Tuscan bean soup is a hearty, warming vegetarian soup with white beans, vegetables and leafy greens. It's perfect as a comforting meal on cold winter nights, or as a quick and easy dish to enjoy in the summer heat.
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Tuscan bean soup is one of those classic, easy, hearty soups that many of us have grown up with. It's basically a broth based soup with tomatoes, beans, vegetables and Italian seasoning. It's known as the pasta free version of minestrone soup, or Italian vegetable and bean soup.
For this recipe you will need canned or cooked cannellini beans, tinned diced tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and kale. You will also need vegetable or chicken stock, or alternatively water and stock cubes.
Additionally, you will need dried thyme, dried parsley, salt and pepper.
You can also replace any ingredients, or add any extra vegetables that you like. Feel free to experiment to find a soup that suits your family's preferences!
Prepare the ingredients by dicing the onion and garlic. Cut the carrots and celery into bite sized pieces, and drain and rinse the canned beans.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large stockpot on medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Then, add the finely diced garlic and sauté for another minute.
Bring the soup to a boil on medium to high heat, then bring it down to a simmer on medium heat. Leave it to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
Then, add washed and roughly chopped kale. Leave the kale to cook for a minute or two to allow it to wilt in the liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve the soup while it's hot.
💭 Top tips
Here are my top tips to make this recipe perfect:
- Don't rush the process by cooking the soup on high heat. You'll have far better results if you allow the flavors to gradually build, and the ingredients to slowly cook through.
- You can definitely treat this as a "whatever you have in the fridge" soup. Feel free to add any leftover vegetables that have to be used, or any leftover cooked meat you'd like to get rid of.
🥗 Serving suggestions
This soup is best served as a main course for lunch or dinner. I love to serve it as is, or with some good crusty or toasted bread.
You could also serve Tuscan bean soup as an appetizer. Keep in mind that you'll want to keep the serving size small, as the soup is quite filling.
Tuscan bean soup is known for being one of those soups where every family makes it slightly different based on their preferences. Although this recipe is excellent as is, you can definitely make some adjustments to suit your needs. Here are some of my favorite variations of the dish:
High protein: Add some cooked quinoa or extra beans to increase the protein content. You might have to add extra stock to make up for this, depending on how broth-y you want your soup to be.
Extra veggies: Feel free to add any extra vegetables if you like. Zucchini, peppers, broccoli, spinach and potatoes are excellent options, but you can literally add anything you want. This is a great way to increase your vegetable consumption!
Add meat: If you prefer to add meat to your soups, you can add any chunks of cooked meat. Try adding diced or shredded cooked chicken, meatballs, sliced sausage or diced beef.
Allergy friendly: This soup is already gluten free, dairy free, vegan, egg free, nut free and generally very allergy friendly. If you're allergic to any of the vegetables, these can easily be omitted. Check the nutritional labels on the ingredients you use to ensure that they comply with your dietary needs.
Tuscan bean soup often taste even better the next day! Here is how you can properly store the leftovers:
Storing: Store leftover Tuscan bean soup in a refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat it before serving.
Freezing: Allow the soup to chill completely, then freeze it in freezer safe containers for up to 6 months. Allow it to thaw in a refrigerator overnight, then reheat and serve.
Reheating: Reheat single portions of soup in a microwave for a few minutes. If you're reheating a large batch, it's easier to reheat it in a stockpot.
Making ahead: This soup is perfect as a make ahead meal or as a meal prep alternative. Cook the soup, then allow it to chill before transferring it to a refrigerator or freezer for storage.
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📋 Frequently asked questions
No. Cannellini beans are white kidney beans, and much smaller than butter beans. Both beans can be used in this recipe, although cannellini beans are more typical.
Yes! Kale and spinach are both excellent leafy greens to add to soups. Always add these towards the end of the cooking time, as they wilt down quickly.
Although there's no "correct" way to make a Tuscan bean soup, it's commonly served as a broth based soup with tomatoes, cannellini beans, carrots, onion, garlic, celery and a leafy green like kale. Some recipes also use other vegetables such as peppers, potatoes or zucchini.
Tuscan Bean Soup
- Prepare the ingredients by dicing the onion and garlic. Cut the carrots and celery into bite sized pieces, and drain and rinse the canned beans.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large stockpot on medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté for a few minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Then, add the finely diced garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add diced carrots and celery, and saute for 2-3 minutes to allow the vegetables to warm up slightly. Then, add the canned tomatoes, vegetable stock, thyme, parsley and beans (drained and rinsed).
- Bring the soup to a boil on medium to high heat, then bring it down to a simmer on medium heat. Leave it to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened.
- Then, add washed and roughly chopped kale. Leave the kale to cook for a minute or two to allow it to wilt in the liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste, then serve the soup while it’s hot.