Bean soup is such a classic! This easy White Bean Soup is loaded with tender rice, creamy white beans, and Italian flavor. Plus, it gets a lovely smoky note from smoked paprika.
Cooking can be a wonderful way to wind down after a long day. Setting out your ingredients, heating up the stove, and watching a peaceful one-pot dinner come together just soothes the soul, doesn’t it? At least, when the recipe is simple and flavorful – and this one definitely is.
Using canned beans, prepared marinara sauce, and other basic pantry staples, this hearty white bean soup comes together with hardly any effort at all. In fact, it is made in only three steps.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need to make this white bean soup. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.
- Olive Oil: For sautéing.
- Yellow Onion: About a cup, diced.
- Fresh Garlic: You’ll need about four garlic cloves, minced.
- Spices: Dried Basil, Oregano, Thyme, and Rosemary
- Smoked Paprika: This is not the same as regular, sweet, or hot paprika, so be sure to check the label.
- Salt and Pepper: I use kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Vegetable Broth: You’ll need about 5 cups. I use low-sodium, but you can also use homemade or substitute chicken or beef broth. Bone broth is also great in this recipe.
- White Rice: About ½ a cup of your favorite white rice; I often use plain long-grain rice, but you may substitute arborio, jasmine, basmati, etc.
- Marinara Sauce: You will need 12 oz, or 1 ½ cups, of your favorite marinara sauce.
- Cannellini Beans: You can soak and cook your own beans ahead of time, or simply use two 15 oz. cans, drained and rinsed. You can also use canned pinto beans or canned black beans.
Why Do I Use Marinara Sauce?
The broth is the base of any soup, and I find that soups that use a combination of vegetable broth and a “flavor deepener” like wine or tomato sauce, turn out best. For this recipe, instead of using just tomato sauce, I like to use marinara, because it is even more flavorful! You really get a full-bodied broth by adding it, with savory Italian flavors built in.
How to Make White Bean Soup
Ready to make this delectable white bean soup? Here’s how to do it in 3 steps:
- Saute the Onion, Garlic, and Spices. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spices, ½ teaspoon of the salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the Remaining Ingredients and Simmer. Add the vegetable broth, rice, marinara sauce and beans. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Finish and Enjoy! Taste and adjust seasonings. Cook uncovered about 5 minutes longer, then remove from heat and serve.
Tips for Success
- Watch the Salt: Broths and marinara sauces can definitely vary in flavor, so be cautious with the salt. It’s easier to add more than it is to fix an overly-salty dish!
- Add Veggies: Like many rustic soups, this one is flexible. I sometimes add a cup of torn kale or baby spinach, a chopped carrot.
- Cheese, Please! Parmesan tastes great with tomato-based soup, so if you have a Parmesan rind, add it to the simmering soup for depth of flavor (just remember to remove the rind before serving). You can also sprinkle grated Parmesan over each serving as a garnish.
- Substitution: If you don’t have cannellini beans, you can substitute almost any kind of canned bean. The flavor and texture may vary, but it will still be tasty!
Variation Ideas & Serving Suggestions
- Pasta E Fagioli: While this recipe uses rice, you can take it in another direction with small pasta. Be sure to add the pasta later in the recipe so that it only cooks as long as the package directions indicate. I like to use ditalini, but elbows or even broken linguine are good as well.
- Add some protein: As you might have guessed, sweet Italian sausage goes very well with this recipe! I like to cook crumbled or sliced sausage in a separate skillet, drain well, and add it to the simmering soup.
- On the side: To complement the soup, I like to serve a green salad with a creamy dressing, and a loaf of crusty bread. Popovers, buttermilk biscuits, or cornbread muffins are also ridiculously easy to make and go well with this soup!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Storage: To store in the refrigerator, cover the soup tightly or store in an airtight food storage container, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- To reheat: Scoop your desired amount of soup into a small pot, bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and simmer on the stove until warmed through. You can also microwave individual portions for a minute at a time, stirring in between, until heated through. Note that the rice in this dish will continue to absorb liquid and thicken the soup while it is stored in the refrigerator, so you may need to add water or broth when you reheat it.
White Bean Soup Recipe
A hearty white-bean soup bursting with the flavors of fall, and subtly seasoned with smoked paprika.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 8
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian American
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ – 1 teaspoon kosher salt (to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 5 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- ½ cup white rice
- 1 ½ cups marinara sauce
- 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Cook onion, garlic and seasonings. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spices, ½ teaspoon of the salt and pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer. Add the vegetable broth, rice, marinara sauce and beans. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Taste and adjust seasonings. Depending on the pasta sauce you used, you may need to add more salt to taste. Cook uncovered about 5 minutes longer, then remove from heat and serve.
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- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 251
- Fat: 4g
- Carbohydrates: 44g
- Fiber: 7g
- Protein: 8.5g
Keywords: bean soup, white bean soup, tuscan bean soup
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Reader Questions and Reviews
I make this once a week. Just wanted to let you know we enjoy it!
Amazing! Thank you so much for letting me know & glad you enjoy this recipe. 🙂
I make this once a week. Just wanted to let you know we enjoy it!
Outstanding! I used elbow macaroni to make it into Pasta E Fagioli instead of rice, and I made it in my Instant Pot.
So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thank you for coming back to tell me. 🙂