This hearty and vegetarian White Bean Soup is one for the books! We're loading in plenty of nutritious ingredients with loads of "hidden" veggies. This protein-packed soup is ultra thick, creamy, and hearty without needing any cream, milk, or thickening agents (we thicken this soup with the beans!).
3cans (15.5 oz. (439g) each)cannellini beans,drained and rinsed
132 oz. container (907g)vegetable stockwe love Swanson's (4 cups)
Fresh basil pestoNote 1
Optional: fresh thyme, Crusty bread, for serving
SAUTEVEGGIES: Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add in the diced onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes or until onion is golden and soft. Add in garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
TOMATO PASTE: Add in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and tomato paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/2 tsp fine sea salt & 1/4 tsp pepper). Mix and then cook, stirring frequently for 7-9 minutes or until veggies are very tender and tomato paste has become very thick/darkened in color. Don't try to rush this step-- we are adding flavor and ensuring the veggies won't end up crunchy (they don't soften much more)! Add in the seasonings: dried thyme, dried crushed rosemary, red pepper flakes. Mix through.
STOCK AND BEANS: Slowly pour in the vegetable stock while scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Add in the drained and rinsed beans and stir. Bring soup to a boil and then lower the heat until soup is very gently simmering. Simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes.
BLEND: Remove pot from the heat. Remove 2 cups of the soup and transfer into a blender. Blend until completely smooth and then pour back into the pot (use a spatula to scrape it all back in!). Mix to combine. Add in 3 tablespoons pesto and stir through. Taste and adjust seasonings, I typically add another 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt here -- the flavors should sing!
SERVE: Serve immediately, spooning soup into bowls and drizzle in another 1/2 tablespoon (or more -- to taste preference!) of pesto into bowls. Serve with fresh thyme if desired and with crusty artisan bread for dunking!
Note 1: Basil Pesto: I recommend getting refrigerated, freshly-made basil pesto, which you can find near refrigerated fresh pasta and gourmet cheese. Rana’s® Basil Pesto is our personal favorite store-bought pesto sauce.