Easiest Bean Soup – a healthy soup made with creamy beans and a handful of basic ingredients. It’s flavorful and filling and perfect for a quick lunch or dinner!
Bean Soup Recipes
Simple as they are I actually love a good bean soup. I already have so many I’ve shared in my recipe collection:
- Bean and Bacon Soup
- Black Bean Tortilla Soup
- Black Bean Soup
- Ham and Bean Soup (Slow Cooker or Stovetop)
- Kale White Bean and Sausage Soup
- Pasta Fagioli Soup (Pasta and Bean Soup)
And now we’ve got this delicious yet unbelievably easy Tuscan style soup to add to the rotation! Once you try it and see what breeze it is you’ll be wondering where this recipe has been your whole life!
The Flavor Secret to This Soup
So you’ll notice there aren’t many ingredients here. To build up flavor we use boldly flavor ingredients – lots of garlic and a parmesan rind (the dry and waxy exterior from a parmesan wedge).
I never throw away a parmesan rind. I save them for all sorts of soups and sauces (they make a delicious marinara). And here they add a delicious cheesy flavor to this soup.
If you don’t have a parmesan rind (if it’s not imported cheese found in the specialty cheeses it likely won’t have one) you can just stir some parmesan into the soup at the end but I don’t recommend skipping out on the parmesan.
Bean Soup Ingredients (and Substitutions)
- Extra virgin olive oil: This oil adds a delicious rich flavor to the soup. If all you have is regular olive oil it will work, then the next time around try it with extra virgin for that stronger more robust flavor.
- Yellow onion: A white onion can be substituted if needed.
- Carrot: This is one ingredient I wouldn’t skip. If you’ve got baby carrots those will work, just slice them up.
- Celery: A little of this will go a long way in flavoring the soup. You’ll only need 1 large or 2 small stalks.
- Garlic: I love garlic so I love that this soup has almost 2 Tbsp, but if you’re not crazy about it you can cut it back.
- Low-sodium chicken broth: Vegetable broth will work fine too.
- Parmesan: You’ll want both the rind for simmering then some shredded parmesan for serving. Try it with Romano cheese if that’s what you have.
- Italian seasoning: Don’t have Italian seasoning? Just use 1/2 tsp basil, 1/2 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp thyme.
- Cannellini beans: I’ve also made this with Great Northern beans and it taste just as good. Another white bean like navy beans will work fine too.
- Fresh spinach: Kale would also be great here (but keep in mind it will take about 5 – 10 minutes to become tender so add halfway through the soup simmering). In a pinch another option would be to add another vegetable like zucchini or asparagus.
- Salt and pepper: I take it easy on the salt in the beginning because the parmesan rind will infuse some saltiness, then at the end add more to taste. I do like a fair amount of black pepper.
How to Make the Best Easy Bean Soup
Here is a quick breakdown of the easy steps to prepare it:
- Saute aromatics.
- Add broth, seasonings and parmesan rind.
- Simmer soup until vegetables are tender.
- Stir in beans and spinach, let wilt.
- Mash up some of the beans with a potato masher (if you don’t own one you could skip this step, it just gives the soup a little body and creaminess).
- Remove rind and discard. Serve soup drizzled with more olive oil and parmesan cheese.
Can I Make it Using Dry Beans?
- You could also use dried white beans for this recipe.
- You’ll just need to cook them first and add to the recipe as directed (you’ll start with about 1 1/3 cups dried, or 3 cups already cooked).
- You can cook the dry beans in a slow cooker, instant pot or on the stovetop – just in salted water until tender.
Can I Freeze This Soup?
Yes. This soup should freeze well (just be sure to leave at least 1/2-inch space at the top for it to expand). I’ve got some in my freezer in smaller portions to eat for lunch over the following weeks.
Follow Cooking Classy
Made with creamy beans and a handful of basic ingredients. It's flavorful and filling and perfect for a quick lunch or dinner! This is about as easy as soup gets! Makes about 7 cups.
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 small)
- 3/4 cup chopped carrot (1 large)
- 1/2 cup diced celery (2 small ribs, slice somewhat thin)
- 5 garlic cloves, minced (nearly 2 Tbsp)*
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 small parmesan rind, plus about 6 Tbsp shredded parmesan for serving
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste**
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans cannellini beans or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups (packed) fresh spinach, roughly chopped
Heat 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery and saute 4 minutes.
Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
Pour in chicken broth, Italian seasoning and add parmesan rind. Season with pepper and lightly with salt to taste (wait until the end to add more salt, the rind will infuse some salt to the soup).
Cover soup with lid, bring soup to a light boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until veggies are tender, about 12 - 15 minutes.
Add beans and spinach, let heat just until spinach wilts, about 30 seconds.
Remove from heat. Mash up about half the beans with a potato masher (this helps make the brother creamier and heartier).
Remove parmesan rind. Drizzle individual servings of soup with remaining 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or more to taste) and top with parmesan.
- *If you don't love garlic you can reduce this to 2 - 3 cloves, but it really gives the soup a lot of flavor so you may want to replace with more herbs.
- **If you are wanting to reduce sodium in the recipe for a healthier option you can use unsalted chicken broth, unsalted canned beans and just lightly season the soup with salt. Just keep in mind it will taste a bit more flat.
- Wanting to amp up the flavor? You can finish the soup with some chopped fresh basil, parsley or oregano. Or try it with a spritz of fresh lemon.