Ready in less than 40 minutes, this easy lemony white bean soup is incredibly delicious and nourishing. Meatless and nutrient-rich, the flavor is so unique, this recipe is an absolute must-try if you love lemon.
Why You'll love this recipe
- It's so good! This soup is comforting, satisfying and fresh. Serve it with crusty sourdough bread or baguette like you would with this cheesy white bean tomato bake.
- This soup is nourishing. Made with nutrient-rich ingredients, it's filled with vitamins, minerals, it's high in protein and low in fat. And the white beans are not only delicious, they're also a great source of fiber.
- It's very easy to make! It's a one-pot soup, we use canned beans as they're so convenient, and all the ingredients are easy to find at your local grocery store.
- It's reheats beautifully which makes it great for meal-prep for a ready to go quick lunch or dinner. It's also beautiful and would be fun to serve at a dinner party with friends and family.
Key Ingredients and Variations
- White Beans: I used a mix of canned white great northern and cannellini beans, they both work great for this recipe. Drain them and rinse them (if you want), not rinsing them (or barely rinsing them) will help thicken the soup a bit. If you want to use dry beans, cook them ahead of time before starting this recipe.
- Fresh lemon juice and zest: this is key to this soup, it gives it such a delicious flavor. Always start with less than too much, and if you want more, add some little by little so it's not overly lemony.
- Shallots: I use shallots instead of onions only because they're a little sweeter and I adore the flavor, but yellow onion would work too.
- Carrots: they balance this soup so well and bring some texture.
- Herbs: I chose fresh thyme and rosemary for this white bean soup. I put the whole sprigs in there and removed them before serving, but you can chop them very finely if you prefer. Fresh is best if possible, if you use dried, use between ¼ and ½ teaspoon. Start with less than too much and adjust to taste. If you'd rather use oregano or other herbs you love, feel free to experiment.
- Garlic: aways adds an amazing flavor.
- Broth: vegetable or chicken broth work, if possible low-sodium as you can add your own spices to taste.
- Lacinato Kale: also called dinosaur kale or Tuscan kale. Curly kale would work too, it's a tad tougher though. Make sure to remove the thick middle stem and massage the kale with your hands a few times to tenderize it.
- Fresh parmesan: it adds creaminess and the flavor finishes this recipe perfectly.
How to make lemony white bean soup
- You'll need a large heavy-bottomed pot like a Dutch oven to make this soup.
- Chop the shallot and celery finely, slice the carrots, mince the garlic. Remove the middle stems of the kale and chop it.
In a large pot, heat up olive oil, add chopped shallot, celery and carrots, and cook stirring often for 5 minutes.
Then add minced garlic, and cook for about 1 minute.
Add the white beans, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder. Gently stir everything.
Pour the broth and water. Add the sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Then add the chopped kale and continue cooking until tender, 5-6 minutes.
Add lemon zest and lemon juice, stir it in and continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve with fresh parmesan and enjoy!
It's Soup Season!
- Chickpea Soup
- Broccoli Zucchini Soup
- Potato Cauliflower & Leek Soup
- Butternut Squash Leek Soup
- Soupe Au Pistou (French Vegetable Soup)
- Store the leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days, or freeze in portioned freezer safe containers for up to 6 months. Let the soup cool down completely before freezing.
- Use fresh lemon. Bottled lemon is convenient for some recipes, but for this lemony white bean soup, using freshly squeezed is highly recommended for the best result.
- If you want to add some spice to your soup, add red pepper flakes, a little cayenne pepper, or some hot sauce.
- Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
- You can always add more broth too or a little water if needed.
- Reheat the soup leftovers in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or on the stove until warmed thru.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can replace it with spinach which cooks fast, so add it just a couple minutes before serving. But if you want to give kale a chance you might truly love it in this soup!
Use an immersion blender, and blend a little bit of the soup before serving. It'll make it creamier and thick without adding cream.
Lemony White Bean Soup
- large pot like a Dutch oven
- wooden spoon
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot finely chopped, about ⅓ cup
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped, about ⅓ cup
- 3-4 carrots sliced, about 1 and ½ cup
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 15.5 oz-cans white beans great northern or cannellini, drained and rinsed
- ¾ teaspoon salt more or less to taste
- ½ teaspoon black pepper more or less to taste
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 cups reduced-sodium broth chicken or vegetable
- 1 cup water
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 cups chopped kale lacinato ( also called Tuscan or dinosaur), stem removed
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about ½ a large lemon, 1 small lemon. Or more to taste
- fresh shredded parmesan
- In a large pot, heat up olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add chopped shallot, celery and carrots, reduced heat to medium, and cook stirring often for 5 minutes.
- Then add minced garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the white beans, salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder. Gently stir everything.
- Add the broth, then a cup of water (pour it in the broth container and shake to get all of it). Then add the sprigs of thyme and rosemary. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
- Then add the chopped kale (you can quickly massage it with you hand right before to tenderize it), and continue cooking until tender, about 5-6 minutes.
- Finally add the lemon zest and lemon juice, stir it in and continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove the rosemary and thyme with a spoon or fork. Serve with fresh parmesan on top and enjoy!
- Broth: add a little more broth (or water) if the soup feels too thick to your taste. I like to add water to the carton of broth and shake it to get all of it.