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Italian White Bean Soup {vegan, oil-free, high protein}

This fast & easy easy Italian white bean soup is cozy, comforting & delicious! It is also vegan, oil-free, high in protein, & super frugal.

overhead shot of bean soup in a brown bowl with a floral napkin alongside

Long before I had any specific thoughts or preferences about beans in general, I loved bean soup.

Not just any bean soup, but Campbell’s bean and bacon soup. It was the condensed variety, in the red and white can and had to be mixed with a can-ful of water (no easy task–it emerged from the can as a stiff, homogenous blob). Nevertheless, I thought it delicious, filling, and all around grand. 

Bean soups still top my list of favorites, and this one–Italian White Bean Soup–is no exception. If you are looking for a simple, hearty, comforting vegan soup (I, for one, need simple, hearty and comforting recipes all winter long), that can be made in less than 30 minutes, this is one to bookmark.

The Soup Is…

  • Vegan 
  • High in protein
  • High in fiber
  • Oil-free
  • Gluten-free & grain-free
  • Frugal
  • Fast & easy to make

a brown bowl filled with white bean and spinach soup

The Ingredients You Will Need

This is quintessential peasant soup, loaded with vegetables and rich with the aforementioned beans. In addition to water, you will need the following:

  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 1 cup chopped peeled carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  •  salt & pepper
  • 3 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 3 cups packed spinach leaves

The only required labor of any consequence for making this soup is chopping the onions, carrots, and celery. Feel free to let a food processor, partner, roommate, or resident teenager do the work for you.

I decided to veer into the easy lane with the garlic, using garlic powder in place of fresh. I am a garlic aficionado, but sometimes I want to skip the fuss of peeling and mincing (especially when I just want to get dinner going). If you prefer fresh garlic, I’ve got you covered in the notes section of the recipe.

Also in the recipe notes is an option for using homemade cooked beans. I finally started using the InstaPot I received for Christmas three years ago (I know, what is my deal? I think I was afraid of a kitchen explosion). I especially love cooking beans in a fraction of the time. In general, you will need 1 and 1/2 cups of drained beans for each 15 ounce can of beans.

ingredients for white bean soup on a wood board

How to Make It

Step One: Soften the Vegetables

The vegetables in the soup are softened by using a small amount of water in place of oil. Place 1/4 cup water in a large soup pan. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat and then add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook and stir for 7 to 8 minutes until the vegetables are softened.

If you prefer, you can soften the vegetable in several teaspoons of your preferred cooking oil.

Step Two: Add the Aromatics

Once the vegetables are softened, add the herbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook and stir for 1 minute longer.

2 picture collage of vegetables being sauteed

Step Three: Add the Water & Beans

Add 6 cups of water and all but 1 cup of the beans. to the pan. Using a fork, mash the reserved cup of beans and add to the soup. This is an easy trick for thickening soup without an extended cooking time, or the additions of cream or a flour-based roux

white beans being mashed on a small wood cutting board

Step Four: Simmer 

Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes.

Step Five: Add the Spinach

Add the spinach leaves and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until wilted. Taste the soup and add more salt and pepper (or garlic powder) to taste.

a large amount of spinach being added to a pot of soup

Optional Final Flourishes

You can serve and spoon, sip or slurp the soup straightaway! If you like you can add a few finishing touches, depending on what you like.

Stir-Ins

  • A splash of lemon juice or vinegar (the acidity brightens and heightens the flavors)
  • A tablespoon of tomato paste (stir in before adding the spinach leaves; it instantly deepens the flavors)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can drained petite-diced tomatoes (add during the final 5 minutes of simmering)

Sprinkles

  • Vegan Parmesan cheese (if you are not vegan, use regular Parmesan)
  • Chopped fresh herbs (e.g., parsley or basil)
  • Thinly sliced green onions or minced red onion

white bean and spinach soup in a brown pottery bowl

If you try the soup and like it, I would love to hear about it (don’t forget to leave a rating). And I always love seeing your pictures of recipes you have made from powerhungry on Instagram. Happy cooking!

close up of a bowl of Italian white bean soup in a brown bowl with a spoon inserted

More Easy Vegan Soups to Try

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overhead shot of bean soup in a brown bowl with a floral napkin alongside

Italian White Bean Soup {vegan, oil-free, high protein}


  • Author: Camilla
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 28
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This fast & easy Italian white bean soup is cozy, comforting & delicious! It is also vegan, oil-free, high in protein, & super frugal.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) water
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped peeled carrots (about 2 large carrots)
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (more or less, to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (more or less, to taste)herbs.
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) water
  • 3 15-oz (425 g) cans white beans, rinsed and drained (see note)
  • 3 cups (100 g) packed spinach leaves

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pan, bring the 1/4 cup water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery. Cook and stir for 7 to 8 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
  2. Add the herbs, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook and stir for 1 minute longer.
  3. Add the 6 cups of water and all but 1 cup of the beans. Mash the reserved cup of beans and add to the soup.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until wilted. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings, as desired. Serve!

Notes

Storage: Store cooled leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to 6 months.

Beans: Any variety of white beans can be used in the recipe (e.g, navy, cannellini, Great Northern). If using homemade cooked beans, you will need 3.5 cups (780 g) drained beans.

Garlic: If you prefer fresh garlic, use 4 teaspoons minced fresh garlic in place of the garlic powder, Add it, along with the herbs, in step 2 of the recipe.

Optional Finishes for the Soup:

Stir-Ins

  • A splash of lemon juice or vinegar (the acidity brightens and heightens the flavors)
  • A tablespoon of tomato paste (stir in before adding the spinach leaves; it instantly deepens the flavors)
  • 1 14.5 ounce can drained petite-diced tomatoes (add during the final 5 minutes of simmering)

Sprinkles

  • Vegan Parmesan cheese (if you are not vegan, use regular Parmesan)
  • Chopped fresh herbs (e.g., parsley or basil)
  • Thinly sliced green onions or minced red onion
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 and 1/2 cups (425 mL)
  • Calories: 172
  • Sugar: 2.9 g
  • Sodium: 278 mg
  • Fat: 0.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 36.8 g
  • Fiber: 14.2 g
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Bean soup, vegan soup, vegan soup, fitness food, clean eating, clean eats, oil-free, oil- free vegan, gluten-free, high protein, vegan protein, plant based, dairy-free, plant protein, healthy soup, grain-free, frugal, easy recipe, Italian, Italian soup, beans, legumes

 

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