Cannellini Bean Soup

Quick & flavorful soups are a staple in our house! And this comforting cannellini bean soup is one we love and eat on repeat. It’s lightly creamy in consistency and layered with flavor. It takes less than 10 ingredients to prepare and only 30 minutes to cook!

Bowls of cannellini bean soup arranged on a tan background with a dark blue napkin arranged around them.

If you’re unfamiliar with this humble bean, cannellini beans (also known as white kidney beans) are popular in the southern region of Italy for soups, stews, and even salads! One of the reasons I love to use them in recipes is their creamy texture and nutty flavor.

In this specific recipe, these beans shine as the main ingredient!

The result is surprisingly filling, and deep flavors are infused throughout each bite without needing hours of simmering time! It’s a quick soup to whip up and is simply divine in every way.

When I made this soup for my husband, he said it was a dish he could eat every day and be happy. And although we don’t plan on eating this soup every day, I wouldn’t complain either if we had to!

Key Ingredients

The amount of flavor in this soup is so impressive and it’s achieved by using less than 10 ingredients! You’ll need a healthy mixture of pantry staples and fresh produce.

Besides olive oil and salt & pepper, here is the full list of ingredients needed

Cannellini beans: make sure they are cooked, rinsed thoroughly, and drained!
Carrots: for a sweet taste and a pop of color!
Onion & garlic: yellow onion and fresh garlic are always needed to flavor a good soup.
Fresh sage & rosemary: so much flavor is infused into this soup by using whole fresh herbs to simmer in the soup while it cooks. I do not recommend swapping for dried herbs!
Broth: a quality vegetable broth is used for the base – low sodium is best so you can adjust the salt level yourself.
Garlic powder: on top of fresh garlic, I love to add additional garlic powder to layer more flavor into the soup. It’s a simple ingredient but one you can’t skip!
Parmesan cheese rind: one of the key ingredients in this soup is using a parmesan rind to simmer with the soup. This is the hard outer shell of parmesan cheese that will not melt but soften while it cooks with the soup! It infuses a TON of flavor and is my secret ingredient for so many delicious soup recipes.
Red pepper flakes: for a small kick of heat! (I promise it’s not spicy at all).

How to Make Cannellini Bean Soup

1

First, saute the aromatics! In a large pot with olive oil, saute the onion and carrot until soft (about 3-4 minutes) with a pinch of salt. Then add the minced garlic, fresh sage, and red pepper flakes and saute with the onions & carrots for about 30 seconds.

2

Next, add the remaining ingredients. Then add the beans, parmesan rind, garlic powder, and broth into the same pot. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt & generous pinch of black pepper.

A collage of two photos showing how to make cannellini bean soup. The first photo is showing sauteed diced vegetables in a pot with a wooden spoon. Then second photo next to it is broth being poured into a pot with beans and a parmesan rind in it.
3

Cook the soup. Next, cover the pot and let the soup cook on a gentle simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4

Remove some of the soup to blend. When the soup is finished simmering, remove the fresh herbs and parmesan rind with a fork or tongs. Then use a measuring cup to scoop out about 2 1/2 cups of soup from the pot and transfer it to a blender.

A collage of two photos showing how to cook cannellini bean soup. The first photo is a wooden spoon in a pot of ingredients for soup. The second photo is a hand holding a measuring cup full of soup over the pot of soup.

5

Blend it! Then, blend the soup that was divided for about 5-10 seconds at high speed or until creamy.

6

Add the blended soup to the unblended soup. Then pour the blended soup back into the pot with the rest of the soup, and stir together. If you would like to soup to be thicker, you can place it back on the stovetop after this and simmer it uncovered for 10 minutes. When ready to serve, taste and add additional salt if needed – then serve!

A collage of two photos showing how to blend soup for cannellini bean soup. The first photo is showing creamy soup in a blender container. The second photo is showing the same blended soup being poured into a pot of soup.

Tips for Success

Beans to use. I like to use cooked cannellini beans that have been soaked overnight because they’re easier on digestion – this is my favorite brand to use. And even though this soup is specifically for cannellini beans, you can also use white navy beans, northern beans, or garbanzo beans too.

Fresh herbs are best! For this soup specifically, I recommend using whole fresh herbs for the best flavor! Dried herbs will not work the same nor have the same bright flavor.

Ways to blend the soup. I like to blend part of the soup in a high-powered Vitamix blender, but you can use any blender or even a food processor. If you’d like to use a hand immersion blender in the pot, pulse a few times in the soup until about half the ingredients are creamy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a parmesan cheese rind? (And why we love to use them!) If you’re unfamiliar with this ingredient, a rind is a protective layer that forms on the wheel of parmesan cheese.  Rather than throwing the rind away after the cheese has been grated, I save the rind and toss it into Italian soups, stews, and sauces! It doesn’t melt, but becomes soft and infuses rich parmesan flavor into the whole dish. It’s one of my favorite ingredients to use in Italian dishes!

Can I make this soup without a parmesan rind? Yes, you can! The rind isn’t essential, but it does add a ton of flavor. Leaving it out makes this soup vegan and dairy-free friendly!

What to Serve it With

The soup is on the filling side, but if you’re like us and need a little something else to fill you up we opt for carbs! Our 10-minute naan pizza is perfect if you want something homemade without the fuss or serve it with crusty homemade bread.

If you’re wanting a salad to pair on the side, we love our Tuscan artichoke salad or this Italian salad!

A bowl with cannellini bean soup and a spoon in it. Fresh herbs are sprinkled over the top of the soup and the bowl sits on a brownish background with a dark napkin next to the bowl.

If you tried this Cannellini Bean Soup recipe or any other recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM, and FACEBOOK for more crave-worthy content.

Bowls of cannellini bean soup arranged on a tan background with a dark blue napkin arranged around them.

Cannellini Bean Soup

5 from 2 votes

Quick & flavorful soups are a staple in our house! And this comforting cannellini bean soup is one we love and eat on repeat. It's lightly creamy in consistency and layered with flavor. It takes less than 10 ingredients to prepare and only 30 minutes to cook!

Servings 4 cups
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Tags: cannellini bean soup, kale and white bean soup
Freezer Friendly: Yes
Calories: 251 kcal
Author: Bethany Kramer

Ingredients

  • 2 14 oz canned cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, stems removed and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • generous pinch of black pepper
  • parmesan cheese rind see notes

Instructions

  1. Saute aromatics: In a large pot on medium to low heat, saute the diced onions and carrots in olive oil with a pinch of salt until soft (about 3-4 minutes). Then add the minced garlic, fresh rosemary & sage, and red pepper flakes, and saute for 30 seconds.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook: Then, add the cannellini beans, broth, parmesan rind, garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt & generous pinch of black pepper. Cover the soup with a lid and let cook on a gentle simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring every so often.

  3. Blend part of the soup: When the soup is finished cooking, use a fork or tongs to carefully remove the parmesan rind and fresh herbs. Then use a measuring cup to scoop out about 2 1/2 cups of the soup and add it to a high-powered blender. Blend on high for about 5-10 seconds until it's creamy in consistency then add that back to the pot with the rest of the soup and stir it together.

    Note: if you would like to soup to be cooked down even more, you can place it back on the stove uncovered and simmer it for 10 additional minutes.

  4. Serve: When ready to serve, taste the soup, add a pinch of salt if needed – then serve!

Notes

What is a parmesan cheese rind? (And why we love to use them!) If you’re unfamiliar with this ingredient, a rind is a protective layer that forms on the wheel of parmesan cheese.  Rather than throwing the rind away after the cheese has been grated, I save the rind and toss it into Italian soups, stews, and sauces! It doesn’t melt, but becomes soft and infuses rich parmesan flavor into the whole dish. It’s one of my favorite ingredients to use in Italian dishes!

Nutrition Facts
Cannellini Bean Soup
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 251 Calories from Fat 29
% Daily Value*
Fat 3.2g5%
Saturated Fat 0.6g3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.8g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 485mg20%
Carbohydrates 44.7g15%
Fiber 15.9g64%
Sugar 5.7g6%
Protein 13.1g26%
Vitamin A 30IU1%
Vitamin C 13mg16%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 24mg133%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Bethany Kramer

Bethany Kramer is the cook and photographer behind A Simple Palate. She found a deep love for food and nutrition after learning to cook from her mom at eight years old. Since then she’s been developing and sharing recipes from her own kitchen that are bold in flavor and nourishing to the body!

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4 Comments

  • Avatar for K K says:

    Parmesan cheese rind is definitely NOT common Ingredient for most people unless you live near a whole foods or a cheese market!

    • Avatar for Bethany Bethany says:

      Hi K, I understand not everyone has a parmesan rind available. A lot of time its optional in my recipes because of that! Aside from whole foods, they are available at my local grocery store and costco. I find them to be more available than they used to be 🙂

  • Avatar for Drew Drew says:

    5 stars
    This looks so good!

  • Avatar for Debbie B. Debbie B. says:

    Sounds yummy, Bethany! I would need to make it without the parm rind and the garlic because of food sensitivities, but there is tons of flavor from the other ingredients. Thank you!