20 December 2010

Garlicky White Bean Soup with Basil

Yumm. This is probably the best soup I've ever made.  And, I had no help with this one.  Sometimes, I like to get online and mash together a few recipe ideas to make my own unique recipe out of the mix.  But, this one is all me.  It was a very cold day and I didn't feel like going anywhere, which also meant no trip to the grocery store.  So, I made do with what I had in my cupboard.  And, in my cupboard were 2 cans of cannellini beans and some vegetable broth.  What is a girl to do with that?  Make soup, of course.

I also had some fresh basil on hand after making yesterday's veggie pasta, so I put it to work in today's soup.  If you've been visiting my blog, you may have noticed that nearly every savory meal I make has garlic in it, so this soup would not be complete without a healthy dose of it.  If I had been feeling particularly adventurous, I would have roasted the garlic in my oven before adding it to the soup.  But, I was no such thing, so I just sauteed it with the onion and carrot.

Now, I recommend pureeing most of the beans in the broth because it helps thicken the soup.  I also reserve some whole beans because I can't eat just pureed soup. I need texture when I eat. But, if you like pureed foods, feel free to puree it all.

Now, on to the recipe. This makes about 3 large bowls.

  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 5 large-ish cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, julienned and then diced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp coriander powder
  • salt and pepper (I used kind of a lot of pepper)
  • 2 shakes of red pepper flakes
  • handful fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • 2 TB or less olive oil
  1. Place the broth and 1 1/2 cans of beans into the blender or food processor and puree. Then set aside.
  2. In a stock pot (I used my enameled cast iron pot), heat the olive oil over medium heat.  After the oil has heated for 3-ish minutes, add the carrots and the onion and and the spices (but not the basil). Let cook about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent or nearly so.
  3. Add in the garlic and cook 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  4. Add the pureed bean and broth mixture. Stir everything together and let simmer and bubble a bit for about 25 minutes. This will thicken up the soup-- but don't boil it. Turn the heat down if it starts to boil.  You will want to stir and make sure nothing is burning to the bottom of the pan about every 5 minutes.  After about 15 minutes, I stirred in the rest of the beans (whole).
  5. Adjust your seasonings and in the last 4-5 minutes or so, add in the fresh basil.
I meant to make some garlicky croutons out of some diced french bread, but I completely forgot. So, I used some oyster crackers and they were quite tasty.  I think the soup would be delicious with any sort of toasted bread.


  1. This looks like a GREAT recipe! (I've been waiting for it since you tweeted it yesterday!) I'll definitely have to give it a try.

  2. Thank you JL! It really is very, very tasty! I can't wait to munch the leftovers for lunch today :)
    I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.