This hearty white bean soup is loaded with cauliflower, leeks, and adds a little kick from jalapeño pepper. It's perfect for lunch, and filling enough for a vegetarian dinner.
If you have cooked white beans on hand, this soup comes together quickly.Jump to Recipe
- ❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- 🧅 Ingredients + Notes
- 🔪 Recommended Equipment
- 📝 Instructions Overview
- ⏰ Tips to Simplify and Save Time
- 👩🍳 Preparation Tips
- 💡Ideas for Possible Variations
- 🥬 Make it Vegan
- 🥩 For the Meat Eaters at the Table
- 🍽 Side Dish Ideas
- 📇 More White Bean Soups
- White Bean Soup with Cauliflower (Recipe)
- 🌱 Sign up for my emails, and get my 5 tips for easy vegetarian meals!
Soups are all the rage when the weather chills, with overnight temperatures that dip below freezing. And especially soups hearty enough to be a main dish for dinner like this award winning Vegetable Soup with Beans, this Moroccan Chickpea Stew with Charred Eggplant and Tomatoes that I modified from an Ottolenghi cookbook, or a Vegetable Rice Soup.
And if you're interested in another cauliflower soup, here's a puréed cheesy cauliflower soup that's fabulous. Especially with a little rosemary olive oil.
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- No fancy ingredients requiring a scavenger hunt to all your local stores and beyond.
- Satisfying vegetarian main dish.
- Make it ahead, if that works better for your schedule.
- Delicious comfort food.
- Great way to get kids to eat more veggies!
- Easily made vegan, or add chicken for the meat eaters.
🧅 Ingredients + Notes
- Jalapeño pepper - or a couple of pinches of red pepper flakes
- Dried thyme
- White wine
- Vegetable broth / stock - I often use Better Than Bouillon-Roasted Vegetable Paste
- White beans - I've made this soup with both Cannellini beans and Navy beans with great success.
- Parmesan cheese or Nutritional Yeast
- Flat leaf parsley - garnish
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🔪 Recommended Equipment
- Chef's knife
- Dutch oven or other heavy bottom pot suitable for soup
- Cheese grater
📝 Instructions Overview
Detailed instructions for making this white bean soup are in the recipe card below, but here's an overview!
Cook the white beans. If you prefer to cook your beans from dried (like me), it's best to get them going first. If you're using canned beans, skip to the next step.
Prep. There's a little prepping involved, and it's best to do it all at once so that you're not furiously chopping and mincing trying to keep up with the soup cooking on the stove. Just sayin'.
This includes the celery, leek, jalapeño, cauliflower and garlic.
Sauté. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot, and add the diced celery, sliced leeks, jalapeño and cauliflower. Once the celery and leeks begin to soften, add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.
Add the liquids. Pour in the wine, and toss the vegetable to coat. Cook until the wine is completely absorbed or cooked off. Add the vegetable broth, white beans and a knob of Parmesan cheese rind. (The knob of rind adds some nice umami to the soup.)
Simmer until cauliflower is tender.
Serve. Serve with some grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and crusty bread.
⏰ Tips to Simplify and Save Time
- Your market may sell celery that's already diced.
- Cook the beans ahead of time, if using dried beans, or use canned beans.
- Buy cauliflower florets already separated instead of purchasing a head of cauliflower and chopping it.
- Use a couple pinches of red pepper flakes in place of the jalapeño.
- Use Gourmet Garden garlic paste in a tube instead of mincing your own garlic.
- Do all the prepping in advance, and store the prepped veggies in the refrigerator.
- Make the soup ahead, refrigerate it in sealed containers, and heat it back up when you're ready to eat it.
👩🍳 Preparation Tips
This is intended to be a rustic soup, so there's no need to go all Thomas Keller perfection on prepping the veggies.
When you chop up the cauliflower, don't just use the florets. Also chop up the stem. Only the bottom leaves and the bottom of the stalk should be discarded.
💡Ideas for Possible Variations
- Roasted cauliflower adds much more flavor to this soup versus just simmering it. To roast the cauliflower, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and toss the cauliflower in a little olive oil. Roast at 400˚F in the oven for 15 minutes (depending on the size of the florets), or in the air fryer (using an air fryer basket) for 7 - 10 minutes.
- For a creamy cauliflower white bean soup, blend it in a food processor, regular blender, or by using a stick blender (immersion blender).
🥬 Make it Vegan
Eliminated the knob of Parmesan rind and grated Parmesan just before serving. Instead, add some Nutritional Yeast to the soup. It adds lots of healthy nutrition to the soup, and a slight umami cheesy flavor.
🥩 For the Meat Eaters at the Table
Add 1 cup of roasted chicken to the soup. Depending on how chunky you like your soup, you may need to increase the liquid.
🍽 Side Dish Ideas
Freshly baked bread is always a hit. This Aglio e Olio Pizza Bread is a nice partner to this soup, or just pick up a baguette of freshly baked crusty French bread.
📇 More White Bean Soups
Award-Winning Vegetable Soup with White Beans
Flageolet Bean Soup, Tomatoes & Sage
White Bean Soup with Cauliflower (Recipe)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup thinly sliced leek
- ¼ cup minced jalapeño
- 2 cups chopped cauliflower chopped from cauliflower florets
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- ¼ cup white wine
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 14.5 ounce can cooked white beans either cannellini or Navy white beans (or 1½ cups cooked from dried)
- Knob Parmesan cheese rind (about 1" piece)
- grated Parmesan cheese for topping garnish
- coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley garnish
- Cook the white beans if you want to use them from dried. If you use canned beans, skip to the next step.
- Prep all the veggies.
- Warm the olive oil in a Dutch oven, or other heavy bottomed, large pot suitable for soup, and add the celery, leek, jalapeño and cauliflower. Sauté until the celery and leeks soften over medium heat, about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté for a few minutes until fragrant.
- Add the wine. Toss the veggies in it, and cook until the wine is absorbed or cooked off. Add the vegetable stock, cooked beans, and the knob of Parmesan rind. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Serve hot with a topping of grated parmesan cheese and parsley.
Absolutely DELICIOUS! Easy to prepare. Enjoyed by all. I added two chicken breasts, roasted and shredded, for more protein as well as some extra beans. Also added an extra jalapeño. For toppings at serving time, I added one heaping teaspoon of sour cream along with what the recipe calls for. This will become a regular soup for our family. Thank you Susan, for an outstanding recipe!
The Wimpy Vegetarian
I'm so thrilled that you made this and loved it so much!!! It's a very flexible soup as you found. Thank you so very much for letting me (and my readers know)!!!! I