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This white bean soup is full of irresistible flavor, thanks to kale, lemon and tarragon! This healthy recipe will become an instant favorite.

White Bean Soup
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Here’s a healthy soup you’ll immediately add to your regular rotation…because it’s just that good. Try this White Bean Soup recipe, full of humble ingredients and huge flavor! It’s a new favorite over here, especially now that soup season has arrived. Tender white beans float in the cozy broth with soft potatoes and leafy kale. Lemon zest lends brightness and tarragon brings an herby nuance. The best part? It’s made of 100% vegetables and tastes like a dream. We tested this one out on friends and family, and they immediately asked for the recipe!

Ingredients in this white bean soup recipe

This humble white bean soup is built for speed. In fact, it takes just over 30 minutes to make (or less, if you’ve got quick knife skills). Because it’s speedy, you’ll want to use canned beans here. Use your favorite type of canned white bean! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vegetables: onion, carrot, garlic, yellow potatoes, and kale
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable broth
  • Canned or cooked white beans: cannellini, Great Northern, navy, butter, or other
  • Lemon zest
  • Dried tarragon: this absolutely makes the flavor! This spices is worth grabbing at the store if you don’t already have it on hand. In a pinch, dried sage, dill or thyme can stand in, but try to grab the real thing if you can.
  • Salt and pepper
White Bean Soup

Types of white beans

You can use any type of white bean in this recipe! We like using cannellini beans because of their creamy texture and large size. But any type works! Here are a few of the major white beans you’ll find at the store:

  • Cannellini: Cannellini beans (can-a-leen-ee) are an Italian variety that are large and kidney shaped, with a creamy texture and mild flavor.
  • Great Northern: These are smaller than cannellini and have a brighter white color. They also have a mild flavor with a nutty undertone.
  • Navy: Navy beans are the smallest of the types of white beans. They have a mild flavor and got their name because they were a popular staple for the US Navy in the early 1900’s.
  • Butter: Butter beans are the largest of the white bean family, with a creamy, rich flavor. Butter beans are sold in many grocery stores dried and canned. Their large size makes for a stunning look in this soup!

Can you use dried white beans in this soup?

Yes! Simply cook up a pot of white beans using your favorite method: we like the Dutch oven method or Instant Pot method. Then use 4 ½ cups cooked white beans to substitute for the 3 15-ounce cans.

White Bean Soup

Blending this white bean and kale soup

The key to this tasty white bean soup? Blending the broth to get it lightly creamy! Here are a few notes on that step:

  • The key to the lightly creamy broth? Take out 3 cups of the soup and blend it, then return it to the pot! You can use a standard blender or immersion blender for this job.
  • Feeling lazy? You can skip this step. The soup still tastes great! We prefer it with the textured broth, but it’s great either way.

A note on serving size

This white bean soup is designed for a big pot of soup with 4 to 6 ample servings. Because here’s the thing. We originally made a modest 4 serving recipe version of it, but the pot disappeared too quickly! In our opinion, if you’re going to make a pot of soup, you’ve got to have leftovers. And these leftovers keep well!

Want to make the 4 serving version of this soup? Simply multiply everything by 0.75 below and it comes out to round numbers! For the vegetable broth, you can use 1 quart broth and 1 cup water.

White Bean Soup

Leftover storage

Got leftovers of this white bean soup? It works great for lunches the next day, and the flavor gets even better over time! Store it refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Sides to serve with this soup recipe

What to serve with soup? There are lots of ways to make it into a healthy meal! We like pairing it with a fresh salad with a little extra protein, or a piece of crusty or toast. Here are some ideas:

More healthy soup recipes

Love soups? This one is incredibly healthy: it’s vegan, vegetarian, and full of nutritious vegetables! Here are a few more of our favorite healthy soup recipes for soup season:

White Bean Soup

This white bean soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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White bean soup

White Bean Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

4.9 from 11 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


This white bean soup is full of irresistible flavor, thanks to kale, lemon and tarragon! This healthy recipe will become an instant favorite.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound yellow or Yukon Gold potatoes, small diced
  • 3 15-ounce cans (4 ½ cups cooked) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or Great Northern, navy, butter or other white bean)
  • 2 quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried tarragon*
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 5 to 6 leaves Tuscan kale, chopped into small pieces


  1. Prep the fresh ingredients (see above).
  2. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the minced garlic and cook until just browned, about 1 minute. Add the potato, drained and rinsed white beans, vegetable broth, lemon zest, dried tarragon, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
  4. Remove 3 cups of the hot soup (including broth and vegetables) and carefully blend it in a blender or immersion blender. Then pour it back into the pot to create a lightly creamy broth (you can skip this step if you prefer and it still tastes great!).
  5. Stir in the chopped kale and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes more. Taste and add any additional salt, to taste (depending on your brand of vegetable broth). Eat immediately or save leftovers refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.


*We highly recommend grabbing dried tarragon at the store if you don’t regularly stock it in your pantry: it makes the soup! In a pinch, substitute dried sage or thyme. 

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Soup
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Callie Shelby says:

    I made this and it was absolutely delicious! My husband also loved it. I also added some juice from the lemon, and a can of coconut milk to make it extra creamy. Will definitely be making this again!!

  2. Dan A says:

    When you say in the instructions’ step #3: “bring to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.” Do you mean bring to a boil? Simmering, and then simmering again/some more did NOT yield tender potatoes…

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      If they are small diced they should tender at 15 minutes. You can always go a few minutes longer if necessary.

  3. mark says:

    Daughter loved it, I was having problems at first with the flavor but by second bowl I loved it, wife soso, too perfumy for her, she did eat it.
    Very refreshing and light for bean and potato soup.
    I used fresh tarragon had some growing, used about 1/2 as much as recipe maybe Ill use less next time

  4. Kassie Mary says:

    Could you suggest something other than potatoes or sweet potatoes to make it feel hearty?

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      You could try adding sausage or plant-based sausage for heartiness, or add some shredded green cabbage to the mix. You could also add dumplings or meatballs!


    Loved the soup, but I am trying to eliminate sugar from my diet. Where are the 6.3 grams of sugar coming from?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      That is just natural sugars in the vegetables

  6. Melly says:

    Love this recipe so much! Super easy and everyone loved it.
    Will be making it again soon!

  7. Jennifer Massoud says:

    Cheers from Dallas y’all! If I used Fresh Tarragon, how much do you suggest? 1 TBS? Granted, I am Lebanese and will use a whole head of smashed garlic! :)

    I am a makeup artist and pastry chef with auto immune and your recipes are so cool. Can’t wait to try this soup and the Green Goddess I saw.

    P.S. Any tips on how to grow my channel in times as these is also appreciated.


    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      I would use a tablespoon of minced fresh tarragon — or just a small handful!

  8. Karen Leon says:

    This soup is amazing – simple and delicious! It was such a good find-thank you so much!!


    Can I respect the outdate on the
    spice jar?

  10. iris says:

    i made this soup and my friends and family loved it

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