It’s soup season and today I’m sharing a hearty Tuscan Italian White Bean and Sausage Soup recipe loaded with fresh vegetables. This is a magically creamy soup without any dairy which if you know me, well, let’s just say that’s a good thing. I love making dairy-free creamy soups in fall and winter like this creamy dairy-free butternut squash soup and this creamy dairy-free cauliflower soup. Today’s white bean soup recipe relies on aquafaba, or bean water, to thicken the soup which makes this soup taste creamy without any dairy. And there’s a secret ingredient courtesy of my foodie husband that adds a little bit of extra creaminess and flavor.
What is Tuscan Italian white bean soup?
Tuscan white bean soup (zuppa toscano) is a simple and classic soup that contains vegetables, white beans, broth, and bacon or sausage. Make this yummy soup with carrots, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, and kale or frozen spinach and you’ve got five different vegetables and fruits (plus beans) in just one meal. Vegetarians can leave out the sausage to make this bean soup vegan.
An easy bean soup recipe
This easy white bean and sausage soup recipe is simple to make because most ingredients are staples that you likely already have at home. You can make this bean soup with canned cannellini beans but it’s super easy to cook dried beans for this soup recipe. I got my dried cannellini beans from Carlson-Arbogast Farm in Howard City, Michigan, and this is their cannellini bean chowder recipe on the back of the bag with a few adjustments. The quality of their white beans is fantastic! I recommend buying their beans at a store near you.
This white bean and sausage soup Tuscan recipe makes plenty to freeze for a future meal. Or you can make a 1/2 batch for dinner plus leftovers. This is a filling soup. Look at all of those beans and veggies!
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Ingredients for making white bean, sausage, and kale soup:
Recipe adapted from Carlson-Arbogast Farm.
2-pounds of dried cannellini beans, soaked, rinsed, and drained (You can use canned cannellini beans in a pinch but you’ll need 12 cups of cooked beans)
1-lb. Italian ground sausage – I used mild but you can choose hot
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery (optional)
1 cup sliced carrots
2-14.5 oz canned stewed or no-salt-added diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups bean cooking water (from the cooked beans, not soaked beans)
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 bunch chopped kale, or 1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach
2 small zucchini, chopped coarsely
2 heaping tablespoons classic plain hummus (optional but adds additional creaminess and flavor)
salt to taste
How to make creamy white bean and sausage soup
Step 1: Cook dried white beans
Cooking dried beans is super easy but it’s something to plan in advance. Sort through the dried beans in case a stone or anything else in the beans was missed. Soak the beans overnight by placing beans in a bowl with 3 cups cold water per cup of beans, so for 2 pounds of beans that’s about 22 ounces of water. Cover and refrigerate to soak beans overnight. Drain in the morning, and rinse the soaked beans thoroughly.
Cook the soaked beans until tender. Bring 3 cups of water per cup of beans to a full boil, so for 2 pounds of beans that’s about 22 ounces of water. Reduce heat and simmer until tender. Or cook in a crockpot with 3 cups of water per cup of beans to a full boil. Cook on low until tender.
Set cooked beans aside, reserving 4 cups of cooking liquid for later.
Step 2: Cook the sausage
In a heavy stockpot, drizzle olive oil and cook sausage with garlic, onion, and celery (if using). I like mild Italian sausage and take it out of the casings, but you can use ground sausage to save time.
Step 3: Add remaining ingredients and simmer
Add tomatoes, chicken broth, bean water, pepper, and carrots. Simmer 15 minutes and add cooked beans, frozen spinach if using, and zucchini. You may choose to add additional broth for a thinner soup but I like the chowder-y-stew consistency. Simmer an additional 10-20 minutes (20 if you used the frozen spinach). Add chopped kale and stir until wilted. Stir in hummus if using, oregano, and basil. Salt to taste.
Makes 14 servings. Great for freezing!
Be sure to pin this creamy white bean and sausage Tuscan soup recipe:
And try making some homemade breadsticks to pair with this yummy white bean soup.
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