Creamy White Bean & Tomato Soup

A delicious, healthy & comforting tomato soup thickened with blended white beans. Leftovers are great for packed lunches! Vegan, gluten-free, and simple.

Creamy White Bean & Tomato Soup (vegan)

It’s been a soupy week around here. I’ve said it probably one hundred times before, but I just love the process of making soup. It makes me feel grounded and fancy all at the same time. Simmering flavorful things in a pot (with a glass of wine on the side) is my idea of a perfect night. It could be Tuesday night, it could be Friday night – it doesn’t matter to me.

Creamy White Bean & Tomato Soup (vegan)

I made this one last weekend when my mom came to visit and again a few days later for Jack who had been out of town. The best part about all of this soup making (and testing and shooting) is the leftover lunch soup – because second day soup is where it’s at. Trust me, you’ll want to make extra and store away the leftovers for lunch all week. It gets better and better.

Because it’s the middle of winter, I used canned tomatoes, which makes this soup “soup-er” easy (get it? also – I’m so sorry). I thickened the soup with white beans (half blended and half left whole for texture). For extra creaminess, I also blended in some raw cashews. If you’re looking for a lighter more tomato-y soup, you can skip them – I actually like it both ways, depending on what I’m in the mood for.

Creamy White Bean & Tomato Soup (vegan)


4.7 from 29 reviews

Creamy White Bean & Tomato Soup

 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • splash of white wine (or a few teaspoons balsamic vinegar)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (optional, for extra creaminess)
  • 1½ cups cooked cannellini beans, divided
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, stirring, and then add the garlic and carrots. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent and the carrots begin to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up in the pot with a wooden spoon. Season with more salt and pepper and cook for 8 more minutes, or until the tomatoes cook down and continue to break apart.
  3. Add the wine, stir and let the alcohol cook off for about 1 minute. Add the cashews, if using, HALF of the white beans, the thyme sprigs, the broth and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove the thyme sprigs from the pan and carefully pour the mixture into a blender, working in batches if necessary. Blend the soup then season to taste with salt, pepper. If the soup is too thick, add a little more broth or water.
  5. Pour the blended soup back into the pot. Add the remaining beans and the spinach and simmer over low heat until the spinach is wilted and the soup is hot. Season to taste and serve.
Notes
Other options - add balsamic vinegar for a brighter soup or Parmesan cheese for a richer soup.

93 comments

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  1. I’m so with you. Nothing beats the relaxing process of cooking up a pot of cozy comfort. And wouldn’t you know. . .tomato soup happens to be one of my favorites (to eat. . .I probably should cook it more often). I love how you jazzed up this tried and true favorite with beans and spinach. And adding the cashews.. .now that is a unique idea.

    • jeanine
      12.17.2015

      Ha, let me know if that works out (although he’ll never suspect the blended ones 🙂

  2. Katrina from warmvanillasugar.com
    12.17.2015

    The white beans in this soup sound like the perfect addition! So many yummy flavours and yet, so simple. I love soupy weeks 🙂

  3. Tory from apinchofthis.nyc
    12.17.2015

    I love the idea of cashews in there. I need to try this.

  4. Liz
    12.17.2015

    Wow – I am going to make this tomorrow night for the family holiday party we are hosting! I had a plan, but it’s going out the window as this is the perfect addition to the menu. Thank you! (And also eating your sweet potato lentil curry for lunch – amazing – and looking forward to trying the butternut stuffed shells in the next week!). Our taste buds are aligned.

    • jeanine
      12.17.2015

      Ha, hope you and your family enjoy it 🙂 and I’m so glad you liked the sweet potato lentil curry!

  5. lani
    12.17.2015

    it’s pouring on the East Coast and this is JUST what I need to make..and I have all the ingredients..Thank you , thank you

    • lani
      12.17.2015

      Ps. do you think if I added extra bean instead of the nuts it would make it creamier. I do not use nuts or oil

      • jeanine
        12.17.2015

        You can just skip the nuts – it’s good without them too. If you want to blend in extra beans you can, but I would blend and taste it and then decide.

  6. Allyson from consideringtheradish.wordpress.com
    12.17.2015

    This soup looks fantastic. I love the idea of blending half the white beans for thickness and texture.

    • Mary
      04.03.2017

      If using the raw cashews, do you soak them overnight?

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        04.04.2017

        Hi Mary, it helps, especially if you aren’t using a high powered blender. (In the Vitamix, I often skip the soaking step). Since there are so few in this recipe it’s not totally necessary but if you think of it ahead of time it would help the soup become more creamy.

  7. Second day soup is definitely where it’s at! And I like your idea to add both cashews and beans. I usually think of using one or the other but why not together. 😉 Certainly makes a complete and creamy meal out of an easy soup.

  8. Diane
    12.17.2015

    My favorite tomato soup is tomato basil. Can I use fresh basil in this recipe and if so, how much would I use to get that great tomato basil flavor?

    • jeanine
      12.18.2015

      Yep, basil would be delicious – I’d add it at the very end right before you blend the soup – a handful (6 leaves or so), or more to taste!

      • amanda austin
        05.12.2016

        i made this as directed except added a little bouillon, used 1 tsp dried instead of fresh thyme, and added about 8 fresh basil leaves right before blending as i am a huge fan of tomato-basil pairings. it was REALLY, REALLY GOOD. i sprinkled a little nutritional yeast on my portion. i think next time i will add more whole white beans at the end. so excited to make this again. thanks!

  9. Eva from evahli.wordpress.com
    12.18.2015

    This recipe is so delicious! I made it for dinner last night and it is the perfect cozy winter time dinner – comes together very easily, the flavours are bright and adding beans is great for both the texture and little extra protein, which makes it a substantial meal. I love this recipe and I will definitely be making this again, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • jeanine
      12.18.2015

      Thanks Eva! So glad you liked it!

  10. Phyllis
    12.18.2015

    I love soups during the winter months and this sounds delish. I am going to be making it in the crockpot though. I bet it will come out stunningly. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Anna from LifeBellissima.com
    12.18.2015

    This sounds wonderfully delicious! Enjoying your lovely blog!
    ~ Anna

  12. Jane
    12.18.2015

    Just finished making the soup and tasted it! It’s very good; I am sure I will make this recipe again and again.

  13. white beans and thyme in a tomato soup is heaven! adding this to my list of must make winter recipes!!

  14. Jill from jillheffron.com
    12.21.2015

    This sounds lovely! I’ll have to give it a try. Thank you for providing inspiration. I used to make something similar with roasted red peppers, but they don’t agree with me so much anymore, so I shelved that recipe. I find I get in the rut of cooking the same things over and over again, and I love your blog for the inspiration to try something new that is healthy, and yummy and meat free! Happy Holidays!

  15. Vicki
    12.22.2015

    I blended all the beans and my family really liked it. Thanks v much!

  16. This soup looks absolutely scrumptious! I absolutely must try my hand at making it! ~ Christa

  17. Katie
    01.03.2016

    This was SO good! I made this a couple weeks ago and my husband keeps asking when it’s next on the menu. Can’t wait to try more of your soups recipes!

  18. Nikky
    01.08.2016

    I have never come across a bad recipe on this site so far, so it’s no surprise that I LOVED this soup!!! It was so flavorful and hearty, and it makes a large amount so I had this for dinner all week and I never got sick of it. Really reeeeally tasty and the ingredients are simple and inexpensive, will definitely make again!

    • jeanine
      01.10.2016

      Hi Nikky – yay! So glad this one was a hit 🙂

  19. Subi
    01.09.2016

    I made this soup today, so for those of you who are just eyeing the recipe: Just do it! You’ll love it!
    -Easy prep
    -Quick to cook
    -Creamy
    -Yummy (my 8 yo moaned in pleasure after the first spoonful – test passed)
    -Filling (bread w roasted garlic is a good complement)
    Next time you will double the recipe to have leftovers.

    • jeanine
      01.10.2016

      Ha, this comment makes my day – so glad your 8 year old loved it too 🙂

  20. Kristen
    01.10.2016

    This soup was absolutely delicious. I made it today for dinner, and both my mom and I, and we loved it. This will surely become a staple soup in our winter diets!

  21. Katie
    01.16.2016

    soup was a HUGE success. I am addicted to tomato bisque soup and this is such a healthier alternative. Husband and best friend approved! We added whole grain croutons and top and added basil and red pepper flakes so it had a nice kick to it!

    • jeanine
      01.17.2016

      Hi Katie! So happy to hear – thanks for sharing!

  22. Evalynn from lavenderandeve.com
    01.25.2016

    I’m not usually a fan of tomato soup but when I looked at this I wanted to like my computer screen. I can’t wait to try this out

  23. Zoe
    01.29.2016

    YUM. I made this for dinner and it was so good! I wanted a completely smooth texture, so I blended all of the beans. Didn’t have spinach, so that was omitted. Can’t wait to try it again with spinach. 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.29.2016

      yeah! so glad!!

  24. Shannon
    01.29.2016

    I just made this soup for dinner tonight. It was delicious! It is my favorite homemade tomato soup to date, and I’ve tried a ton of recipes. Thank you so much! I will definitely be making this again.

  25. Carol Jacob DeGroff
    02.14.2016

    hi! i made this soup tonight and it’s delicious! based on what i had on hand, i used balsamic vinegar vs white wine, chicken stock, chopped tomatoes, and no spinach. it was a hit, but the texture of the soup was a little grittier than i would prefer, almost like the cashews didn’t blend entirely (I used an immersion blender). yours looks pretty smooth in the photo – any tips for the next time? thank you for the recipe! it will definitely be repeated.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.14.2016

      Hi Carol – I’d suggest using a regular blender to get the cashews entirely pureed, or you can just skip them… I think an immersion blender is good enough to make the white beans (and other ingredients) creamy, but probably doesn’t puree the cashews enough. I hope that helps! Glad you liked it!

  26. Carol
    02.25.2016

    Made this soup last night and it was absolutely delicious. I didn’t have spinach on hand, so used kale instead and it still worked out great. Surprising depth of flavor for relatively simple ingredients. This was my first recipe from your site, and based on results I’ll definitely be trying some of your others — thanks so much!

  27. Bree
    03.06.2016

    This was my first time to your website, and I found it looking for a soup like this one. I wanted a heartier tomato soup and here it was! I blended the spinach and beans, added the parmesan, made a side of grilled cheese sandwiches, and my 2-year-old gobbled it up. It’s a flavorful way to get in alot of vegetables. I’ll be making it again for sure!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.06.2016

      Hi Bree – I’m so glad you and your 2-year old loved it!!

  28. Lauren
    03.19.2016

    Loved this! Super easy to make, hearty but light & delicious 🙂

  29. Patt
    03.25.2016

    I made this soup for dinner last night without any changes – including the cashews. It was delicious! I am so looking forward to having a cup of it for lunch today with a grilled cheese sandwich. Yum!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.25.2016

      Hi Patt, that makes me so happy to hear! Glad you enjoyed it!

  30. Tally
    03.25.2016

    5 stars for flavor! This might even be good cold. But the only thing is, this definitely needs a vitamix. I used my immersion blender and the cashews didn’t get quite so blended in. It was a chunky thick soup. But I didn’t soak the cashews either, maybe that would have helped. Still great though, and very filling! Will make again but with my vitamix 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.26.2016

      Hi Tally, a regular (upright) blender will also work also – but yes, if you have a vitamix, I highly recommend going that route to make it smooth and creamy!

  31. Shawna from Www.creativeshawna.com
    06.18.2016

    Excellent soup! You nailed it again!

  32. Jenn
    09.25.2016

    Just found this recipe and was a great use of veggies that I had on hand. I used a mix of cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes from my garden. I cut the cherry tomatoes in half before dumping them in. I also skinned the regular tomatoes and cut those in half before adding. It worked really well. We will be making this again! Thanks!

  33. Carol
    10.06.2016

    I’ve made this recipe several times now over the past 6 months or so since I found it here. Excellent every time! With or without the spinach or other greens wilted into it. With some of the beans left whole as written, or completely blended smooth. With or without the onion. With fennel bulb substituted for the onion. With celery substituted for fennel bulb. With basil instead of thyme. Always good, always satisfying. Thank you for such a great recipe made with simple have-on-hand ingredients!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.09.2016

      Hi Carol, I’m so happy to hear that this one is in your regular rotation! Thanks for the suggestions, your alterations sound so delicious!

  34. Karlee
    10.12.2016

    Oh. My. Gosh. This may be the best soup I have ever eaten! Thank you so much for a fantastic recipe and such a beautiful blog.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.12.2016

      Yay – I’m so glad you loved it!

  35. Daya
    11.14.2016

    This is a great soup. Very versatile ~ the leftovers makes a fab pasta sauce!

  36. Naomi
    12.09.2016

    Made this last night. The whole family (even my picky vegetarian teens) loved it. Will be making it again soon. Thanks! Naomi
    p.s. – Fresh herbs are always preferable, but since I didn’t have fresh sprigs of thyme, I just used dried thyme and it still tasted great. Just saying so people who feel like they can’t make a particular item like this aren’t discouraged if they don’t have all spices in “fresh” form.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.09.2016

      Hi Naomi – I’m so glad your family loved it! Thanks for the note about dried thyme 🙂

  37. Kerry
    01.07.2017

    Thank you for this recipe, fantastic!

    Do you think it would freeze well?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.07.2017

      You’re welcome, glad you enjoyed! Yep, it’ll freeze well!

  38. Holly
    02.01.2017

    Just made this for dinner, it is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.26.2017

      Hi Holly, thanks for coming back to let me know! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  39. Lindsey
    03.10.2017

    I wanted to make this for my wisdom teeth extraction recovery so I pureed the whole thing and it’s so good! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.26.2017

      I’m so happy to hear! Happy healing 🙂

  40. Kathy
    03.13.2017

    Thanks for the recipe. I made this soup today, and it is delicious. I have always liked cream of tomato soup, and this is really good. I don’t miss the milk and butter. I used a vintage Oster blender and would suggest blending a cup at time. The soup comes off the windows and wood work fairly easy if one chooses to push the limit.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.26.2017

      Hi Kathy – ha, I hope it wasn’t too messy :). So glad you enjoyed the soup!

  41. Tina
    03.16.2017

    I loved ot! Nothing beats a cozy soup at the end of a busy day!
    I added heaps of chopped parsley right before serving because that’s what we Bulgarians do, and it turned out perfect!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.26.2017

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’ll have to try it with parsley next time!

  42. Pat Stevens
    08.16.2017

    I have to carb count, being Diabetic. Do you have the nutritional info for this recipe? Thanks!

  43. Jennifer
    12.03.2017

    Omg! This soup is so good, so filling, so healthy! I love it. Only had red wine and it would perfectly. Going to make this over and over.

  44. Karen
    12.06.2017

    Do you happen to know the nutrition facts for this soup? Calories per serving? Going to try this recipe tonight!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.09.2017

      Hi Karen, I don’t calculate nutrition #’s but there are lots of sites where you can plug in the ingredients and get that info. Sorry!

  45. Siobhan
    12.19.2017

    As soon as the cold weather rolled in, I got a major craving for tomato soup and grilled cheese, and remembered I had this recipe pinned! I love that it satisfied my craving for the classic soup but added some extra nutrition (especially helpful when eating it along with a bunch of bread and cheese lol). I got lazy and used my immersion blender, which wasn’t able to blend the cashews all the way so it was a little bit gritty. That didn’t really bother me but next time I’ll either soak them or maybe add a swirl of coconut milk in. Currently enjoying 2-day old leftovers for lunch 🙂

  46. Katie
    01.26.2018

    I made this without the cashews because I didn’t have any. Added a pinch of cayenne and a splash of cream at the end. SO good. Best tomato soup I’ve ever tasted! And the beans make it filling enough for a dinner. This is going to be a regular recipe at our place!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.26.2018

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  47. Denise
    03.17.2018

    Hi, this looks amazing! Can you use canned beans? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.17.2018

      Yep, I used canned beans! Works great.

    • Jocelyn
      10.15.2018

      I did and it turned out great!

  48. Lauren
    09.10.2018

    I followed the recipe exactly and used a vitamix. I will def omit the cashews next time. It was tasty,but def gritty:(

  49. Jocelyn
    10.15.2018

    I love this soup! I add all the beans and spinach in prior to blending…my kids will eat them that way! I also add in about a 1/2 cup of parmesan at the end, and then garnish with parm on top, too. Serve with crusty bread. A family fave!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.17.2018

      Hi Jocelyn, I’m glad you all loved it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!

  50. Lindsey B.
    01.28.2019

    Made this tonight and it was a hit! We didn’t add the beans at the end – easier to hide them when they’re pureed! So good.. will be going on my meal plan rotation.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.29.2019

      Hi Lindsey, I’m so glad you loved the soup!

  51. Dianne
    03.06.2019

    I used an immersion blender for this recipe. It’s easy to soften cashews quickly-measure the amount needed for the recipe-place in small pot, cover with water and add a squirt of lemon. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and cover. Let sit for 15 minutes off heat and drain. Cashews will be soft and will be easy to blend in the soup. Easy to prepare recipe-I did add some red pepper flakes-we like our soup spicy.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.09.2019

      Hi Dianne, I’m so glad you enjoyed the soup! Thank you for the tips about using the immersion blender!

  52. Chelsea
    03.11.2019

    Eh, I just found this underwhelming/it was just not what I, personally, was looking for. I want my tomato soup to taste like tomatoes and (not surprisingly), this one tasted more like blended carrots. I didn’t love the taste of the white beans blended in and didn’t find that they made it creamy in any way. I think next time I’d use no carrots and not blend the beans in. Overall, it kind of just tasted like I was trying to make something healthy, not something delicious. And veggie soup can be delicious!

    (also your “notify me of follow-up comments” button won’t let me opt out…)

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.17.2019

      I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one.

  53. Teresa
    05.09.2019

    Yum! So much flavour. Definitely a keeper

  54. Darci whitley
    05.19.2019

    The soup looks wonderful. I will make today. Just wondering if the cashews need to be soaked.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.19.2019

      Hi Dacri, I don’t soak them. If you’re using a powerful blender (like a vitamix), it’s not necessary. If your blender isn’t as strong, you could soak them now and drain them when you’re ready to make the soup! I hope that helps!

  55. Catherine
    07.04.2019

    I was shocked – shocked! – at how much better this soup is than the sum of its parts. I subbed chard for the spinach, and didn’t add the cashews or thyme. It was super delicious and warming on a cold, rainy day. My kids both ate it without complaining (although one did pick out the chard). I started making it at 5:38pm, and had dinner on the table by 6:15. I used an immersion blender to save dishes…and because my stand up blender kicked the bucket. 🙂

  56. Kaylee
    10.20.2019

    I made this for dinner tonight. While I loved the texture, I thought it was lacking in flavor. I ended up adding several tablespoon of tomato paste and some basil paste (from the squeeze tubes you can purchase at most grocers). After those additions, I really loved it. It is much lighter and I love the flavor of the carrots in it. It tastes very fresh.

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.