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Overhead shot of white bean soup in a glazed bowl with parsley and white beans and a green napkin around it.
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5 from 10 votes

Garlicky White Bean Soup

This creamy and garlicky white bean soup is as easy to make as it is delicious, healthy and hearty. Garlic is a great herb to eat during the winters, and it shines as the key flavoring ingredient in this soup. Rosemary stirs in a nicely complementary and smoky flavor. The soup is made with pantry ingredients and is soy-free, nut-free and gluten-free.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 203kcal


  • 1 Blender or immersion blender (optional)


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic (1 head, crushed or pressed through a garlic press)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • 4 stalks celery (finely chopped)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons rosemary (Use 1 to 2 tablespoons if using fresh rosemary. Add 1 teaspoon or tablespoon at first and add more if you prefer)
  • 30 ounces white beans (two 15-oz cans, all liquid drained. Or 1 cup dry white beans, cooked. Reserve cooking stock)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoon parsley (chopped, for garnish)


  • Heat the olive oil and crushed garlic together in a large pot over medium low heat.
  • When the garlic begins to smell fragrant and turns lightly blonde, add the bay leaves.
  • Stir in the onions and celery along with a generous pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Saute until the onions turn soft, about three to four minutes. Don't let them brown.
  • Stir in the rosemary.
  • Add the white beans with 2 cups of cooking stock (if you cooked the beans yourself) or water or vegetable stock. Mix well, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer and cook 10 minutes for the flavors to meld together.
  • At this point, you can remove a cup of the soup to a blender and blend it into a smooth puree before returning it to the pot. This step is optional but it makes a really creamy soup. You can also just mash a few beans in the pot with a ladle.
  • Add another cup of water or vegetable stock if the soup looks too thick. You can make this as soupy or stewy as you wish.
  • Add salt and pepper as needed. Turn off heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Garnish with parsley and serve.


  • You can make this soup with any white bean, including navy beans (which I used), cannellini beans, great northern beans or lima beans. Use black beans for a differently delicious dish.
  • You can add more veggies to this soup, if you like, to make it even healthier. Chop up some carrots and add them with the celery and onions. Or add bell peppers or zucchini.
  • Make this soup as thick or thin as you wish. I use about three cups of water in total, but you can use less if you like a stewy consistency, and more if you like the soup soupier. Wait until you have finished adding all the other ingredients and the soup has cooked before you thin it out. Always remember to adjust seasoning after adding more water and make sure you bring the soup back to a boil.
  • You can replace the rosemary in the recipe with sage, which will be just as delicious, or thyme. All are strong herbs, so add less to begin with and then add more if you prefer.
  • The lemon juice adds a pop of freshness and deliciousness to finish the soup so make sure you add it.
  • Serve the soup with an optional drizzle of olive oil or garnish with some vegan parmesan cheese.


Calories: 203kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 31mg | Potassium: 771mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 236IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 5mg