This is an easy, healthy, Italian bean soup recipe.
Growing up Italian I have to admit a bit of prejudice here but I have always found Italian soups to be very tasty and extremely healthy.
They are always filled with super healthy ingredients like garlic, onions, tomatoes and fresh herbs.
A Healthy Soup
This bean soup recipe is filled with healthy vegetables, white beans and both dried and fresh herbs for flavor and an extra health bonus.
Herbs are so healthy for us, the more you can use them in your cooking the better. Always remember, if the herb is dried, add it early in the cooking process so it flavors the dish as it cooks.
If the herb you are using is fresh, it is best to add it in at the end of the cooking time. It adds it fresh flavor, while still maintaining it’s nutritional value.
Cannellini beans are simply white kidney beans. You can replace them with another white bean of your choice if you prefer. I love the cannellini beans in a soup. They add a nice flavor and a wonderful richness, while still staying healthy.
Italian Vegetable Bean Soup Recipe
- 1 3/4 cups dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight or 2 large cans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 28 ounces canned tomatoes
- 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons crushed, dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes, or to taste
- 4 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock
- 1 cup dry pasta
- 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped fresh
- 3 tablespoons basil, chopped fresh
- salt and pepper
- Drain the soaked beans. Rinse the beans and put them into a large pot. Generously cover the beans with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 90 minutes or until tender, adding more water as necessary. Remove from the heat. (Or simply use a large can of white kidney beans.)
- In a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, or until it is beginning to soften. Add the celery and carrot and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic, chicken or vegetable stock, rosemary, bay leaves, sage and chili flakes. Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Drain the cooked beans, reserving some of the liquid. Add the beans to the vegetable mixture, adding some of the bean water or plain water if you used canned beans, if needed. Bring it all to a boil, skimming off any foam that forms if necessary. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Stir in the parsley and basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. If needed, you can add more of the reserved bean liquid to make a thick consistency.
If you don’t want to go through the bother or haven’t got the time to soak and boil the beans you can simply substitute 2 large cans of cannellini beans. It cuts down the cook time by 90 minutes and makes this a 30 minute meal. It’s what I do.