Simple White Bean Soup

There's a lot more flavor in this simple soup than the photograph can portray. Simple White Bean Soup is perfect to make ahead for work day lunches, no matter what the temperature is outside.  It's light and filling and totally healthy!

My only mistake in making it was that I didn't make enough.  The original recipe came out of my favorite Italian cookbook and is simply called, White Bean Soup.  I changed it to fit what I had on hand in the pantry and that's what I've listed here, my on-hand version.

Max's best friend, Eli, passed by the soup pot and asked to try it.  He told me that he was a Professional Taster and he could tell me from a scale of 1 to 100 if it would be a good soup.  Eli's 8 years old, and has a wonderful sense of adventure when it comes to food.  His Mom is SO lucky!

Eli's rating, after eating two bowls, was 1000! He crumbled a few tortilla chips on top and went to town.  He did recommend that I "add a pinch more salt, but it was REALLY, REALLY GOOD!" He also asked to make sure his Mom got the recipe so she could make it.  So with all that in mind, here's the recipe.


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans or 4 cups home cooked Northern Beans
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can plum tomatoes or stewed tomatoes
  • 1 (15-ounce) hot chicken or vegetable broth or 2 cups hot water
  • salt & pepper to season

Puree one can or 2 cups of Northern Bean with an immersion blender or food processor.

Water sauté the onion until it softens.  Add the celery, tomatoes, and cook for 5 minutes more. Add a few tablespoons of water to keep the pan from drying out while the vegetables cook.

Pour in hot broth.  Stir in the beans and the bean puree.  Season with salt and pepper.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.



I cooked up 2 cups of dry Cannellini beans with 4 garlic cloves and 4 small bay leaves in a pressure cooker for 30 minutes.  Cannellini beans are larger and held up better in the end than the canned Northern beans.  I wouldn't say they had distinct flavors, one was just larger & hardier.

I ended up with a creamier soup, because I used more pureed beans than before.  That was a good move.


  • I liked this soup a lot. It worked great with corn chips crumbled on top. I’d go with more beans on our next go round, but overall it’s a keeper.

  • I agree. Our friend Pam from For the Love of Cooking made White Bean and Ham Soup. Our recipes are very, very similiar.

    Here’s her recipe link:

  • I made this for lunch yesterday and we loved it! :-)Dh added some hot sauce and delared it perfect. I added a little bacon (oven fried, of course!)This one will definitely stay in our winter rotation. 🙂

    • Good morning Teresa!
      We’re getting a lot of rain today, I think I need to make this soup again. I have a bag of dried Northern beans and I’m going to cook them in the pressure cooker. I picked up a 2 pound bag for $1.98.

      My plan is to make a large batch of this soup, divide it into individual servings, and put it up in the freezer so Charlie can take it to work. I also want to play around with some other soup recipes, too.

  • Cindy

    I was looking for a white bean recipe and found this one. I added chicken, but otherwise followed recipe. It was awesome, the whole family loved it. Thanks for sharing….

  • Thank you Cindy & you’re welcome.
    I can totally imagine how good this soup would be with chicken. It sorta reminds me of a tortilla soup without the tortillas & chicken.

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  • LadyJay

    I made this soup on Sunday and my Boyfriend LOVED it. I’m not a big soup eater, but it was so yummy I took some into work for Tues & Wed.

    I added more beans for the Puree and Soup after reading the comments. I also used the 2 cups of broth from a large can of Chicken Noodle Soup. Threw in a little garlic powder and parsley and WOW!!

    I will be making this soup again and again, thank you!!

  • Tammy

    This recipe looks great and I will try it. Just wanted to mention that I see carrot in the soup, but no mention in the recipe. I will add garlic and bay leaves (like in the amended recipe), and about two small-medium carrots.

    • You’re right, Tammy. That bottom image is of another time I made the soup. I must have had a carrot that needed to be used. I do that sometimes, toss in veggies in order to clean out the veggie bin. Do you do that?

  • Tammy

    Yep Jill,

    I do add my own stuff sometimes. I recently started cooking like a mad person since I’ve had some life changes and a little more time on my hands. I’ve found I love cooking at this age-45. Although still very new to cooking, (my ex cooked most of our meals for the last 18 years), I’ve been experimenting with all kinds of soups, chilis, etc. I’m glad I found this site and this simple bean soup recipe.


    • I’m glad you found this site, too, Tammy. Holler for me, if you ever need anything.

  • Murielle

    Hi to everyone,
    I just finished making this simple yet succulent bean soup. I loved it! I had it for lunch with crackers and still cannot believe that such an easy no nonsense recipe can be such a gourmet’s delight. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and … my stomach. Merci!

  • Hi Murielle! This is a great soup to make when time is short. My kids and husband will eat it right out of the soup pot. It keeps very well in the freezer, too.

  • Karen from Victoria

    I too am viewing this from simple daily recipes – even click on your direct link that you mention below in case I was on the wrong spot…and nothing in the ingredients says carrots – yet visually there are carrots in the soup….

  • Karen from Victoria

    its’ the photo of the modified recipe with Cannelli bean that has the carrots in it, so perhaps that is a different recipe?

  • Sheila

    This soup is sooo good !!! I have made it many, many times keep adding things and changing things. I do add the slivered carrots and celery. I add at the very end, I add either the pasta “tubeilinni or ditalini” and it makes it perfect. Takes a while to absorb some of the juices. I also use Bush Cannolli beans, i PUREE 1/2 THE BEANS, and I have doubled the recipe as the Aldi container of Chicken Broth is 32 ounces. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS RECIPE!!!! SO EASY AND SOO GOOD!!!

  • Aunt Betty

    I have made this soup at least 10 times. Each time I am amazed at how good it tastes because it is so simple. I’ve made it with canned cannellini beans, as well as beans I’ve prepared myself using your recipe. Though both are good, the beans you make yourself add more depth of flavor due to the garlic and bay leaf. I have used carrots each time, adding them when I add the celery. I’ve also gotten adventurous, trying bok choy, or frozen chopped green beans or corn. All work wonderfully. I passed on this recipe to a friend, and now it is her go to when she has company. All in all, this recipe is – simply – wonderful.

  • Shanay Chambers

    Hi! Cooking some cannellini beans right now and started searching for more recipes to use thesebeans up (and great to know they freeze well!!)!! When you say 2 cans or 2 cups of home cooked beans, is that 2 cups of dry beans? If using home cooked, wouldn’t you still want 30 oz of cooked to add to the soup? Thank you!!

    • Hi Shanay! I see my typo. THANK YOU, I will fix that know.
      I meant to type 4 cups home cooked beans.

      • I went ahead and modified this recipe to be oil-free, too. These days, I do not cook with any oils. I water sauté veggies now.

      • Shanay Chambers

        Thank you so much!!