If you enjoy tomato basil soup but think it's not really a "meal", you haven't tried this delicious White Bean Tomato Basil Soup! It's fortified with white beans (for extra protein and fiber), lots of fresh veggies and a ton of fabulous flavor!
Have you ever enjoyed a bowl of cozy tomato soup only to find yourself hungry again within an hour or two? We have a bunch of fabulous tomato soups on the blog, but I thought it would be great to add a super delicious but also super hearty and higher protein rendition that would keep us satisfied for longer. This White Bean Tomato Basil Soup is the result and it makes a wonderful lunch or casual dinner with a simple green salad and/or a loaf of warm crusty bread.
White beans are a wonderful source of protein and are loaded with other healthy nutrients. For an extensive list of the health benefits of these small legumes, check out this article over at Heal with Food. I also love that they add lots of fiber and are a natural way to thicken this soup.
I've also included carrots in this White Bean Tomato Basil Soup to add even more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Pureed soups are a great way to sneak extra veggies into everyday meals without anyone objecting (or knowing)!
Quick and easy
This White Bean Tomato Basil Soup comes together quickly with just one pot on the stovetop. It starts with a pat of butter and a splash of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Next comes onion, garlic, pesto and Italian seasoning, all sautéd together until nice and fragrant.
Then add all the remaining ingredients (except the fresh basil), bring it all to a boil then cover, lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes until the carrots are nice and tender. Add the basil and give the soup a quick puree with an immersion or regular blender till it's nice and smooth. I like to add a splash of half and half before serving to mellow out all the flavors, but that's optional, it's also delicious dairy-free.
Shhhh... between you and me
Although I love occasionally ordering pizza and/or other take-out meals, I really like making most things from scratch at home. BUT there are a few ingredients I always keep stocked in my pantry, refrigerator or freezer that I refer to as "cheater ingredients". These are the ones I draw upon when I want something homemade, healthy and delicious for dinner but it's one of those (frequent) days when life seems like a whirlwind. There's nothing fake or artificial about these ingredients, they're just pre-prepped to save time. Ready? Remember, it's just between you and me.
- Chopped, frozen onions. These are just what they say, onions that are chopped then frozen. The ingredient label on the bag includes one ingredient; onions. Although it's not a big deal to chop up an onion, on a busy day it can be that one thing that's "just too much". I buy the generic brand at my local store (Ingles) which is Laura Lynn. Each bag holds about 4 cups of nicely chopped onion and is super economical (currently $1.38 per bag). A medium onion is 2 cups of chopped onion.
- Garlic paste. Again not a big deal to pull out the garlic press (I love this one, you don't even have to peel the garlic), but there are days when squeezing out a clove or two of garlic in less than 5 seconds, is just what the doctor (or the crazy day) ordered. Garlic paste is generally sold in the produce section of many larger grocery stores. Don't confuse it with the little jars of minced garlic which have a chemical taste and weird aroma when you open the jar. Garlic paste tastes and smells like fresh minced garlic. I always have a tube of garlic paste in the refrigerated or freezer for busy days. I love the Gourmet Garden brand of garlic paste. Gourmet Garden also carries Ginger Paste and Lemongrass Paste which are also delicious and great timesavers.
- Trader Joe's frozen crushed garlic. It comes in a little tray with 20 cubes of minced garlic. Each cube is equal to an average size clove of garlic, keeps well in the freezer and is super economical.
- Prepared pesto. Pesto adds an explosion of flavor to soups and sauces. In one little scoop, you get basil, garlic, olive oil, Parmesan and/or Romano cheese and finely ground pine nuts or almonds. I really like the pesto at Costco and Sam's club. Of course, homemade is always best, but it's expensive and takes time to make your own. I love what Sam's website says about the basil in their pesto:
Member's Mark Pesto features 100% Imported Italian Basil D.O.P., which guarantees that the basil is cultivated only from the Liguria region of Northern Italy. Ligurian D.O.P basil has superb flavor and aroma due to the unique combination of local soil, warm sun, Mediterranean salt air, and mountain breezes that are hallmarks of the region. That's pretty amazing! Sam's pesto also contains real pine nuts, which if you've looked recently, are crazy expensive.
- Italian seasoning. A wonderful spice combination to keep in your pantry. A spoonful of Italian seasoning contains basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, marjoram and sometimes savory and/or sage. So instead of reaching for all those spices, you can add wonderful flavor with just this one!
- Canned fire-roasted tomatoes. I love to keep a stock of fire-roasted tomatoes in my pantry. What are fire-roasted tomatoes? They're just like regular diced, canned tomatoes but they are roasted over an open fire before canning, adding a wonderful depth of flavor, some pretty char and a bit of smokiness. I always sub fire-roasted tomatoes for regular diced tomatoes in recipes. My favorite fire-roasted tomatoes are from Aldi. They have a deep red color and lots of nice char (and being a little lazy, I also love that the cans have a pull tab top.) Trader Joe's also carries fire-roasted crushed tomatoes which are great for smooth sauces.
Are you ready to make soup? I'm ready to get cozy and enjoy a bowl of this White Bean Tomato Basil Soup. I'm so happy I have a little stash in the fridge! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Café Tips for making this White Bean Tomato Basil Soup
- This recipe calls for white beans. Feel free to use navy beans, Cannellini beans or Great Northern beans.
- Fire-roasted tomatoes are also on the ingredient list. You can read above why I love fire-roasted tomatoes but, if you can't find them, regular diced tomatoes will also work.
- When purchasing prepared pesto, look for the prettiest, brightest green jars. As mentioned above, I really like the pesto from Sam's Club and Costco. I keep a big jar of it in my freezer and when I need some, I just let it thaw slightly for 10 minutes, scoop out what I need and pop it back in the freezer. It keeps well for several months.
- This recipe calls for goat cheese OR Feta for a garnish. It would also be delicious with a slice of fresh melting mozzarella!
- This is one of those soups that is delicious when first made but gets even better as the flavors have a chance to meld and marry. It makes fabulous leftovers and hearty lunches for work or school days.
- This is a pureed soup which means after it's all cooked and the veggies are tender, it's pureed with a regular blender or an immersion blender. My immersion blender is one of my favorite little kitchen workhorses. It's really nice in recipes like this White Bean Tomato Basil Soup because you can leave the soup right in the pot so it eliminates washing a blender container. I also like to use my immersion blender for soups like this because you don't have to worry about the hot steam from the soup causing an explosion. This can happen with a regular blender if you don't let the mixture cool properly or don't vent the blender top. Immersion blenders aren't expensive and can be used for lots of other things too. This is a great moderately priced immersion blender. If you want to go a little fancier or are looking for a nice gift for a cook, this is an amazing little appliance.
- A little tip about basil. If you see a nice pot of fresh basil (not the hydroponic variety with just the roots), bring it home and give it a home in a bright, sunny window. I grow basil all winter long in my front dining room window where it gets lots of morning sunshine and bright afternoon light. If I keep it well-watered, it will continue to grow and send out new leaves for weeks on end.
Thought for the day:
The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
What we're listening to for inspiration:
If you enjoy any of these recipes, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear your results, adaptations and ideas for variations.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium-size sweet onion roughly chopped
- 3 medium cloves garlic peeled and smashed
- 2 tablespoons purchased pesto
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 15-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 14-ounce can white beans canellini, navy or Great Northern, drained
- 2 medium-size medium-size carrots scrubbed (no need to peel) and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves packed
- ½ cup half & half optional
- Feta cheese optional, for serving
- fresh basil leaves for garnish optional, for serving
- fresh ground black pepper optional, for serving
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted and sizzling a bit. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened and translucent.
Add the garlic, pesto and Italian seasoning and cook for another minute until fragrant.
Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, white beans, carrots, brown sugar, salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a steady simmer and cover. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the carrots are nice and tender.
Remove the cover and add the basil leaves. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup mixture until nice and smooth. I like to use a pot holder and tip my pot to the side to make pureeing a little easier. You can also allow the mixture to cool a bit then puree in a regular blender, making sure to vent the top of the blender cap to allow the steam to escape. You can do this by covering the hole in the blender top with a kitchen towel or several thicknesses of paper towels or by simply inserting a narrow tipped funnel into the blender top opening.
Add the half and half (if using) and stir to incorporate. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese or Feta, fresh basil leaves and freshly ground black pepper. Serve and enjoy!
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips to ensure success.
If you prefer to use Metric measurements there is a button in each of our recipes, right above the word “Instructions”. Just click that button to toggle to grams, milliliters, etc. If you ever come across one of our recipes that doesn’t have the Metric conversion (some of the older recipes may not), feel free to leave a comment and I will add it.
Nutritional information includes the ½ cup half and half but not the garnishes.