5 from 3 votes

Easy Tuscan White Bean Soup (Creamy!)

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This delectable Tuscan white bean soup is full of hearty vegetables, creamy textures, and Tuscan flavors.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 5 minutes
£1.25
Makes: 6
mains
Italian
Freezable

This delectable Tuscan white bean soup is full of hearty vegetables, creamy textures, and Tuscan flavors.  Topped with salty bacon and full of protein, this comforting slow cooker soup is perfect for a cold night by the fire. 

White bean soup with bacon bits, cavolo nero and sundried tomatoes and celery bits in a slow cooker dish with a ladle in partial view.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Hearty – Beans, Cavolo nero, and bacon make this dish substantial enough to eat for a meal.

Comforting – The creamy texture and warmth of the dish will have you curling up with your favorite book and a blanket.

Slow cooker – The slow cooker allows all the flavors to marry while the cannellini bean soup cooks.  And it is ready for you when you want to eat it.

Fast –  No soaking the beans!  Just wash them and place them in the crock pot with all the other mouth-watering ingredients! 

Gluten free – This recipe contains no gluten!

Here are a few other hearty, comforting soup recipes for you to try; Spanish Chorizo and Butter Bean Slow Cooker Stew, One-Pot Creamy Tomato Tortellini Pasta Soup and Easy Bacon and Lentil Soup 

What kind of beans should I use?

The beans used in bean soup recipes vary depending on the type of soup.  For this Tuscan bean soup recipe, I will be using white beans.  There are several you can choose from, but cannellini or great northern are the best for this recipe. Love beans? Try my ; Creamy White Beans with Parmesan

Can I use canned beans?
If you only have canned beans, they are perfectly fine to use in this crockpot bean soup.  You can add them just like you would the dried beans.  However, the Tuscan white bean soup may not turn out quite as thick due to the difference in starch content. I’d therefore reduce the amount of stock by 400ml.  

Should you soak the beans?

Though many bean soup recipes call for soaking the beans before using them, the beauty of this recipe is that there is no soaking required.  The longer cooking time in the slow cooker does all the work for you!

Ingredients

Ingredients to make a white bean soup laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

White beans – White beans lend such a wonderful creaminess to this soup.  The starches from the beans also help to make the soup thicker.

Cavolo nero – This Tuscan kale is the perfect punch of nutrients for this simple comforting dish. Have you tried roasting cavolo nero?

Creme fraiche – A little creamy, a little tangy; creme fraiche gives a little extra pop of flavor and texture in this Tuscan soup.

See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.

Variations/ Adaptations

  • Different type of bean:  If you don’t have cannellini beans, Great Northern or Navy beans will work just fine.
  • No Cavolo nero?  Try using spinach or a different type of kale.
  • Make it vegetarian by using veggie stock and skipping the bacon.
  • Make it vegan by leaving out the creme fraiche and bacon.  Then choose vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. 

How to make Tuscan White Bean Soup

  1. Start by finely slicing the onions, carrots (in half moons) and celery (Image 1).
  2. Then add the onion and carrots into a frying pan with a tbsp of olive oil. Sweat for around 6 minutes until the onions become translucent, then add the garlic to fry for 2 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with sliced onions, carrots, and celery on a chopping board and the second with these ingredients frying in a pan.

3. Meanwhile, fry the bacon pieces until they start to become crispy and browned (Image 3).

4. Wash the beans in a sieve (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with bacon pieces frying in a pan and the second with white beans in a sieve.

5. To the slow cooker, add the fried onion, carrot, garlic and half of the cooked bacon (reserving half for the topping) (Image 5).

6. Then add the beans and sun-dried tomatoes, then pour the stock into the slow cooker and stir. Pop the lid on and turn the cooking setting to high, set your timer/alarm to 5 hours (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with bacon pieces and fried onion and carrots in a slow cooker pot and the second with stock added.

7. After 4 hours, add the cavolo nero and the rosemary into the pot to infuse for the last hour, no need to use string to tie the rosemary together, you can use some tongs to remove at the end (Image 7).

8. When the 5 hours timer is up, stir the coooked soup (Image 8).

2 step by step photos, the first with the white bean stew with raw cavolo nero added in a slow cooker pot and the second with the stew cooked together.

Tips for the best results

Be patient.  Don’t take the soup out of the slow cooker before the 4 hours are up… I know it will be hard with all the wonderful scents wafting around, but it really needs the 4 hours so all the wonderful flavors come together perfectly!

Soak the beans overnight – to save cooking time.

Season before serving – Taste the soup before serving and adjust the seasoning before adding the pecorino and a dollop of creme fraiche.

Need inspiration for some other slow cooker recipes? Try my: Simple Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne, Slow Cooker Gammon Joint (Best honey roast ham!) and Slow Cooker Beef Curry (One Pot)

Serving suggestions

This soup is best served with a large slice of fresh crusty bread and a nice salad.  Or if you prefer, breadsticks make for good dipping and instead of a salad, opt for a hot vegetable side like Tenderstem broccoli.

White bean soup with bacon bits, cavolo nero and sundried tomatoes and celery bits in a bowl with asliver spoon.

Leftover Storage and Reheat Instructions

Can you make this ahead?
This is a fantastic recipe to make ahead for meal prep purposes!  Do everything the same, then follow the storage instructions below.

Refrigerator storage:  Store made ahead soup or leftover soup in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container.

Freezer storage:  Want it to last a little longer?  This soup is freezer friendly.  Store soup in an airtight container in a regular freezer for up to 3 months and a deep freezer for up to 1 year.

Reheat instructions:  Most important of all is how to reheat this delicious Tuscan soup!  When frozen, first thaw it in the microwave.  Once thawed, microwave the soup or heat it in a saucepan until warm.

When refrigerated, heat the soup in the microwave or saucepan until warm.

If you need some advice on reheating, see my ; The Best Way to Reheat Chicken Wings in the Airfryer, The Best Way To Reheat Salmon and The Best Way to Reheat Baked Ziti

FAQs

How do you thicken white bean soup?

There are several ways you can thicken bean soup.  I like to mash some of the beans in the soup to help get the natural starches to thicken it.  Another option is to use a little cornstarch and water mixture in a 1:1 ratio.  Pour in the slurry and allow it to cook with the soup.  It should thicken right up.

How do you thin white bean soup?

To make soup thinner, add some additional liquid.  For this recipe, you can add a bit of extra chicken stock or water.


Can I add more protein to this soup? 

Absolutely.  This soup would be great with the addition of chicken or Italian sausage.

 

White bean soup with bacon bits, cavolo nero and sundried tomatoes and celery bits in a bowl next to a wooden board with grated cheese and a pan in partial view with bacon bits.

If you tried this Slow Cooker Tuscan White Bean Soup recipe. it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

 

 

Easy Tuscan White Bean Soup

Print
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 5 minutes
£1.25
mains
Italian
Freezable
Servings: 6
This delectable Tuscan white bean soup is full of hearty vegetables, creamy textures, and Tuscan flavors.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, diced (£0.15)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (£0.39)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped (£0.69)
  • 1 carrot, chopped (£0.30)
  • 500 g dried white beans, washed (£1.25)
  • 300 g of cooking bacon, sliced into bite size pieces £0.90)
  • 100 g sun dried tomatoes (£2.00/4)=(£0.50)
  • Fresh rosemary (£0.55)
  • 150 g cavolo nero, torn into pieces, stork removed (£1.00)
  • 6 dollops creme fraiche (£0.89/2)=(£0.45)
  • 50 g Pecorino (£1.35)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 1.6 to 1.8 litre litres chicken stock
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Method

  • Start by adding the finely diced onion and carrots into a frying pan with a tbsp of olive oil. Sweat for around 6 minutes until the onions become translucent, then add the garlic to fry for 2 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, fry the bacon pieces until they start to become crispy and browned.
  • To the slow cooker, add the fried onion, carrot, garlic and half of the cooked bacon (reserving half for the topping), then add the beans and sun-dried tomatoes. Pour the stock into the slow cooker and stir. Pop the lid on and set the cooking setting to high, set your timer/alarm to 5 hours.
  • After 4 hours, add the cavolo nero and the rosemary into the pot to infuse for the last hour, no need to use string to tie the rosemary together, you can use some tongs to remove at the end.
  • When the 5 hours is up, serve the soup with a dollop of creme fraiche, some crispy bacon and a sprinkle of Pecorino. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Be patient and allow the soup to cook for the full 4 hours in the slow cooker to ensure all the flavours blend perfectly.
  • Soak the beans overnight, this will reduce the cooking time and ensures even cooking.
  • Taste the soup and adjust seasoning before adding pecorino and creme fraiche for the best flavour.

Nutrition

Servings: 6 servings
Fat: 19g
Calories: 513kcal
Carbohydrates: 53g
Protein: 34g

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