Simply Delicious Italian Bean Soup Recipe (Try This Exciting Twist)

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Embark on a culinary odyssey to the rolling hills of Tuscany with this Italian Bean Soup, a rustic potage that captures the essence of the region. Start by sautéing onions and garlic in olive oil, stirring in chopped tomatoes and fragrant herbs like rosemary and basil. Introduce cannellini beans, letting them bathe in the rich tomato base. Add kale and a splash of vegetable stock, simmering until the greens are wilted and the flavors melded. Serve piping hot, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Parmesan, for a bowl that’s bellissimo!

Immerse yourself in the heart of Italian cuisine, where passion meets tradition. Our culinary journey today takes us to the rustic kitchens of Tuscany, exploring the delights of italian bean soup recipes, a warm, comforting concoction with a soul-stirring symphony of flavors. 

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Picture this: an artisanal blend of luscious cannellini beans simmered in a rich vegetable broth, intertwined with the aromatic allure of garlic and rosemary. Imagine the robust texture of the beans, harmoniously dancing with vibrant tomatoes, melting in your mouth with each spoonful. 

This soup encapsulates the essence of hearty, home-cooked Italian meals, a hug in a bowl for cool evenings. Embrace the wellness benefits of fiber-rich beans, a treasure trove of nutrients. 

Let’s delve into this quintessential Italian gem’s history, preparation, and tips. Be ready to soak in the rustic warmth of Italian Bean Soup, your passport to a delightful Tuscan gastronomic adventure.

What Is Italian Bean Soup?

Italian Bean Soup is a quintessential dish originating from Tuscany, a culinary marvel that weaves simplicity and robust flavors. 

It features cannellini beans as the star ingredient, slow-cooked in a rich vegetable broth, augmented with garlic, rosemary, and ripe tomatoes. The result is a comforting, hearty soup that mirrors the soul of Italian home cooking. 

Loaded with nutrients, it’s a healthful feast that delights taste buds, embodying the rustic charm of Italian cuisine. Truly, a bowl of this soup is akin to a warm Tuscan embrace.

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Can You Vary The Italian Bean Soup With Other Ingredients? 

Italian Bean Soup lends itself well to dietary variations. Here’s how you can adapt the recipe:

  • Keto Replace beans with low-carb vegetables like zucchini or cauliflower. Add protein sources like chicken or Italian sausage for a filling touch.
  • Paleo Similar to the keto version, replace beans with a mix of root vegetables like turnips or parsnips. Ensure all other ingredients, like broth and tomatoes, are Paleo-friendly.
  • Gluten-Free The traditional recipe is naturally gluten-free, but always verify each ingredient, especially if using store-bought broth or canned beans.
  • Whole30 You can make a Whole30-compliant soup by using compliant broth and canned tomatoes. As beans aren’t Whole30-approved, substitute them with other vegetables or lean meats.
  • Vegetarian/Vegan The classic recipe is typically vegetarian. To make it vegan, ensure the broth is plant-based. Tofu or tempeh could be a great addition to an added protein boost.
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Recipe Directions

  • Sauté celery, potato, and onion in oil in a Dutch oven until soft.
  • Add garlic, and cook for an additional minute.
  • Stir in broth, pesto, parsley, tomatoes, and beans. Bring to a boil.
  • Add pasta, stir well, cover, and simmer until pasta is soft (about 10-15 minutes).
  • Add spinach, and cook until wilted.
  • Serve hot, sprinkled with cheese.
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Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings

Variations And Add-Ons

  • Protein: Add cooked Italian sausage, pancetta, or chicken for an extra protein kick. For a vegetarian protein source, consider tofu or tempeh.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to incorporate other vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, or kale.
  • Grains: You can add grains like barley or farro for a heartier soup. Remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
  • Legumes: Swap cannellini beans with other varieties like chickpeas, lentils, or borlotti beans to experiment with different flavors and textures.


  • Cheese: Parmesan or Pecorino cheese dusting adds a salty, umami note. Vegans can use nutritional yeast for a similar effect.
  • Herbs: Freshly chopped basil, parsley, or even a dollop of pesto can add a fresh, vibrant note to the soup.
  • Crunch: Toasted bread crumbs, croutons, or crispy pancetta bits add a delightful crunch.
  • Spice: A sprinkle of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce can give the soup a spicy kick.
  • Oil: A final drizzle of good-quality extra-virgin olive oil enhances the richness of the soup.
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Can I Make Italian Bean Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Italian Bean Soup can easily be adapted to both slow cookers and Instant Pots. Here’s how:

Slow Cooker

  • Sauté the celery, potato, onion, and garlic in a pan until soft, then transfer to the slow cooker.
  • Add the broth, pesto, parsley, tomatoes, and pre-soaked beans to the slow cooker.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until the beans are tender.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, add the pasta and cook until tender.
  • Stir in the spinach until wilted, then serve with a dusting of cheese.

Instant Pot

  • Use the ‘Sauté’ function to sauté the celery, potato, onion, and garlic until soft.
  • Add the broth, pesto, parsley, tomatoes, and pre-soaked beans to the pot.
  • Seal the lid and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes, then let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes.
  • Release any remaining pressure, open the lid, and switch back to the ‘Sauté’ function.
  • Add the pasta and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the spinach until wilted, then serve with a dusting of cheese.
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Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

You can absolutely use store-bought broth for your Italian Bean Soup. Many quality brands offer flavorful broths that work well in recipes and can save you time. Look for low-sodium versions to control your dish’s salt level better.

However, if you have the time and ingredients, homemade broth can take your soup to another level. It’s a great way to utilize leftover bones and vegetable scraps, and you can adjust the flavors to your liking. Plus, homemade broth typically has less sodium and no additives or preservatives, making it a healthier option.

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How To Serve?

Italian Bean Soup is a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways to suit your taste:

  • Serve Warm: The soup is best enjoyed warm. Heat it over the stove before serving to ensure it’s at the perfect temperature.
  • Garnish: Top your soup with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and a dusting of grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese for added flavor. A drizzle of good-quality extra virgin olive oil can also provide a wonderful finishing touch.
  • Pair with Bread: A side of crusty Italian bread or a garlic breadstick accompanies the soup, adding a satisfying crunch and a way to sop up any remaining broth at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Accompany with Salad: A simple green salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette can balance the hearty, rich flavors of the soup, making for a well-rounded meal.
  • Wine Pairing: If you enjoy wine with your meals, a light-bodied white wine like a Pinot Grigio or a medium-bodied red like a Chianti can complement the flavors in the soup nicely.
  • Serve in Courses: If you’re planning a multiple-course meal, Italian Bean Soup makes a wonderful primo (first course), followed by a lighter second course.
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Perfect Side Dishes

Italian Bean Soup is a wholesome dish on its own, but pairing it with the right side dish can create a more well-rounded meal. Here are some suggestions:

  • Crusty Italian Bread: An absolute classic. Freshly baked Italian bread, such as ciabatta or focaccia, offers a delightful crunch and a perfect way to mop up any remaining soup.
  • Bruschetta: Tomato and basil bruschetta adds a light, fresh contrast to the hearty soup.
  • Green Salad: A simple salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a light vinaigrette can offer a refreshing counterpoint to the warm, rich soup.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Grilled or roasted vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, or asparagus can complement the earthy flavors in the soup.
  • Cheese Board: An assortment of Italian cheeses like mozzarella, provolone, or pecorino can add a rich, indulgent element to your meal.
  • Antipasto Platter: An assortment of Italian cured meats, cheeses, olives, and marinated vegetables can make a delightful accompaniment.
  • Garlic Bread: Another classic pairing, the savory garlic flavor pairs wonderfully with the soup.
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Storage And Make Ahead

  • Storage: Allow the soup to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezing: Italian bean soup freezes well. Portion it into freezer-safe containers, leaving some space for expansion, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • Reheating: To reheat, gently warm the soup on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Alternatively, microwave in short intervals, stirring in between, until heated through.
  • Make Ahead: This soup improves in flavor when made ahead. Prepare the soup as instructed, cool it down, and store it in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat before serving for a delicious, time-saving meal.
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What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Next Day Lunch: The flavors deepen over time, making it an ideal lunch the following day. Simply reheat and serve.
  • Pasta Sauce: Thicken your leftover soup overheat, and it transforms into a flavorful pasta sauce. Add cooked pasta, stir to combine, and top with cheese.
  • Bean Dip: Blend your leftovers into a smooth puree to make a hearty bean dip. It pairs great with bread or vegetable sticks.
  • Stuffed Peppers: Use the soup as a filling for bell peppers or tomatoes. Top with cheese, bake until soft and golden.
  • Layered Casserole: Layer the soup with tortillas and cheese in a casserole dish. Bake until bubbling and serve.
  • Risotto Base: The soup can make a flavorful base for risotto. Use it instead of broth to cook your rice.


  • Add Parmesan Rind: Adding a Parmesan rind while cooking adds a rich, savory flavor to the soup.
  • Use Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, and parsley add a burst of flavor. Add them towards the end of cooking for the best taste.
  • Add Aromatic Vegetables: Sauté onions, garlic, and carrots before adding other ingredients to enhance the soup’s depth of flavor.
  • Finish with Olive Oil: A drizzle of good-quality extra virgin olive oil just before serving adds a luxurious finish to the soup.
  • Adjust Seasoning: Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving. Sometimes a little extra salt or a squeeze of lemon juice can make a big difference.
  • Serve with Crusty Bread: A side of crusty bread is perfect for dipping into the soup and soaking up all the delicious flavors.

Simply Delicious Italian Bean Soup Recipe (Try This Exciting Twist)

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Recipe by Hanna Barnes Course: Soup Recipe


Prep time


Cooking time





Indulge in the warmth and flavors of Italian Bean Soup. This hearty recipe combines cannellini beans, fresh vegetables, and aromatic herbs simmered in a savory chicken broth. 

Ingredients List

  • 1 1 Medium Onion (Thinly Sliced)

  • 1 1 Small Potato (Peeled And Finely Chopped)

  • 1 1 Celery Rib (Chopped)

  • 2 tbsp 2 Olive Oil

  • 3 3 Garlic Cloves (Minced)

  • 14 oz 14 Reduced-Sodium Chicken Broth

  • 15 oz 15 Cannellini Beans

  • 14 oz 14 Italian Stewed Tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Minced Fresh Parsley

  • 1 tbsp 1 Prepared Pesto

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Uncooked Orzo Pasta

  • 1 cup 1 Fresh Baby Spinach

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 Grated Romano Cheese

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Gather your ingredients. You’ll need celery, a potato, an onion, garlic, broth (vegetable or chicken), pesto, fresh parsley, ripe tomatoes, canned or soaked and cooked beans, pasta of choice, fresh spinach, and cheese for serving.
  • Cooking Directions
    Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat and add oil.
    Once the oil is heated, add the diced celery, potato, and onion. Sauté these ingredients until they become soft and translucent, which should take around 7-10 minutes.
    Add the minced garlic and cook for a minute longer until aromatic, stirring to prevent burning.
    Pour in the broth, then stir in the pesto, chopped parsley, diced tomatoes, and beans. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
    Once boiling, add the pasta. Stir well to ensure it’s distributed evenly.
    Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer until the pasta is al dente, which should take about 10-15 minutes.
  • Blending (Optional)
    If you prefer a creamier texture, you can blend part of the soup using an immersion blender. Blend until you achieve the desired consistency, then return the blended soup to the pot and mix well.
  • Final Touches and Serving
    Stir in the fresh spinach and cook just until wilted about 1-2 minutes.
    Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with a dusting of cheese. Serve warm.
  • Additional Options
    For a protein boost, consider adding cooked sausage or chicken.
    Vegan or dairy-free? Skip the cheese or use a plant-based alternative.
    A pinch of red pepper flakes can add a nice kick if you like it spicy.
  • Large Pot Or Dutch Oven
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Ladle
  • Cheese Grater


  • Feel free to customize the Italian Bean Soup by adding your favorite vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, or bell peppers.
  • You can use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth for a vegetarian version.
  • Adjust the seasoning according to your taste preferences. You can add more garlic, herbs, or spices to enhance the flavor.
  • To make the soup creamier, you can blend a portion and add it back to the pot.
  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. The flavors tend to develop further over time, making it even more delicious when reheated.
  • Serve the Italian Bean Soup with crusty bread or a side salad for a complete and satisfying meal.
  • Don’t forget to garnish each serving with a sprinkle of grated Romano cheese and a drizzle of olive oil for an extra touch of flavor.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled or halved depending on the number of servings you need.
  • If you prefer a thicker soup, add more orzo pasta or adjust the amount of broth accordingly.
  • Enjoy the soup hot and savor the comforting flavors that will transport you to the heart of Italy.

Nutrition Table 

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