This Creamy Vegan White Bean Soup is the absolute most delicious and simple soup you can make. I honestly don’t care for canned soup. It just has a texture that doesn’t work for me. I find that a fresh variety is so much more satisfying and if it’s THIS easy to whip up then why wouldn’t you do it? Meal prepping is where it’s at. I’m super busy – all the time. I wake up early, I jam at work, I run all around town, and I get home late. If I don’t have something healthy to either bring with me or to simply heat up when I get home, it’s not going to be a good day for me. I have more meal prep tips below for you but keep in mind that this recipe can be made in minutes and stores well both in the freezer and in the refrigerator. You’ve got this!
Cooking with Beans
I’ll let you in on my secret: I never make my own beans from scratch. I’m canned all the way. At 0.99 cents per can, even for an organic variety, I find that the time it saves me is totally worth it. Beans store so well in the pantry and they’re versatile so it makes sense to invest in keeping this staple on hand.
One thing you want to do with beans is to drain them and then rinse them to get rid of some of the excess salt and gas-producing liquid. If you have a problem digesting beans, you can cook them with a strip of seaweed called ‘kombu’ that helps lessen the gas-producing parts of the beans. You could also try bean-o or another digestive aid when eating them. My best suggestion, however, is to naturally help your own gut adjust to the high fiber content of beans by increasing them slowly over time. Add them to a salad this week, to tacos next week, as a side-dish the week after and then dive into recipes like this Creamy Vegan White Bean Soup after that.
Meal Prep Tips
Like I mentioned, this is an amazing recipe for meal prep. What you can do is just choose a day that works for you where you have a couple hours and make 2-3 recipes at once. Go the extra mile to cool the recipes and portion them out so you can literally grab them and go when it’s time to run out the door or heat something up at dinner.
If you have some extra time while your recipes are cooking or baking, chop up some veggies and fruit or portion nuts out into baggies and toss those all in the refrigerator, too. You’re so much more likely to grab a healthy snack when they’re ready to go for you. Most people really enjoy fruits and veggies and want to eat more of them but they just don’t have the time to actually make it happen.
If you need some other easy soup recipe to meal prep, I’ve got some suggestions for you. From my Simple Summer Soup to my Lemongrass Coconut Soup, Vegan Corn Chowder and even my favorite 3-Bean Chili, you can make these all ahead of time and have lots of leftovers all week long.
Making Creamy Vegan White Bean Soup
Get creative and experiment with different types of canned white beans. I used Great Northers in this one and they are kind of like navy beans or cannellini beans but bigger and sort of like lima beans but smaller. I love all beans but my go-to’s are typically pinto, black, kidney, and chickpea. Perhaps the reason I don’t use Great Northern beans as much is because they are typically used for pork and beans or baked bean recipes that could also have meat in them.
I really wanted a vegan soup and it’s so easy! The soft consistency of the canned beans I used makes them perfect for soup, too. A simple white bean, Great Northerns are soft so if you blend part of this soup with an immersion blender, the creaminess mimics dairy but still yields a vegan product.
The base of this soup is a simple olive oil with onion, carrots and celery. You add garlic for flavor and then rely on vegetable broth instead of water for that savory taste. The type of broth you use really depends on your preference and also your health goals. Low-sodium is totally appropriate but you’ll have a different flavor. I like to balance the sodium out with lots of potassium from the veggies. If you eat a veggie-rich diet, this is generally how your balance will be and that can positively affect your blood pressure.
I used my immersion blender to blend just part of the soup so it is creamy but also has that nice whole-bean consistency as well. Blend as much or as little as you want. Keep in mind that all soup is fantastic for freezing and leftovers so whip up a batch of this easy to make creamy vegan white bean soup and enjoy it all week!
Creamy Vegan White Bean Soup
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cans Great Northern Beans drained and rinsed well (divided, 15.5oz each)
- 2 medium carrots peeled and sliced into rounds
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Sprig of rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
- In a large saucepan, heat the oil then saute the carrots, celery, and onion over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth, salt, pepper, rosemary, bay leaf, and beans. Heat to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce it again to simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove rosemary (if using whole sprig) and bay leaf. Use an immersion blender to puree a portion of the soup, about 10 pulses so some of the beans retain their consistency. Garnish with fresh pepper and parsley. Serve hot.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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