Creamy White Bean Soup - The Creamiest and Most Delicious Vegan Soup

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Creamy White Bean Soup - The Creamiest and Most Delicious Vegan Soup

Creamy doesn't always equal cream, and this totally dairy-free soup is proof of that.

Undrained canned navy beans are mixed with slow-cooked aromatics and vegetable broth for a delicious vegan soup that is anything but boring 30 minutes.

What makes this soup even more special is the vibrant herb garnish, called gremolata, that is drizzled on top before serving.

This is the perfect soup for weekends and special occasions.

What is gremolata?

Gremolata is an Italian seasoning made from chopped fresh parsley, garlic, and lemon zest.

It comes from the northern region of Lombardy, where it is traditionally used as a garnish for osso buco, a braised and breaded veal leg dish.

The cool herbaceous seasoning lends a welcome brightness and contrast to the rich dish.

Here, the gremolata brings the same vitality.

However, this version of the spice is a riff on the classic. In addition to parsley, garlic, and lemon zest, it includes crumbled fried sage leaves, giving it a warm, earthy flavor profile that's especially well-suited for these cooler months.

Exchanges and Substitutions

Any white bean can be used to make this soup. We love meaty cannellini beans, but Great Northern beans or navy beans work well too.

If you prefer to use beans that you've cooked from scratch instead of canned beans, swap 4 1/2 cups of cooked navy beans for the cooking liquid.

And if you don't need to keep this soup vegan, you can use low sodium chicken broth in place of the vegetable broth.

You can also riff on the gremolata. Try using orange zest instead of lemon zest, or swap out the sage leaves for fresh rosemary needles that you've removed from the stem.

Simply use the needles from about 5 medium sized sprigs, fry them in olive oil as you would sage leaves, and chop coarsely.


For soup:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 coarsely minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth, more as needed
  • 3 (14 oz) cans navy beans, such as cannellini, including liquid (see recipe note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

For the gremolata and serve:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 35 fresh sage leaves (from about 5 branches)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, loosely chopped
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • Fine zest of 1 medium lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


Saute onion, garlic and pepper flakes:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes, if using, and sauté until onion is translucent, very soft, and lightly browned, about 7 to 9 minutes.

Skip the soup:

Add broth and all beans, season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and stir to combine.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, reduce heat to medium-low to maintain simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the broth to reduce slightly.

Meanwhile, make the gremolata:

Line a plate with paper towels. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until a sage leaf sample sizzles immediately after being placed in the oil, about 2 minutes.

Add half of the sage leaves and cook, stirring once or twice, until crisp-tender and the edges are curled and golden brown, 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fried sheets to the plate lined with paper towels and repeat with the remaining sheets.

Remove the pan from the heat and reserve the oil to fry with the sage. Allow the fried sage to cool for a few minutes until it is cool enough to handle.

Place the parsley, garlic, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Crumble the fried sage leaves into the bowl. Season with 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt and use a fork to combine.

Once the soup is boiling, remove from heat. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup directly in the pot until smooth, adding additional broth as needed to achieve desired consistency.

(Alternatively, blend in batches in a regular blender.) Taste and season with additional kosher salt and pepper as needed.


Divide the soup into bowls. Garnish with gremolata and a generous drizzle of the reserved sage frying oil.


Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Also store any leftover gremolata and frying oil in separate containers in the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature on the counter while you reheat the soup.

You can also freeze this white bean soup, without the gremolata, in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and prepare the gremolata before reheating the soup or while it is simmering on the stove.

Enjoy this video tutorial of this delicious recipe

Souce: Rainbow Plant Life

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