Mediterranean White Bean Soup

5 from 662 votes

Try this vegan Mediterranean White Bean Soup for lunch or dinner. It's a quick gluten free soup recipe that's filled with vegetables and plant-based protein

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If you’re looking for more vegan soup recipes that are going to fill you up and give you energy, this Mediterranean White Bean Soup is definitely one to try! It’s a super easy recipe to make with no fancy ingredients or complicated steps. And you can use canned white beans to make it even faster and easier.

Close up shot of white bean soup topped with parmesan cheese with a spoon inside bowl

It’s a hearty vegan soup with 15 grams of protein per serving, thanks to those powerhouse beans! The white beans are the essence of the soup because they are naturally creamy, making the soup rich without adding any dairy.

What ingredients do you need for white bean soup

  • White beans: This is the base of the recipe so you’ll need 3 15-ounce cans of white beans. You can use navy beans, cannellini beans, Great Northern beans or any white beans. You can make this though with other types of beans or even chickpeas if you’d like. For convenience purposes, I use canned beans. However you can start with dried beans and soak them overnight instead.
  • Onions, carrots, & celery: This forms the mirepoix of the soup base, which is essentially the aromatics that flavor this soup and many others.
  • Garlic: Minced garlic or garlic paste, fresh garlic or frozen garlic, it all works in this white bean soup so you can use what you have. I love freezing garlic and using it in soups or other recipes that require cooking.
  • Vegetable Broth: Look for one made with simple minimal ingredients. You can use low sodium or regular. If you use low-sodium, you may need to add more salt.
  • Herbs: Fresh or dried work here. If you’re using fresh, you’ll want about 2 tablespoons total compared to 2 teaspoons total for dried. Since it’s a Mediterranean white bean soup, I think thyme and oregano work really well with the flavors.
  • Spinach (optional): You can use other greens too like kale or collard greens.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional): This is for topping at the end, but you can leave it out to keep it vegan.
Ingredients to make Mediterranean white bean soup

How to make white bean soup

This is a pretty standard recipe starting with the mirepoix: mix of onions, carrots and celery. You’ll want to add the herbs pretty early on so they can help flavor the soup from the get-go. Cook until the vegetables start to soften, about 5-7 minutes.

Collage showing steps to make white bean soup - saute onions, then add carrots and celery

Next add the vegetable broth and the white beans and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The vegetables will continue to get tender and the soup will thicken.

Collage showing steps to make white bean soup - add the broth then simmer

Finally, add some fresh baby spinach or frozen chopped spinach, and mix it around until it wilts. This adds more nutrients to the white bean soup and also makes it more hearty.

Collage showing steps to make white bean soup - showing before and after adding the spinach

And in about half an hour, this white bean soup is done and ready to be served. When the beans sit longer in the soup, the broth will thicken, so you can always add more water if it gets too thick. And if it’s not thick enough for your preference, you can use an immersion blender to blend the beans into the broth, which will thicken it.

Completed Mediterranean White Bean Soup after cooking in a large pot

You can enjoy the soup right away or let it sit for a while so it gets more creamy and thick.

Two bowls of white bean soup on a white surfact

Tips for making white bean soup

  1. Add more vegetables. What makes this such a great easy soup recipe is its flexibility. Aside from onions, carrots and celery, it’s very popular to add fresh tomatoes or canned diced tomatoes to this recipe. I love the color of the vegetable broth and prefer keeping the tomatoes out of the recipe. You can also add zucchini, mushrooms, potatoes or peas.
  2. Allow the beans to simmer with the broth. Since the canned beans are already cooked, it may seem unnecessary to add them to the soup until the very end. However, they actually absorb all the flavors of the soup, and soften to lend a creaminess to the soup. So make sure to add them when the broth goes in.
  3. Stir the soup while it simmers. The canned white beans are very tender so they naturally make the soup thicker. But if you stir the soup and slightly mash the beans with a wooden spoon occasionally, it helps to break them down a bit more.
  4. Make it extra creamy by stirring in some cashew milk. This is optional but adds a rich and creamy flavor to the soup while still keeping it vegan.
Mediterranean white bean soup in a large white bowl

Frequently asked questions

Can I use dry beans?

Yes, you can use dry beans, but I would recommend making them in advance and then adding to the soup. For 3 cans of beans, I recommend 2 ¼ cups dried beans. You can cook them in an instant pot or on the stove according to package instructions.

Can I freeze the white bean soup?

Yes, this soup freezes very well, so you can certainly make a big batch and freeze them for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing in individual portions for easier thawing.

For more vegetarian soup recipes:

This Mediterranean white bean soup is the perfect comfort food for cold winter days. It’s a thick hearty soup that’s vegan, gluten-free and absolutely tasty! I love that it has a rich taste that works as a side soup or a complete dinner option with 15 grams of protein per serving!

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Mediterranean White Bean Soup recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Mediterranean White Bean Soup

Try this vegan Mediterranean White Bean Soup for lunch or dinner. It's a quick gluten free soup recipe that's filled with vegetables and plant-based protein
5 from 662 votes
Servings 6 servings
Course Soup
Calories 295
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 1 celery rib chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 15-ounces canned white beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Fresh parsley for serving
  • Grated parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

  • In a large pot or saucepan, heat olive over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add vegetable broth and beans, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes to combine all of the flavors together.
  • Stir in the spinach and continue to simmer until the spinach wilts, about 2 minutes
  • Remove from heat, sprinkle fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve immediately.

Video

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 4-5 days in the fridge.
Freezing Instructions: You can also freeze the soup for up to 3 months. I recommend freezing it individual portions for easier thawing. To re-heat, thaw in the fridge overnight and microwave until heated through. Or simply microwave straight from the freezer until heated through.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However you can omit some vegetables as you see fit and add others you enjoy.
Nutritional Data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use. 

Nutrition

Calories: 295kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 17g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 415mg, Potassium: 1092mg, Fiber: 12g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 2650IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 182mg, Iron: 7mg

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Mediterranean white bean soup in a large white bowl

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Comments

  1. Really tasty – I cooked it for a bit longer, and mashed it up a bit as you suggested, and it was really easy to digest. I normally get stomach ache from bean soups so this is a winner, thank you. x

  2. Nice soup! Very hearty and healthy. I cooked white beans in the instant pot to use in this soup. Since they were cooked in salt I should have cut down on the salt in the soup because it was too salty. Lemon juice and parsley helped that. Next time I’ll use my bean broth instead of veggie broth.

  3. I made this tonight wasn’t feeling well and it came together easy and I thought taste like one of the Olive Gardens soups even better thanks we will be making this more

    1. Hi! In the post, I state “Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional): This is for topping at the end, but you can leave it out to keep it vegan.”

  4. Oh yum! I had some cans of Navy beans that I wanted to use up and discovered this recipe. I didn’t have all of the exact ingredients – used the carrot, celery, onion, and broth. Added a parsnip that I had and a few tiny potatoes, quartered. Threw in some frozen peas and a 5 oz can of evaporated milk at the end – then some arugula because I didn’t have spinach. We loved it. I’ll add even more vegetables next time!

  5. For some reason I had been really craving a white bean soup. So I did some research and tried this recipe which looked simple and quick, I used canned beans. Since I like spicy food I did add two cans of Rotel tomatoes diced. Since I am not vegan I also added some Italian sausage that I happen to have on hand. It really spiced up the soup and made it quite Hardy. The only mistake I think I made was in adding too much spinach. For my taste I would leave it out next time. I plan to make this soup again this week. And a good crusty bread to go with it will be delicious

    1. I’m glad you came across this recipe and enjoyed it! You can definitely customize it to your liking like that. Pairing it with some bread is a great idea!

    2. Absolutely delish!! This is my second time making it for my daughter and I we love it no complaints here!😁 and yes it’s a reminder of one of olive garden’ s 🍲 will definitely make again and again especially on a cold rainy day BRAVO 👏

  6. This was surprisingly good for a simple soup! Bonus that it is also economical. The quantities of vegetables, beans, and liquid is easily adapted and forgiving to suit tastes; just make sure you add enough salt to bring out the flavour. I used a stock paste so was able to keep liquid volume low for a rich soup. Great touch with the wilted greens and Parmesan, but I highly recommend having with a freshly toasted crusty bit of quality bread! Will definitely be making again. Thank you.

  7. Nice recipe, thank you. I squeezed half a lemon into the soup at the end. It brought out the individual flavors and brightened the appearance. I also used my hand blender stick and mashed some of the beans. My 11 year old son loved it. Score.

    1. I made this tonight wasn’t feeling well and it came together easy and I thought taste like one of the Olive Gardens soups even better thanks we will be making this more

  8. It is a delicious soup. I added one can of butter beans and two cans of cannellini beans, which gave it interest with two different sizes of beans, also added small can of corn which gave it a nice crunch. At the last minute I also added about a quarter cup of Datilini pasta.

    It was then good and more hearty for the men in the house.

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