popular to add fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes to this recipe. I love the color of the vegetable broth and prefer keeping the tomatoes out of the recipe. You can also add zucchini, mushrooms, potatoes or peas.
- Allow the beans to simmer with the broth. Since the canned beans are already cooked, it may seem unnecessary to add them to the soup until the very end. However, they actually absorb all the flavors of the soup, and soften to lend a creaminess to the soup. So make sure to add them when the broth goes in.
- Stir the soup while it simmers. The canned white beans are very tender so they naturally make the soup thicker. But if you stir the soup and slightly mash the beans with a wooden spoon occasionally, it helps to break them down a bit more.
- Make it extra creamy by stirring in some cashew milk. This is optional but adds a rich and creamy flavor to the soup while still keeping it vegan.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, you can use dry beans, but I would recommend making them in advance and then adding to the soup. For 3 cans of beans, I recommend 2 ¼ cups dried beans. You can cook them in an instant pot or on the stove according to package instructions.
Yes, this soup freezes very well, so you can certainly make a big batch and freeze them for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing in individual portions for easier thawing.
This Mediterranean white bean soup is the perfect comfort food for cold winter days. It’s a thick hearty soup that’s vegan, gluten-free and absolutely tasty! I love that it has a rich taste that works as a side soup or a complete dinner option with 15 grams of protein per serving!
For more vegetarian soup recipes:
- Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
- Vegetarian Minestrone Soup
- Vegan Asparagus Soup
- Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup
- Healthy Potato Leek Soup
- Roasted Tomato Soup
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Mediterranean White Bean Soup recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
This recipe was originally published January 24, 2019 and has been recently updated with a slightly modified recipe and new photography.
Mediterranean White Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 large carrots chopped
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 (15-ounces) canned white beans drained and rinsed
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- Grated parmesan cheese for serving
- In a large pot or saucepan, heat the olive over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Add vegetable broth and beans, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes to combine all of the flavors together.
- Stir in the spinach and continue to simmer until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes
- Remove from heat, sprinkle grated parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve immediately.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.