Tuscan bean soup is a healthy and comforting cool weather soup. White beans are simmered in broth with fresh rosemary, garlic and kale in this nutritious, easy to make classic soup. Directions for both dried and canned beans included!
When the weather starts getting chilly is there anything more comforting and life giving than a bowl of hot soup?? This Tuscan bean soup is one of the soup recipes I reach for continually year after year. It’s easy to make, healthy, budget friendly and family friendly so it definitely ticks all of the right boxes – and the best part is there’s a good chance that you might even have all the ingredients on hand already.
Tuscan Bean Soup
I have seen many different variations of Tuscan bean soup. Some include tomatoes, some puree half the beans for a thicker consistency and some include more vegetables, such as zucchini.
In my version, I keep it as simple and flavourful as possible – no tomatoes, no pureeing, and no zucchini.
I make this soup from dried beans when I have a bit more time because I prefer the flavour of them, but I also use canned beans when I am in a pinch so I’ve included the directions for making this bean soup from both.
Why you’re going to love this soup!
- It’s very flexible. Have some broccoli, green beans, or zucchini hanging around? They’ll taste great in this soup.
- The pancetta gives the soup a nice flavour, but it’s not necessary, so omitting it and swapping out the chicken broth for veggie brothgives you a great plant based soup
- Using dried beans is fuss free and just requires a bit of planning, but swapping for canned beans gets dinner on the table in about 30 minutes
How to make Tuscan Bean Soup
For dried beans:
If you are going to use dried beans, you need to plan ahead a bit and soak the beans before you cook them. Soaking the beans helps to remove some of the indigestible sugars from the beans (which cause gas), but I also find that giving the beans a presoak helps them to keep a nice shape when they cook.
To soak the beans place them in a large bowl and fill the bowl with water until the beans are covered by a couple of inches then just leave them on the counter until the next day.
To cook your soaked beans, drain them then place them in a large pot, cover with water again by a couple of inches and then place a quartered onion along with a couple of bay leaves into the pot. Season the water with sea salt then bring to a boil.
When the pot is boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the beans are tender.
For the Soup:
Saute the diced pancetta in a large soup pot until it browns.
Add the diced celery, onion, carrot, crushed garlic and rosemary sprigs then saute for a couple of minutes.
Add the chicken stock and cooked beans to the pot, bring it to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes before adding the chopped kale and cooking for a further 10 minutes.
Serve the soup garnished with parsley and parmesan cheese.
Dietary Considerations and Accommodations
This recipe for Tuscan bean soup is suitable for the following diets:
- vegan and vegetarian (omit the pancetta and swap the chicken stock for veggie stock)
- gluten free
- dairy free (omit parmesan garnish)
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Tuscan Bean Soup
- 1.5 cups dried canelli beans
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 200 g black kale 8-10 leaves, about a bunch
- 1 large carrot diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1-2 sprigs rosemary
- 150 g pancetta diced
- parsley and parmesan cheese to garnish
- Soak the beans in a large bowl of water overnight.
- Cook the soaked beans in a large pot of salted water with a quartered onion and 2 bay leaves for 30 minutes.
- Sautee the pancetta in a large soup pot until it browns. Add the onion, carrot and celery along with the garlic and rosemary and parsley then sweat for a few minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and cooked beans. bring the pot to a boil then simmer for 20 mins before adding the kale and cooking for another 10 minutes.