This creamy white bean soup is a bowl of cozy in your tummy. It’s soothing and vibrant at the same time. With a variety of simple vegetables like carrots, potatoes, chayote squash, mushrooms and spinach, it is easy and quick to make. It has a touch of intricate aroma from kaffir lime leaves, and a drizzle of truffle flavoured oil which is optional.
I love making this creamy white bean soup once in a while, among other soup recipes, because it’s cozy and refreshing, and just the right kind of soup at this time of the year to keep us warm and filled. It comes together in one pot and in about 40 minutes, saves time and less clean-up.
I do make soup year round, although the type of soup varies depending on the season. With the weather getting more chilly, I’m naturally making heartier soups these days. This white bean soup is lightly creamy and can be adapted to be either brothy or creamier to your liking.
This soup is really a keeper for its simplicity. I would enjoy it on a day where I’m feeling poorly, because it can be made with minimum effort, but it’s also soothing to the stomach.
Tips for making White Bean Soup
White beans. I usually cook the beans from dried and freeze them until I’m ready to use them in any dishes. If you are using dried beans, make sure to cook them beforehand. Else, you can also use canned beans that are drained and rinsed.
Vary the vegetables. I’ve used potatoes, carrots, chayote squash, mushrooms and spinach. No onions and garlic, although you may add these in if you consume them. Other suitable vegetables would be butternut squash, zucchini, celery, leek, parsnip, turnip, pumpkin…
Vegetable stock. Any of your favourite brands of bouillon cube or powder will do just fine. I like to add a little Better than Bouillon Seasoned Vegetable too for additional flavour, although you may leave this out and add another stock cube. If you have homemade vegetable stock on hand, you can certainly use that.
Kaffir lime leaves. I love kaffir lime leaves for their unique fragrance. They really add some refreshing depth to this soup. However, if you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute with bay leaves and a few drops of lemon juice.
Thickening the soup. I’ve used coconut milk as a creamy base for this soup. This makes it lightly creamy. You may also use cashew or soy milk. If you’d like it thicker, you may use an immersion blender to partly puree the soup.
Truffle flavoured oil. I love finishing this soup with a little drizzle of truffle flavoured oil. A little goes a long way, so don’t overdo it or it will ruin the taste. You may add this to the whole soup or in individual bowls when serving.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 thumb-size ginger root, minced or finely chopped
- 3 small potatoes, diced small
- 2 medium carrots, diced small
- 1 chayote squash, diced small
- 1 small onion, diced, optional
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, optional
- 10 - 12 white or cremini mushrooms, sliced, halved or quartered
- 5 - 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, or ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 - 4 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or dried
- ¼ teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary, finely chopped
- 800 g (4 cups) cooked navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube, or 1 teaspoon of powder
- ¾ teaspoon Better than Bouillon Seasoned Vegetable Base
- 240 ml (1 cup) canned coconut milk
- 500 ml (about 2 cups) water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 60 g (2 cups) packed chopped large spinach, or whole baby spinach leaves
- Few sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish
- A thin drizzle of truffle flavoured oil, for serving, optional
- Heat the oil in a medium-large (4-6 litres or quart) soup pot over medium heat. Add the potatoes to the pot and stir. Sauté the potatoes for about 5 minutes, then add the carrots, chayote squash and ginger. If you are using onions and garlic, you may add them at this stage. Continue to sauté until the potatoes are lightly browned, another 6 - 8 minutes.
- Next add the mushrooms, thyme, rosemary and kaffir lime leaves. Add the navy beans to the pot and stir. Add the vegetable bouillon cube/powder, Better than Bouillon, coconut milk and water to the pot and stir once more. Bring the soup to a boil.
- Then, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 8 - 10 minutes.
- After you’ve turned off the heat, if you’d like a creamier soup, partly puree the soup with an immersion blender, taking care not to splash any on you. You may also ladle the soup in a blender, process it to a puree then pour it back into the pot.
- Stir and then taste the soup. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Add the spinach to the pot, turn the heat back on to medium, and bring the soup to a boil. Once the spinach is slightly wilted and bright green, season the soup once more with salt and pepper, if you find it necessary. Stir in the chopped parsley. Drizzle with the truffle oil (about a teaspoon) into the pot or a few drops directly into serving bowls. Serve the soup hot.