This white bean soup is flavorful and comforting. With pancetta and artichokes, this soup will make you feel like you’re at a bistro in Tuscany!
Homemade soup truly does make one of the best comfort foods around. Just think about this…
When you aren’t feeling well, you reach for a bowl of chicken noodle or Italian minestrone soup.
The perfect accompaniment to lunch is dairy-free tomato soup.
When it’s chilly outside, you crave bowls of hearty gluten-free chili or a helping of Tuscan white bean soup!
How to create flavorful soup
The key to making any type of soup is to use the freshest ingredients possible. It’s easy to build flavor from simple ingredients.
This is where celery, onion, and carrots come into the pot (so to speak). When those three vegetables are combined to make soup, stew, or a similar dish, the culinary term for them is mirepoix (mEEr-PWah).
It’s a fancy French word that essentially just means condiment. Think of how plain a hot dog tastes without your favorite condiments on them. That’s what a mirepoix is to this white bean soup; a flavor booster!
Tuscan white bean soup ingredients
Here’s the shopping list of what you’ll need to make this soup recipe:
- Olive oil – To extract the flavors out of the vegetables and into the soup, you need to saute them in some sort of fat. For this recipe, I use extra virgin olive oil, but truly, any type of oil or butter works just fine.
- Pancetta – This ingredient is also a fat, which means more flavor! Pancetta is very similar to bacon, but it’s a bit leaner. So, if you can’t locate pancetta, get yourself some bacon and trim off any large fatty pieces.
- Mirepoix – Carrots, celery, and white or yellow onion
- Tomato paste
- Chicken stock – You can substitute this with chicken broth, bone broth, or even vegetable stock.
- Seasonings – I use dry herbs rather than fresh, but if you have fresh on hand, by all means, use them. You’ll need thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf.
- Cannellini beans – The star of white bean soup is, of course, white beans! If you don’t care for cannellini, you can use navy beans or Great Northern beans.
- Artichoke hearts – Artichokes are a staple in Tuscan cooking. You can usually find them in one of two places in your grocery store. I like to use frozen artichoke hearts for this soup, but you can also use canned.
How to make white bean soup
- Cook the pancetta. Use a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot to cook the soup in. Make sure to avoid using anything that has a non-stick coating. Get the oil and nice and hot over medium heat before adding the pancetta. Cook it for several minutes, until it’s browned and crispy. Then, use a slotted spoon to remove it. I like to place it on a paper towel lined plate to drain while I continue making the soup.
- Saute the vegetables. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan. Cook over medium heat until everything is soft.
- Add the aromatics. Add the garlic and tomato paste to the pan and stir to combine. Then, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the herbs and stock. Place the thyme, bay leaf, and chicken stock into the pot and bring everything to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- It’s time for the white beans! Add the cannellini beans (be sure to drain them first) and artichoke hearts, and continue to simmer the soup for another 10-15 minutes.
- Garnish and serve. Before serving, stir in the fresh basil. Top each bowl of soup with some of the crispy pancetta.
If you have any soup left over, store it in the fridge and eat it or freeze it within 5 days. Frozen, it will keep well for about 3 months.
If you try the recipe, I’d love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below. Thank you! ♥
White Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces diced pancetta
- 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/4 tsp salt & pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 5-6 cups chicken stock
- 2 15 oz cans cannelini beans, drained and well-rinsed
- 12 ounces frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted and chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- In a large dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until browned and crisp, about 6-8 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and place it on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and a pinch of salt/pepper to the pan. Cook over medium heat until softened, 8-10 minutes.
- Add the garlic and tomato paste to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the drained beans and artichoke hearts and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Before serving stir in the fresh basil. Serve topped with the reserved pancetta. Enjoy!
- Pancetta - This ingredient is also a fat, which means more flavor! Pancetta is very similar to bacon, but it's a bit leaner. So, if you can't locate pancetta, get yourself some bacon and trim off any large fatty pieces.
- Chicken stock - You can substitute this with chicken broth, bone broth, or even vegetable stock.
- Seasonings - I use dry herbs rather than fresh, but if you have fresh on hand, by all means, use them. You'll need thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf.
- Cannellini beans - If you don't care for cannellini, you can use navy beans or Great Northern beans.
- Artichoke hearts - I like to use frozen artichoke hearts for this soup.