This hearty mediterranean white bean soup with vegetables is so delicious and nourishing. Cooked with spices, herbs, and topped with flavorful cheeses, this is a really comforting soup that everyone will love. All you need are some pantry staples for a quick soup that also tastes fancy.
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The Best White Bean Soup
If you are looking for something really delicious and nutritious, the Mediterranean cuisine is one of the best options. So I took the inspiration for this recipe from a traditional Turkish white bean soup, to create yet another flavor packed soup like our Harira Recipe and Mediterranean Red Lentil Soup.
I added a few of my favorite ingredients, and made it easier for the busy home cook by using several pantry staples. Adding aromatics such as thyme, ground coriander, and then topping with flavorful cheeses, takes this soup up a notch.
It really tastes so fancy. I am usually not a soup person, but I could have bowls of this incredibly flavorful white bean soup. The protein-packed white beans pairs so well with the nutrient-rich and colorful vegetables. It looks as good as it tastes.
This soup is a great choice to make for any meal. The prep time is minimal and it cooks in about 30 minutes. Just with a few cans of beans, crushed tomatoes, and common vegetables such as carrots, celery, and bell peppers, you have a comforting meal ready.
Ingredients You Will Need
Here are some notes about the ingredients and substitutes.
- White Beans: You can use canned cannellini beans, northern beans, or small lima beans. To know how to substitute with dried beans, check the recipe FAQs below.
- Vegetables: Onions, celery and carrots make up the standard aromatic flavor base for soup, known as mirepoix. Yellow onions will work. Any kind of potatoes will be fine. Red bell peppers add a delightful peppery flavor.
- Aromatics: Use fresh garlic. For herbs I used a combination of oregano and thyme to cook the soup and topped with chopped parsley for flavor.
- Spices and Seasonings: Ground coriander adds a warm and earthy flavor. I use mild red pepper flakes, such as Aleppo red pepper for a touch of pungency.
- Tomatoes: To make it easy, we use canned crushed tomatoes. But you can substitute with a combination of fresh tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Cheese: Feta cheese and parmesan cheese are some of the most flavorful cheeses. You only need a little to add a lot of flavor.
- Vegetable Broth: This adds more flavor. Use chicken stock for umami flavor.
- Corn Starch: Use this to thicken the soup.
- Lemon Juice: Add this for a hint of tartness and flavor.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: The best oil to use for this Mediterranean soup.
How To Make White Bean Soup
Brief overview below. *Full recipe at the end of blog post.
- Cook Vegetables: Saute onions. Cook potatoes, celery, carrots and bell peppers, until soft.
- Seasonings: Add garlic, oregano, ground coriander, red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Cook until aromatic.
- Simmer: Add crushed tomatoes, white beans, broth and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until flavors come together.
- Flavor: Add cheeses, lemon juice and parsley. Adjust the seasonings.
- Thicken: Make corn starch paste, stir into soup and cook until thickened.
- Serve: Garnish with parsley, cheeses and serve.
To keep the soup chunky, do not overcook the vegetables.
Canned crushed tomatoes actually work well for this soup because they are processed in the peak of season. So the tomatoes are rich in flavor and color. It also adds nice consistency to the soup.
Chicken stock adds umami flavor and a richer mouthfeel. You can also try bouillon cubes or nutritional yeast.
Serve this mediterranean white bean soup hot in elegant bowls.
- With Bread: This soup will be fantastic with my Zaatar Bread Rolls or Onion Rolls.
- Make a Meal: Add some appetizers such as Crispy Samosas and salads such as Tabbouleh or Orange Salad.
- Add Beverages: Finish the meal with some Ayran.
This soup is vegetarian, gluten free, egg free, soy free and nut free.
- Vegan and Dairy Free: Skip the dairy based cheeses and try nutritional yeast or add mushrooms.
- Extra Protein: Increase the amount of beans.
- Other spices: You can also add some ground cumin, cinnamon, turmeric or harissa for a spicy touch.
This is a very nutritious soup, full of plant protein, dietary fiber, antioxidants and other essential nutrients. One cup of white beans provides 17 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber, which makes this soup very filling. The beans and vegetables together provide ample vitamins, minerals and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. To top that we use nourishing extra virgin olive oil.
Using chicken stock will give a thicker mouthfeel. You can also thicken the soup with corn starch as we did here. Or simply mash up some cooked white beans to thicken the soup.
Soak 1 cup of any dried white beans overnight in a large bowl of water. Drain the water and add the beans to a cooking pot. Add 4 cups water and 2 pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until soft and tender. Use these cooked beans for the recipe.
Take the beans with water and bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and soak the beans with a pinch of baking soda for 2 hours. Drain the water and cook the beans as above.
More Mediterranean Recipes
- Mediterranean Bean Salad
- Butter Bean Mash Dip
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Koshari (Egyptian National Dish)
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Mediterranean White Bean Soup With Vegetables
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion chopped
- 1 small potato peeled and cut into cubes
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 red bell pepper core removed and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves grated
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes mild, Aleppo pepper style
- Salt to taste
- 1 15- ounce can crushed tomatoes or 2 cups chopped tomatoes plus 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 15- ounce cans cannellini beans northern beans or small lima beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 cups vegetable broth low sodium, or water
- 4 springs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 oz feta cheese crumbled
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup chopped parsley fresh
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons corn starch optional
- Saute Onions: In a large dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until softened but not brown, stirring in between, about 2 minutes.
- Cook Vegetables: Add the chopped potatoes, celery, carrots and bell peppers. Cook until the vegetables are a bit softened, stirring regularly, about 5 minutes.
- Season: Add grated garlic, oregano, ground coriander, red pepper flakes and salt to taste. Cook, tossing often, until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
- Simmer: Then add crushed tomatoes, white beans, broth and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low-medium, place a lid and simmer until vegetables are soft and flavors come together, about 20 minutes.
- Flavor: Add crumbled feta cheese, parmesan cheese, lemon juice and parsley. Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Thicken: If you prefer to thicken the soup, take corn starch in a small bowl, add ½ cup of the cooled soup and mix until smooth. Then add it back to the soup in the dutch oven, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Serve: Turn off the heat. Garnish with fresh parsley, cheeses, olive oil, red pepper flakes and serve.
- Dried Beans: Soak 1 cup of any dried white beans overnight in a large bowl of water. Drain the water and add the beans to a cooking pot. Add 4 cups of water and 2 pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until soft and tender.
- Quick soaking method: Take the beans with water and bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and soak the beans with a pinch of baking soda for 2 hours. Drain the water and cook the beans as above.
- Slow Cooker: Take all the ingredients (except lemon juice, cornstarch, parsley and cheeses) in the slow cooker bowl. If using dried beans, add an extra cup of water or broth. Add seasonings to taste. Cover and cook for 4 to 5 hours at high setting or 7 hours or so at low setting. Stir in corn starch mixture in the last 30 minutes. Garnish with lemon juice, parsley and cheeses.
- Meal Prep: Chop the vegetables (except potato) and have them ready.
- Storage: You can refrigerate the soup for 4 to 5 days or freeze for couple months. Thaw and reheat, adding water to adjust consistency.
- Nutrition facts not including added salt.
- For more information on ingredients, variations, recipe FAQs and serving suggestions, scroll up the page to the blog post.