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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.
Why You’ll Love This White Bean Soup Recipe
- Easy. Just saute some onion and garlic with the seasonings, then add everything else to the pot.
- Simple ingredients. Using canned beans, prepared marinara sauce, and other basic pantry staples, this hearty white bean soup comes together with hardly any effort at all.
- Flavorful & flexible. Each bite has tons of flavor and you can add baby spinach or kale, sliced zucchini or summer squash.
Here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need along with my notes about substitutions. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for specific amounts.
- Olive Oil: Avocado oil would also work.
- Yellow Onion: You can also use white onion.
- Fresh Garlic: You could also use garlic paste.
- Spices: Dried basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary
- Smoked Paprika: Regular paprika also works if that is what you have.
- 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: I use plain long-grain rice, but you may substitute arborio, jasmine, basmati, etc.
- Marinara Sauce: Use your favorite marinara sauce.
- Cannellini Beans: Canned pinto beans or canned black beans are great substitutions.
Why is there marinara sauce in this recipe?
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.
Variation Ideas & Serving Suggestions
- 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.
- 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: 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 spring mix salad and a loaf of crusty bread. Popovers or buttermilk biscuits are also ridiculously easy to make and go well with this soup!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Store in the fridge: To store in the refrigerator, cover the soup tightly or store in an airtight food storage container, and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Freeze it: Spoon your soup into airtight, freezer-safe containers, leaving about 1-inch of room for the soup to expand as it freezes. It will keep for 3 months.
- 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.
More Soup Recipes
White Bean Soup Recipe
- 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.