Ready in just 30 minutes, this Tuscan soup with white beans has a rich savory flavor thanks to smoked paprika and fennel. 

Tuscan soup | Tuscan bean soup

There’s nothing we love more than trying to come up with a way to use the ingredients we have on hand or see at our local market! This Tuscan soup was inspired by some greens from a local food delivery, combined with the memory of a soup made by a good friend a while back. It turned out so delicious that we had to make it again immediately. The combination of hearty, tangy broth and garlicky white beans make it a recipe we repeat again and again around here. Plus, people tell us it tastes like pizza! (We agree.)

More great bean soups? Try Cozy White Bean Soup.

Key ingredients in this Tuscan soup

This Tuscan soup is over the top delicious. In fact, I pulled out the superlatives tasting this Tuscan bean soup (“this is the best soup…ever!”). Some people tell us is tastes like liquid pizza! Here are a few of the key ingredients that make the magic:

  • San Marzano tomatoes: San Marzano tomatoes are a variety of tomato that’s grown in Italy. They’re now pretty readily available canned in most stores in the US.
  • Fresh fennel: We love the subtle hearty flavor it gives here. It doesn’t have any of the licorice flavor that raw fennel has. If you don’t think you like fennel based on the raw variety, give this cooked fennel a chance!
  • Smoked paprika: The smoked paprika in this Tuscan bean soup makes a huge difference to the final flavor of this dish. You only need the tiniest amount to achieve a slightly smoky, umami flavor. If you don’t have any on hand, you can use regular paprika, but the final flavor will not be the same. It’s worth buying some smoked paprika for this Tuscan soup: and you can use it in so many more recipes (see below).
Tuscan soup | Tuscan bean soup

How to eat more greens: Tuscan soup!

This Tuscan soup is super nutritious, especially since it’s loaded with dark leafy greens. This is one of our favorite ways to eat greens, and we recommend this soup often. Because the cooked greens easily take on the flavor of the soup, you feel like you’re eating pizza when you’re really eating kale or chard! It’s a magic tip, in our house.

When making this soup, feel free to use whatever leafy greens you have on hand. Heartier greens like kale, collards, or Swiss chard work wonderfully here. But adding a few handfuls of baby spinach leaves during the last few minutes of cooking will also work. Serve this Tuscan bean soup with homemade focaccia bread, multigrain bread or sourdough bread if you have extra time on your hands, or pair it with a simple side salad.

Related: 10 Romantic Dinner Recipes

More smoked paprika recipes

Did you buy some smoked paprika for this Tuscan bean soup and not sure how to use it up? Here are some smoked paprika recipes that use it. We use it all the time in our recipes, since it adds an irresistible smoky undertone!

This Tuscan soup recipe is…

This Tuscan soup is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy free.

Related: Try using our Homemade Vegetable Broth for this recipe!

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Tuscan Soup with White Beans


  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x

Description

Ready in just 30 minutes, this Tuscan bean soup has a rich umami flavor thanks to the addition of smoked paprika and fennel.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale or other dark leafy greens (Swiss chard, spinach, mustard greens)
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes (San Marzano, if possible)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or canned broth)
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pecorino cheese to garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Chop the fennel bulb (reserve some sprigs for a garnish). Wash and roughly chop the kale. Drain and rinse the cannellini beans.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat, then sauté the fennel for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes with their juices and simmer for 8 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, water and cannellini beans. Bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and add the red pepper flakes, dried basil, smoked paprika, and kosher salt.
  6. Add the kale and simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Serve garnished with grated Pecorino cheese and fennel sprigs. Store refrigerated for 3 days or frozen up to 3 months.
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: tuscan bean soup

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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54 Comments

  1. I loved this soup. It was very delicious and healthy. I didn’t alter the receipe other than halving it as I have a small family, and it turned out great! Thanks!

  2. What a delicious soup! After a week of cooking so-so recipes (none of which were from this site), your soup made my night. Thanks for sharing! Your blog is a slam-dunk source for nutritious veggie meals (and especially soups).

  3. This sounds absolutely wonderful! It’s actually cold here in San Diego today, I can’t think of anything better to warm up with, thanks for sharing!

  4. Thanks for the recipe, I have made this a couple of times and have enjoyed it every time! Last time, I added balsamic vinegar, garlic, onions, and celery and it was absolutely delicious… As someone just learning how to cook, I really appreciate that you guys have been offering up healthy, straight forward recipes, I’ve really enjoyed your blog.

  5. Made this soup tonight and it was delicious. A nice keeper in the recipe folder. Didn’t use the cheese because it is not vegetarian due to the animal rennet. But loved the soup. Thank you!!!!

  6. Made this over the weekend for a Godfather marathon, everyone was supposed to bring an Italian dish, it was gone by the first credits rolled!

  7. I made this recipe the other night and my family just absolutely loved it. My one-year old can be a bit of a picky eater and I was a little hesitant to give her some due to the red pepper flakes, but she ate it all up! And for those of y’all in the Tennessee region (especially new moms), I’ve been using Carrot Krate ever since Avie was born and have not been disappointed. Fresh, organic food delivered right to my front door!

  8. Do you ever make this up ahead of time? I was contemplating making in the morning, then reheating once I get home from work?

    1. Yes, you can definitely make this ahead of time and refrigerate, then reheat. The flavors taste even better!

  9. Wow! Your beautiful photo caught my attention but the taste of this outstanding soup will keep me returning to your website for many more recipes. Thank you!

  10. This is AMAZING!!! SO DELICIOUS! THANK YOU! 😋🍴😋 I have a pic of your tuscan soup that looks pretty and yummy! I’d add it to this post if I could!

  11. This was delicious! Had some fennel and kale from my CSA and wanted to do something different. Followed the recipe as is and everyone chowed! Thank you.

  12. First time trying a recipe with fennel and Swiss chard! I normally won’t eat anything with cooked tomatoes but it looked so good and healthy I just had to try it! It was AMAZING! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  13. I like the fennel in this. But I omitted the smoked paprika and added a lot of minced garlic. I also used escarole instead of kale. I guess I made something more traditionally Italian!

  14. This soup was delicious! The second night we added leftover veggies. We like the broth so much that I plan to use it as a base for other soups. I have some frozen scallops in the freezer and husband is begging me to make a seafood chowder using your recipe!

  15. Good base recipe, but very bland. Next time, I will add onion, garlic, a piece or parmesan crust, and maybe some kind of meat. It really lacks depth.

    1. Thanks for making! The Pecorino cheese really adds here. Also fire roasted or San Marzano tomatoes are key, what brand of tomatoes did you use? You included the smoked paprika as well?

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