Perhaps one of the most popular soups I have seen floating around in recipe groups has to be this Tuscan white bean soup. After trying a few recipes, I found that this version was the easiest and most flavorful. A simple soup with both broth and cream, tender beans, and plenty of aromatic flavors, it's a great starter for any meal but can also be a perfect lunch dish all by itself.
Tuscan White Bean Soup
If you want a hardy soup that is also a quick recipe, then this is definitely one to add to your recipe repertoire. I love that this bean soup is packed with protein but still remains vegetarian. That means it is a great choice to serve many of your friends, even those who avoid meats.
What White Beans Work in This Soup?
When I think of white beans, my mind typically goes to great northern beans or cannellini beans. While Navy beans are also in this family, I haven't used them as often as the others.
For this recipe, I would recommend cannellini or great northern beans as the easy to find an affordable option. While I have never used Navy beans for this, they would work great as well if that was what you had on hand. Some have used cranberry beans with good texture and flavor, and others have made this using chickpeas/garbanzo beans. While neither of those would be my first choice, they could work with these flavors.
The only "white" bean I would not recommend using has to be the lima with its pasty texture.
You can use dry beans instead of canned, but they would need to be soaked overnight, then cooked until tender before including in this soup recipe.
What Makes this "Tuscan" Flavored?
The term "Tuscan" is not just about a region, but the flavors of that region. Typically these dishes are bright, fresh, and aromatic. The inclusion of fresh thyme and bay leaf are a big part of the reason this soup gets that name. Additionally, lemon is a huge addition to Tuscan foods and plays a big role in adding brightness to this particular soup.
What Should I Serve with Tuscan Bean Soup?
What you serve with this will depend partly upon whether this is a starter or a main dish. It is hardy enough to be the entree, but often soups are served alongside a meal or with a sandwich on the side.
When serving as the main dish, I tend to serve with a bread side. This cheesy garlic bread or the homemade crescent rolls are both good, but the crispier bread is ideal for dipping into the soup. And, of course, you can start the meal with this homemade bruschetta with fresh tomato basil topping.
If serving with a sandwich on the side, my go-to has to be the grilled cheese with garlic parmesan crust, or the easy creamy grilled chicken and cheese sandwich.
As a starter for the main dish, some ideas that pair well include a vegetarian dish like this sundried tomatoes and garlic pasta or the baked feta pasta dish. If it can be a meat dish, then I love the garlic baked pork chops with sage butter or a simple crispy garlic herbed chicken breast.
Can I Make This and Freeze for Later?
Definitely! If you have leftovers, just store them in an airtight container that has been labeled and dated. It's good for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Remember when freezing soups to leave 1" of space at the top of the container for expansion. Also, since this does have a cream base, you will want to be careful when reheating so it doesn't scorch or separate. It best when thawed overnight in the refrigerator then reheated over medium heat on the stovetop.
- Olive oil
- Garlic cloves
- Bay leaf
- White beans
- Lemon juice and zest
- Chicken stock
- Heavy cream
Handy Kitchen Tools
How to Make Tuscan White Bean Soup
In a large stockpot or 5-quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add the shallots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent.
Add the carrots and celery then continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
To the vegetables, add the garlic and drained beans. Stir in the chicken broth, bay leaf, thyme, and lemon zest.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and continue simmering for 15-minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the spinach and stir then cook for an additional 2 minutes to wilt.
To the mixture, add in the cream, lemon juice, and stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt and black pepper if needed.
Remove from heat and serve.
More Soup Recipes
In our house, soup season is all year long! Whether you eat soups any time of the year or reserve them for cooler months, the list of recipes below should delight your tastebuds. From rich and creamy to simple and broth-based, we have your soup needs covered! Bookmark, pin, or print these recipes and make them soon!
- Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 30 Delicious Soup and Stew Recipes
- Smoky Bacon-Cheddar Beer Cheese Soup with Chives
- Copycat Pasta e Fagioli Soup Dutch Oven Recipe
- 10-Minute Classic Egg Drop Soup Recipe
- Copycat Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the shallots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent.
- Add the carrots and celery then continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
- To the vegetables, add the garlic and drained beans. Stir in the chicken broth, bay leaf, thyme, and lemon zest.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and continue simmering for 15-minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the spinach and stir then cook for an additional 2 minutes to wilt.
- To the mixture, add in the cream, lemon juice, and stir to combine. Taste and add additional salt and black pepper if needed.
- Remove from heat and serve.
Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 797mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 6gSugar: 8gProtein: 10g