Tomato White Bean Soup

Tomato White Bean Soup: thick tomatoey broth infused with herbs and packed with beans and vegetables including superfood spinach.

Soup | January 14, 2017 | By

This time last year I resolved (in a post no less) to stop wasting food. It’s so darn expensive, right? I created Fiesta Chicken and Rice making good use of some pantry items that were well, just hangin’ around. I tried to keep it up, but alas, fell in to my old ways buying willy-nilly (is that still a term?) , the result of which was just too.much.food. So I’m tackling this resolution again and I hope you’ll join with me. Kitchen comrades in arms, if you will. A quick inventory here revealed five cans of Great Northern beans (there must have been one heck of a sale), a couple of cans of crushed tomatoes, two tubes of tomato paste, four large containers of chicken stock, an almost empty jar of Nutella (oops), four packages of Uncle Ben’s 90 second brown rice, three cans of artichokes, a jar of pesto and way more I won’t bore you with. Between the pantry and refrigerator, I had all the ingredients for this Tomato White Bean Soup. . . minus the Nutella (which makes a mighty fine dessert all by itself). You know what they say ~ “happiness is hot soup on a cold day”. 

Tomato White Bean Soup: thick tomatoey broth infused with herbs and packed with beans and vegetables including superfood spinach.

Soups generally start with carrots, celery and onion so I’d recommend you at least start with that trio. Beyond that, there are many options: butternut squash, even a handful or two of green beans or swap out potatoes for the pasta.

Small amounts of vegetables in your refrigerator that aren’t enough for a side dish can add up to big flavor in a soup. Tomato White Bean Soup: the answer to my overstocked shelves and National Soup Month.

Tomato White Bean Soup Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 carrots or about 1 cup
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 zucchini
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • ½ cup of white wine (if you prefer not to add wine, add another ½ cup of stock)
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup of small pasta
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 can of Great Northern beans, drained
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of pesto
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • Parmesan cheese (optional for topping)

Tomato White Bean Soup: thick tomatoey broth infused with herbs and packed with beans and vegetables including superfood spinach.

Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil into a pot over medium heat. When it’s warm, drop in the diced carrots, onion and celery and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook a few minutes until the onions are translucent and the carrots are tender.

Tomato White Bean Soup: thick tomatoey broth infused with herbs and packed with beans and vegetables including superfood spinach.

Blend in the tomato paste (which adds such richness to any dish) and cook over low heat 2-3 minutes. Pour in the wine, scraping any brown flavor bits off the bottom of the pot, then add the crushed tomatoes, zucchini chicken stock, pasta and bay leaf then season again with salt and pepper. I used a whole grain elbow macaroni but any small pasta is good.

Tomato White Bean Soup: thick tomatoey broth infused with herbs and packed with beans and vegetables including superfood spinach.

Open and drain two cans of Great Northern Beans or another canned bean you may have a surplus of, like cannellini. If you have an immersion (more later ⇓) add both cans of beans to the pot. If you don’t have an immersion blender, add one can and mash the other can using a potato masher or fork then add to the pot. This will thicken the soup and add the rustic texture we’re going for. 

I also added a couple of heaping tablespoons of pesto which has amazing condensed flavor. Cover and cook while you prep the spinach.

Tomato White Bean Soup: thick tomatoey broth infused with herbs and packed with beans and vegetables including superfood spinach.

Cut the stems off the spinach leaves then give it all a rough chop. Add the spinach to the pot and cook over low heat, covered 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is tender. Using an immersion blender give the Tomato White Bean Soup several pulses in just one area of the pot. Isolating the immersion blender allows most of the beans to remain whole. Last fold in some finely chopped parsley and serve with parmesan cheese for topping.

I love cooking like this. What do I have and what can I create with it? The rice and artichokes didn’t find their way into the Tomato White Bean Soup but they’ll be turned into a batch of Chicken Piccata this weekend along with the lemons I found in the back of the vegetable bin.

Tomato White Bean Soup: thick tomatoey broth infused with herbs and packed with beans and vegetables including superfood spinach.Thick tomatoey broth infused with beans and vegetables including the superfood, spinach. It makes enough to feed a crowd or dinner for two with lunch all week. I like to freeze extra soup in individual containers for lunch over the next few weeks. The whole grain bread shown in the photos isn’t necessary – who am I kidding? It’s totally necessary to sop up every last drop of this soup. Trust me on this one.

Did you create a delicious recipe from ingredients you already had on hand?

Leave a comment. I’d love to read about it!  

Tomato White Bean Soup
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Ingredients
  1. Olive oil
  2. 1 medium onion, diced
  3. 2 carrots or about 1 cup, chopped
  4. 2 stalks of celery
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
  6. 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  7. ½ cup of white wine (if you prefer not to add wine, add another ½ cup of stock)
  8. 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  9. 2 cups of chicken stock
  10. 1 large bay leaf (or a couple of small ones)
  11. 2 can of Great Northern beans, drained
  12. 2 heaping tablespoons of pesto (homemade or store-bought)
  13. 3 cups of fresh spinach, stems removed and rough chopped
  14. ¼ cup of finely chopped parsley
  15. Parmesan cheese (optional for topping)
Instructions
  1. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil into a pot over medium heat. When it’s warm, drop in the diced carrots, onion and celery and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and cook a few minutes until the onions are translucent and the carrots are tender.
  3. Blend in the tomato paste and cook over low heat 2-3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the wine, scraping any brown flavor bits off the bottom of the pot then add the crushed tomatoes, zucchini chicken stock, pasta and bay leaf and season again with salt and pepper.
  5. Open and drain two cans of Great Northern Beans.
  6. If you an immersion (more later ⇓) add both cans of beans and the pesto to the pot. If you don't have an immersion blender, add one can and mash the other can using a potato masher or fork then add to the pot.
  7. Cover and cook while you prep the spinach.
  8. Cut the stems off the spinach leaves then give it all a rough chop. Add the spinach to the pot and cook over low heat, covered 15-20 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
  9. Using an immersion blender in one area of the pot, give the soup several pulses.
  10. If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer about 2 cups of soup to a regular blender. When it cools to room temp, puree it and return it to the pot.
  11. Fold in the parsley and serve with parmesan cheese for topping.
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  1. Mary
    January 15, 2017

    Goodness Gracious…..what a soup! It warms me up just looking at it. I’m the world’s worst about stockpiling canned products. This recipe is just what I will be using to empty my pantry somewhat! Love everything about this recipe! Pinned. Once I get the spinach, I’ll be making this soup. Thanks for a great idea for “decluttering”! lol Chat again soon.

    • Bernie
      January 16, 2017

      Hey there Mary – awww that’s exactly what I was going for with this recipe – warming up on these wicked-cold days! Sounds like between the two of us we could feed a small army 🙂 I hope you’ll be enjoying this soup soon. Enjoy the rest of the day.

  2. Marlene
    January 28, 2017

    How many servings for the tomato white bean soup ?

    • Bernie
      January 29, 2017

      Hi Marlene ~ thanks for stopping by. In terms of servings, you’ll get 6 generous soup bowls from this recipe. In my house, sometimes we’ll eat two bowls of soup in one sitting – other times just half a bowl and a sandwich for lunch. I hope this helps and you enjoy the recipe. ~ Bernie