This Tuscan-inspired creamy cannellini bean soup makes the most out of just 6 simple pantry ingredients and it's ready in just 20 minutes!
This easy cannellini bean soup can be whipped up with just a handful of pantry ingredients, such as canned beans, garlic, and potatoes.
Fresh thyme and garlic will give this humble soup a nice kick of flavour, and you can add some red chili for some extra heat. A crazy flavourful soup that looks like you spent hours on it, but in fact, takes just 20 minutes to cook!
It's just a wonderful garlicky white bean soup that will warm your soul and fill you up on a cold rainy day. It’s hearty and rustic, and absolutely easy to make.
The cannellini, garlic, and thyme combo give it an immediate Tuscan vibe, and a swirl of good extra-virgin olive oil right at the end will highlight all those amazing ingredients, so don't skip it.
Serve it with crusty artisanal bread slices or cubes grilled to perfection, and you can call it a meal!
Just 6 Basic Ingredients
- Beans – Cannellini beans (also called white kidney beans) work wonderfully here with their creamy texture and delicate flavour. However, feel free to use any other kind of white beans you have on hand: navy beans, baby lima beans, or great northern beans will all work well.
I use jarred cannellini, which I find the taste better than the canned ones. You can use canned beans or start with dry beans and cook them yourself. Here's a helpful guide on how to cook dried cannellini beans.
- Garlic – I used a moderated amount of garlic for a mild garlicky flavour, but if you're a huge fan (and don't have to kiss anyone), then you can increase the quantity to 6 cloves.
- Thyme – fresh, dried, lemon thyme, they will all work well. Bear in mind that fresh thyme has lots more flavour than dried thyme, so consider adding a little more if you're going with dried thyme. If you're not a fan, you can substitute with fresh rosemary instead.
- Potatoes – For a super creamy and rich soup opt for floury and starchy potatoes such as russets potatoes.
- Stock /Broth – I like to use a delicate homemade vegetable broth (onion, carrot, ginger, celery, simmered for 20 minutes) for this soup but you can easily use chicken broth for more flavor. If you use commercial broth, try to go for organic low-sodium vegetable stock.
- Extra-virgin olive oil - For an Italian like me, high-quality EVOO is a must and will add so much flavour to your dishes, including this creamy soup. Opt for an extra-virgin olive oil that carries the DPO (or DOP) certification, preferably made with single-origin olives.
Optional extra ingredients
I like to keep it simple, but if you have some of the following ingredients at hand that need to be used up, feel free to toss them into the mix:
- carrots or onion, sautéed with the potatoes and garlic.
- Parma ham (prosciutto crudo) finely chopped or pancetta finely cubed, sautéed with the potatoes and garlic.
- prawns, grilled and served on top of the soup.
- kale or spinach leaves stirred in right at the end.
- lemon zest, just before serving for a citrusy note.
- red chili flakes - Totally optional, but if you want to give a kick of flavor, stir a generous pinch of red chili flakes into the soup whilst it cooks.
Cannellini Soup In 4 Simple Steps
This super creamy white kidney soup that's absolutely easy to prepare and requires minimum cooking skills.
Step 1. Start by heating the olive oil in a large pot, add potatoes and garlic and stir-fry for a few minutes, until they're starting to brown.
Step 2. Add the drained beans, followed by the thyme and red chili flakes (if using).
Step 3. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Step 4. Transfer ⅓ of the bean and potato mixture into a blender, using a slotted spoon. Blend, adding a ladle of stock from the pot at a time, until reaching the desired creamy consistency. Transfer the creamed beans mixture back into the pot and stir to combined all the ingredients. If you'd like your soup thicker, continue to simmer the soup on low heat until reaching the desired consistency.
Divide this delicious soup into bowls and serve with grilled croutons or grilled bread on top, fresh thyme leaves, and a swirl of good extra-virgin olive oil for extra flavour.
Fridge and Freezer Storing Tips
Making a big soup batch and store leftovers is always a fantastic idea!
Fridge: Transfer leftovers in an air-tight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Freezer: Transfer into a freezer-friendly air-tight container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More Soup Recipes To Try
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?
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Creamy Cannellini Soup with Garlic and Thyme
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 floury medium-sized potato (or two smalll ones) peeled and finely cubed
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 3 cans cannellini beans (15 ounces/425 g) drained
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 l hot vegetable stock
- sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1 tsp red chili pepper flakes, optional
- grilled bread or croutons
- Heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive in large pot over medium-low heat, add the cubed potato and garlic, and cook until they both begin brown, adding a splash of warm water if necessary.
- Add the drained beans, followed by the thyme and red chili flakes (optional), and cook, stirring for a couple of minutes.
- Pour in the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Transfer ⅓ of the bean and potato mixture into a blender, with the help of a slotted spoon. Blend on low speed, adding a ladle of stock from the pot at a time, until reaching the desired creamy consistency. Transfer the creamed beans mixture back into the pot and stir to combine. If you'd like your soup thicker, continue to simmer the soup on low heat until reaching the desired consistency.
- Divide the soup into bowls, swirl the remaining extra-virgin olive oil on top and sprinkle with extra fresh thyme leaves. Serve with grilled bread or croutons.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.