This hearty bean soup is a comforting and filling meal that’s perfect for a chilly day. A knock out 30 minute soup made with cannellini beans, finished off with smoked bacon and a generous helping of pearl couscous. Serve with a side of crusty bread for a satisfying dish that is sure to become a family favorite.
Why You’ll Love this Hearty Beans Soup Recipe
This bean soup is mind blowing easy to prepare, crazy delicious and super comforting. It’s also budget-friendly and made with only a few simple ingredients. A thick soup that tastes creamy and savory like a chowder without any use of cream. Chock full of cannellini beans and garlic, jazzed up with Italian seasoning that blends perfectly with the smoked bacon. It’s very filling and will keep you full, thanks to the addition of pearl couscous. Serve for lunch or dinner any night of the week with some good country bread.
So how do we make this soup creamy? It’s a simple trick where 1 can of beans is puréed together with some of the broth, while the rest of the beans are added whole. I highly recommend to not skip this step.
This is one seriously good bowl of soup made with canned beans, but if you’ve got more time, you could use dry beans.
Let me guide you through the recipe with this step-by-step VIDEO.
How to Make a Thick Bean Soup
We start by puréeing 1 can of beans with 1 cup chicken broth. Next we cook the bacon to use its grease as a flavor layer. We remove the bacon and toss in onion, garlic and carrots. Cook them with a mix of Italian seasoning, black pepper, paprika and a little bit of tomato paste. This combination adds so much flavor!
Once that’s done, we add the puréed beans and the remaining cans of beans. Pour in broth, add bay leaf and pearl couscous. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.
When ready, we add bacon back to the pot and stir in Parmesan. Garnish with fresh parsley, giving the soup a bright and refreshing finish. So simple. It really does not take much to throw this bean soup together.
The Ingredients You’ll Need for this Delicious Bean Soup
- Olive Oil: To fry the bacon.
- Smoked Bacon: Adds a savory, smoky and slightly salty flavor to the soup. It gives it a depth of flavor and balances out the earthiness of the beans. It helps to enhance the overall flavor, adds richness and decadence to the soup, making it feel like a special treat.
- Beans: We use canned cannellini beans for this recipe, but you can use any type of white beans such as navy beans, butter beans or great northern beans.
- Onion: We’re using a large yellow onion.
- Carrots: Flavor base.
- Garlic: This is a delicious garlic kissed soup, we’re using 6 large garlic cloves.
- Seasoning: Black pepper, sweet paprika, bay leaf and Italian seasoning.
- Tomato Paste: To enhance the flavors.
- Chicken Broth: To elevate the overall taste, the flavors would never be the same if we’d use water and salt. You can swap chicken broth for vegetable broth.
- Pearl Couscous: If you can’t find it, use small pasta such as acini de pepe, ditalini or elbows.
- Herbs: Parsley for a fresh finishing touch.
- Use canned beans for a 30 minute meal, or dry beans if you’ve got more time. You’ll need about 3 cups dry beans, soak them overnight and cook for 30 minutes, before adding to the soup.
- Add greens like spinach or kale.
- I think this soup would also be delicious with an addition of potatoes or sweet potatoes.
- You can keep this bean soup meat free.
- This is a pretty thick soup, you can thin it out by adding an extra cup of broth.
- Make ahead: If you’re making this soup in advance, you’ll need to cook the pasta separately to prevent it from overcooking and becoming soggy. Then store the soup and pasta separately.
- Storing: You can refrigerate the soup in airtight containers for up to 3 days.
- To freeze: Put the soup into an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator then heat it on the stove and add 1/2 cup water.
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Cooking Video: How to Make Hearty Bean Soup
- 2 olive oil
- 7 ounces/200 g smoked bacon bits
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 large carrots, finely chopped
- 1 tsp each: black pepper, sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
- 3 cans (15 ounce/400 g) beans, drained
- 5 cups (1 L + 250 ml) chicken broth, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 ounces/110 g pearl couscous
- 2 ounces /60 g grated Parmesan
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley, more for serving
- Get your prep done before you start cooking: finely chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Peel and dice the carrots. Chop the parsley.
- Add 1 can of beans to a bowl, pour in 1 cup chicken broth and purée with an immersion blender until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat oil over medium in a large pot. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove from pot with slotted spoon leaving as much grease as possible in the pot.
- Add onion, garlic and carrots. Cook for 3 minutes until fragrant and soft. Stir in pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning and tomato paste. Add the remaining 2 cans of beans together with the puréed beans. Pour in the remaining broth, add bay leaf and pearl couscous. Bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes. If you're not planning to serve the soup right away, cook the pearl couscous separately.
- When ready, turn off the heat, add bacon and Parmesan. Stir until combined. Finish off with extra black pepper and chopped parsley. Serve immediately. Enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 368Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 1070mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 21g
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.