Brothy Bean Soup With Parmesan

January  4, 2021
17 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

As soon as the temperature drops, there is nothing more satisfying than a bowl of soup. Hearty, warming, and full of protein and vegetables, bean soups are on rotation in my fall and winter meals. Made with just pantry staples, this bean soup is easy, fast, and super flavorful.

The recipe calls for buttery cannellini beans, but black, pinto or kidney beans work just as good. Make sure to give them a good rinse before you add them to the pot—this way your soup will remain a creamy, silky white color instead of brown. Carrots and celery are the most popular vegetables in a soup like this, but parsnips, radishes, and green beans work as well. I added some spinach for a boost of greenery.

The creamy, nutty beans are simmered in vegetable stock. For an extra layer of umami, I add a bouillon cube too. After grating some Parmesan on top, you’ll be surprised at how flavorful a bowl this simple is.

This bean soup is quick to come together—something you can whip up on a busy weeknight in under 30 minutes. Served with crusty toasted bread, it is a comforting, delicious bowl to cozy up to on a cold evening. I always tend to make a double batch because the leftovers freeze really well. —Rachel Gurjar

What You'll Need
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 celery sticks, finely diced
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 (28-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (32-ounce) box vegetable stock
  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • Toasted sourdough bread, to serve
  1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme and oregano and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and sweat until translucent and tender, about 3 minutes. Add the vegetable bouillon cube, cannellini beans, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the liquid is slightly reduced. Add the spinach, pepper, and salt. Mix until the leaves are wilted, then remove from heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Ladle into serving bowls. Grate Parmesan onto the soup and serve immediately with toasted bread.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Skyler23
  • Laura
  • erinrae
  • Amanda Rutter
    Amanda Rutter
  • Susanna
Rachel Gurjar

Recipe by: Rachel Gurjar

Rachel is an immigrant from Mumbai, India now based out of Brooklyn, New York. She is a chef, photographer and food editor who loves to cook and develop delicious recipes from her culture and beyond. In her free time, you will find her exploring street food around the city!

13 Reviews

Skyler23 October 25, 2023
This is my go to chilly weather soup. I use chicken broth and Better than Bouillon chicken base.I also use a piece of saved Parmesan rind to give it a little depth..and Swiss chard usually. Its hearty and delicious!
Laura December 18, 2022
Absolutely delicious. I used Better than Bouillon roasted garlic flavor instead of the bouillon cube. It gave it depth and lots of flavor. Tomorrow night, I will cook up some cheese tortellini and add to the soup. I think it would be a great addition.
Jamie January 10, 2022
Very very good!! Made mine with chicken bone broth and fresh thyme. Healthy, light and absolutely delish, will be one of those recipes I work into the rotation.
Erin January 9, 2022
I made this as written except for using chicken base instead of vegetable stock. It really was excellent and so much more than what we expected from the modest ingredients and modest amount of work!
erinrae January 3, 2022
I bought a ton of Rancho Gordo beans and this is going to be how I use lots of them, very easy and versatile, I just pour a cup or so of cooked beans and their broth into the sauteed veggies, then continue with a bit more broth and spinach, etc. Easy, healthy, and delicious!
Crystal January 24, 2021
Made this dish last night and it was so amazing, that I woke up this morning thinking about it! Using the vegetable bouillon really made it super flavorful and it was so easy to make! I'm already planning on making another batch for my freezer so I always have some on hand!
chop C. January 17, 2021
Sorry to say this dish didn't have the level of flavor I was seeking. Made it in according to the recipe.
Susanna February 27, 2021
It is very basic. Easy to punch up, though: add different herbs or some Calabrian peppers; maybe a parm rind. Or you can use chicken stock or add sausage. Best of all would be to use dried beans (cooking them first).
Barbara January 10, 2021
Super easy to make and very flavorful! Will make this again.
Amanda R. January 7, 2021
Turned out delicious and it was super easy to make. I will definitely be making again 🤤
Carly January 7, 2021
This was SO delicious! Such great flavors, very easy to put together.
Don January 5, 2021
This looks very good. Not having any spinach on hand, and reluctant to enter into the world of pandemic right now, I'm wondering what I could substitute for the spinach
Susanna February 27, 2021
Any green, basically. Any kale or chard, collards, escarole. Even arugula in a pinch.