This vegan white bean soup topped with sweet roasted cherry tomatoes and garlicky bruschetta checks all the boxes. Hearty, cozy, nutritious and bursting with Tuscan flavor, the recipe can be made in a pinch using canned beans or prepared from scratch with dry beans.
Vegan White Bean Soup
Protein packed buttery white beans cooked in a savory broth from scratch topped with burst sweet cherry tomatoes infused with mild notes of roasted garlic and rosemary. To make it next level serve this vegan white bean soup Ribollita style, with thick slices of garlic rubbed grilled bread lightly brushed with olive oil and topped with the jammy burst tomatoes.
The White Beans
Italian Cannellini beans are my go to for making soups and stews. They are larger in size, creamy, silky and buttery and quite honestly never disappoint (canned or dry). Great Northern beans and navy /pea beans make great substitutes so use whichever you’ve got in your pantry. (I’m not a fan of lima / butter beans here, they just aren’t as good – I said what I said!)
If starting with dry beans make sure to soak them in advance for 6 hours or overnight to save on cooking time. You’ll also need to increase the water ratio to allow for the beans to cook and soak up a lot of the broth. If you choose not to soak the dry beans just consider that they will take approximately 45 minutes longer to cook than soaked beans which usually take about an hour.
About the Roasted Tomatoes
Sweet juicy cherry tomatoes get roasted at a high 425″F temperature with a drizzle of olive oil, smashed garlic cloves, fresh rosemary and a pinch of sea salt. It’s important to choose juicy tomatoes here, these are the kind that burst and yield a most delicious jammy sauce you want to drizzle over your soup and garlic bread. Stay away from the grape tomato variety which are known for their tough skins and don’t have many juices to speak of <– a disappointment in the oven.
Ingredient Tips + FAQs
- Grated Carrot – To naturally thicken and give your soup that beautifully rich golden hue make sure to grate that carrot. Peel first then go for a fine grind, I actually used my microplane grater here.
- Aromatics – The holy trinity of onion, celery and carrot sautéed until soft then simmered with water and herbs will yield the most flavorful soup. No need for store-bought sodium loaded broth at all. Water is life and you can save a little at the grocery store.
- Nutritional Yeast – In place of a parmesan rind to add depth of flavor and boost nutrition. Use it if you have some but you should still make this soup even without it.
- The Herbs – I love my beans with a Tuscan vibe, notes of rosemary and bay come through in every comforting bite. One sprig of rosemary is plenty as it can be a strong herb, don’t overdo it.
- Fennel Seeds – This is absolutely optional, gives the soup that fragrant Italian sausage flavor. I add a pinch together with the minced garlic and cook just until fragrant.
- Add Ins – In true Tuscan fashion you might want to add a handful of chopped kale or Kavalo Nero at the last few minutes of cooking. I opted for roughly chopped Italian flat leaf parsley to balance the pungency of the garlic bruschetta.
- Can I use dry beans instead of canned? – You are welcome to make this soup with dry beans. You’ll need to start with 1 cup dry white beans soaked for 6 hours or overnight. Add to the soup with all the aromatics and increase the water amount to 7 or 8 cups as the beans are going to absorb a lot of liquid during cooking.
- How to thicken white bean soup? – There’s no need for any flour, starch or dairy to thicken this soup. Just smash about half of the cooked beans and add them back into the soup pot. If you serve with chunks of bruschetta on top this will also thicken it even more as the bread soaks up the broth.
- Garnish – A grating of plant-based Violife parmesan cheese adds the perfect salty bite, for those of us who like it spicy a pinch of hot red chili flakes will do. Go wild with plenty of chopped parsley or torn basil leaves.
Make Ahead + Storage
Like most soups this one is also a great make ahead recipe as the flavors only get better overnight. It can be frozen in airtight freezer proof containers up to 4 months on its own. I advise against freezing the roasted tomatoes as they will lose their magic. They are best served hot straight out of the oven or at room temperature, I do’t even refrigerate them.
- Garlic Bruschetta
- Dinner Rolls
- Vegan Crusty Bread
- Focaccia Bread
- Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- Vegan Flatbread.
Soups + Stews…
- Vegan Zuppa Toscana
- Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup
- Pinto Bean Soup
- Broccoli Potato Soup
- Wild Rice Mushroom Soup
- Vegan Potato Leek Soup
- Root Vegetable Soup.
Vegan White Bean Soup with Roasted Tomatoes
- 2 x 15 oz cans white cannellini beans (or 1 cup dry white beans)
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 1 celery rib chopped
- 1 carrot peeled + grated
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
- 5 cups water + more to your liking
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup Italian parsley roughly chopped
- 1.5 lb cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary +/or 10 sprigs thyme
- 6 cloves garlic lightly smashed, paper discarded
- 1/2 lemon
Roast the Tomatoes
- Preheat your oven to 425”F
- Add the tomatoes, garlic cloves, rosemary and olive oil to a medium size roasting dish. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and toss to coat well. Roast in the preheated oven until the tomatoes have burst, bout 30 minutes or so giving them a shake half way. Remove from the oven and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.1.5 lb cherry tomatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 sprig rosemary, 6 cloves garlic, 1/2 lemon
Make the Soup
- Preheat a heavy bottom soup pot over medium heat. Sautee the onion and celery in a light drizzle of olive oil until softened and they start to get some color. (omit oil and use water for WFPB + Plantricious diets). Stir in the carrot and cook a couple of extra minutes.1 yellow onion, 1 celery rib, 1 carrot
- Push the veggies to the side and add a drop of oil or water in the center. Add the minced garlic (+ fennel seeds in using) and cook just until fragrant. (Take good care not to burn the garlic).4 cloves garlic, 1 tsp fennel seeds
- Add the water, nutritional yeast, rosemary and bay leaves together with a pinch of salt and bring to simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 20 minutes for the broth to concentrate.1 sprig rosemary, 5 cups water, 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, 2 bay leaves
- Meanwhile drain and rinse the canned beans. Transfer half of the beans to a plate and mash with a fork. Add both the whole and mashed beans to the soup pot and stir well to combine. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes until the beans are warmed through and the soup is thick to your liking.2 x 15 oz cans white cannellini beans
- Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley. Reserve some for garnish.1/3 cup Italian parsley
- Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the roasted tomatoes and bruschetta on top. Garnish with parsley and a grating of vegan Parmesan if desired. (Discard the roasted garlic cloves from the tomatoes and serve those on the side, they should be soft and sweet and perfect to smear over the bruschetta too).
How to Make Bruschetta (optional)
- Preheat a cast iron griddle over medium high heat. Grill 4 slices of crusty bread until charred grill marks form on both sides. Use a large garlic clove and rub one side of the grilled bread. Brush with olive oil and season with sea salt. Tear into chunks into the soup bowl and spoon the roasted tomatoes on top. Enjoy!
WFPB + Plantricious
- Omit or replace any olive oil in the recipe with water or veggie broth. If making the bruschetta just smear some of the roasted tomatoes and their juices over the top and skip the oil.
- About the Roasted Tomatoes - Sweet juicy cherry tomatoes get roasted at a high 425"F temperature with a drizzle of olive oil, smashed garlic cloves, fresh rosemary and a pinch of sea salt. It's important to choose juicy tomatoes here, these are the kind that burst and yield a most delicious jammy sauce you want to drizzle over your soup and garlic bread. Stay away from the grape tomato variety which are known for their tough skins and don't have many juices to speak of <-- a disappointment in the oven.
- The White Beans - Italian Cannellini beans are my go to for making soups and stews. They are larger in size, creamy, silky and buttery and quite honestly never disappoint canned or dry. Great Northern beans and navy (pea) beans make great substitutes so use whichever you've got in your pantry. (I'm not a fan of lima / butter beans here, they just aren't as good - I said what I said!) If starting with dry beans make sure to soak them in advance for 6 hours or overnight to save on cooking time. You'll also need to increase the water ratio to allow for the beans to cook and soak up a lot of the broth. If you choose not to soak the dry beans just consider that they will take approximately 45 minutes longer to cook than soaked beans which usually take about an hour.
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