24 January 2020

Tuscan Bean Garden Soup

I'm finally back with a new recipe -  hearty, savory, warming soup, perfect for a chilly night1 or just a regular old soup craving.

So, I'd been really wanting a creamy Tuscan-style bean soup, like the one my father used to bring home from the Italian banquet hall when we were little, but nothing I'd found could match up. That soup was, I'm fairly certain, not vegan2. Well, this one I'm about to share is vegan3 , organic4, and all those other wonderful things for which this blog is known. Garlic and rosemary add the classic Tuscan flavors to the (slight) twist on a classic Tuscan white bean soup.

To be honest, I'm not much of a soup-preparer5. I used to be, and I'd very much like to be again. I even own a Crock-Pot to make things more convenient, but I lack whatever it is that makes one actually prepare a soup. I don't know what happened because I feel like. once upon a time, I was making soup constantly6. Well, this soup has has returned me to my soup-preparing days7. I love it so much, I want to make it all of the time!

When I cook meals/savory dishes, I tend to cook by instinct and save the weighing and measuring for baking. So, I ended up making this soup twice, measuring what I was doing the second time, just so I could share it.

As I mentioned above, (nearly) all of the ingredients I used in the soup are organic - the bouillon includes some non-organic maltodextrin - but whether you choose to make it organic is clearly optional. Also, it's soup; you could probably follow the recipe fairly loosely and it will still be delicious.  However, if you really want it to be 100% organic, leave out the bouillon; although most ingredients in the bouillon are organic, there are a couple that aren't.8

This recipe includes a few more veggies than a traditional Tuscan white bean soup, hence the "garden". I chose to dice all of the veggies for this version because I wanted a smoother/less-chunky consistency. The prep was a bit more time-consuming, but the cook-time decreased, so it evened out.9 I also wanted the potatoes to break down a bit to release their starches into the soup. Feel free to chop bigger pieces, if you prefer, but prepare for a possible difference in consistency.

I highly recommend preparing the pasta separately and adding it to individual bowls upon serving, to keep the pasta from soaking up the soup liquid and becoming bloated and soggy.10 If you have leftovers the Barilla GF pasta will re-heat pretty well. Simply add it directly to the soup when reheating. This soup is even better the next day, to be perfectly honest.

Tuscan Bean Garden Soup
(serves 4-5)
Prep Time: 30mins            Cook Time:25mins

  • 3-4 medium Carrots (diced)
  • 4 stalks Celery (diced)
  • 4oz Crimini Mushrooms (diced)
  • 3 medium yellow or red potatoes (diced)
  • 1/2 Large Sweet Onion, or 1 small, (diced)
  • 4-5 Cloves of garlic (diced)
  • 4ish handfuls of raw Baby Spinach (rough chopped)
  • 2  15oz (or 15.5oz) cans of White Canellini or White Northern Beans
  • 2-3 Sprigs of fresh Rosemary leaves (chopped).
  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Edward & Sons Not-Chikn Bouillon Cube [Optional]
  • 6 Cups of Water
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • Pastina (something small) - I used 200g/half a box of Barilla* GF Ditalini that I brought back from Italy; the Barilla GF Elbows will work just fine, and can be found easily in most supermarkets.
  • Violife - or other- Parmesan (grated) for garnish [Optional]
* Barilla GF pastas contain Corn.

Preparation Instructions 

1. Add the olive oil to a 4+ Quart Pot.

2. Over medium heat saute the garlic just until it becomes aromatic and slightly soft. Take care to not overcook.

3. Still over medium heat, add the onion, celery, carrot, and potato and saute, covering briefly, until everything looks like it's starting to soften and the onions become translucent. About 5ish minutes.

4. Add the mushrooms. Continue to saute, stirring fairly frequently, until the mushrooms begin to release their water.

5. Add the 6 cups of water to the sauteed mixture. You can heat the water before adding, if you wish.

6. Once the soup begins to simmer/boil, add the bouillon (if using), then add the rosemary. Add salt and pepper to taste, once the bouillon has dissolved.

7. Reduce the heat, if necessary, and allow the soup to simmer for 20ish minutes, or until the vegetables are all quite tender.

8. While the soup is cooking, prepare the pasta and the beans. 
  • In a separate pot of boiling salted water. Cook the pasta until al-dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Drain the beans. Remove and set aside 1/2 a can of beans. Take the remaining 1.5 cans and blend them in a blender, mini blender, or food processor until mostly smooth - a few chunks are good.
9. Once the soup vegetables are tender, add the pureed beans, and the 1/2 can of whole beans. Stir until the pureed beans are well incorporated. Then add the spinach and allow to the soup to cook for 5-7 more mins or until the spinach wilts and the beans are warm.

10. Serve! Add desired amount of prepared pasta to serving bowls and cover with soup.  If desired, top with some grated Violife Parmesan11, Follow Your Heart Shredded Parmesan, or any other vegan (or non-vegan) parm you desire.

The Barilla GF Ditalini Rigati I brought from Italy. Barilla GF Elbows will work just as well.


1. Not many of those around here, unfortunately... never thought I'd be saying that.
2. Chicken Stock!
3. Obviously.
4. If you so choose, no pressure.
5. Is that a word?
6. That might be an exaggeration,
7. I think.
8. As previously mentioned.
9. Win.
10. Not so nice.
11, This is what I used. Yum!

[Disclosure: This post includes an affiliate link, which means I may receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you click through and make a purchase.]