White Bean Soup with Bacon is a warm and comforting dish that is loaded with vegetables and creamy white beans with the smoky flavor of bacon! It’s easy to make and freezer friendly.
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Bacon White Bean Soup is a family favorite of ours, and I know you’ll love it as part of your dinner rotation, too!
White Bean Soup is the perfect comfort food that’s also healthy. It’ll bring warmth to any dinner table, but we especially love it in cold weather with a side of Mom’s Homemade Buns.
Like most soups, this easy recipe is incredibly versatile. You can add in seasonal veggies or use your favorite hard cheeses to make it your own. I’ve also included tips for making it vegetarian down in the recipe card!
It’s a quick, protein-loaded dinner option, and the leftovers store well, ensuring you have a tasty meal ready whenever you need it.
Below I’ll show you everything you need to whip up this cozy soup!
- Bacon: The ingredient that brings the much-loved smoky flavor to the soup.
- Vegetables: A classic combination of onion, carrot, and celery makes a perfect savory, hearty base for this delicious soup, with essential nutrients too.
- Seasoning: fresh garlic is the best choice for an aromatic infusion, along with dried Italian herbs like thyme, oregano, and parsley, with some paprika, black pepper, and red pepper flakes for a bit of a kick!
- Broth: low-sodium chicken broth forms the liquid base of the soup, but homemade chicken stock can be used for even more flavor. If your broth already includes salt, you can omit the salt and add to taste before serving.
- White kidney beans: blended white kidney beans add to the creamy texture of the soup. Cannellini beans, Great Northern beans, or Navy beans can be used as alternatives.
- Half and Half: to give the soup a creamy texture, but heavy cream can be used for a richer consistency.
- Cheese: parmesan cheese will melt to add a salty, nutty flavor to the soup.
- Green leaves: use fresh parsley or spinach leaves for added color and nutrients.
How to Make Bacon White Bean Soup
This recipe is surprisingly easy to make! Full instructions are included in the recipe card below.
- Cook bacon: Cook the bacon until crispy. Remove it and set it aside.
- Sauté vegetables: Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery in the bacon fat.
- Add seasonings: Add the garlic, salt, thyme, oregano, parsley, paprika, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook.
- Mix in broth: Add the broth and deglaze the pot.
- Blend beans: Rinse and strain the beans, then blend them with the cream.
- Add remaining ingredients: Add the beans, bacon, and bean puree to the pot, and cook. Stir in parmesan and leaves, and serve.
Bacon White Bean Soup FAQs
For a creamier texture, you can use heavy cream instead of half and half. You can also add a tablespoon of corn starch to the cream before adding it to the soup if you want a thicker consistency.
Yes, this soup is naturally gluten-free, but always check the labels of store-bought ingredients to be sure.
Store any leftover Bacon White Bean Soup once it has fully cooled in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 4–5 days. Simmer on the stovetop or reheat in the microwave to enjoy it again.
This recipe freezes so well! Store it in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to 1 month. Put portions in freezer-safe containers or freezer bags and freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop or in a microwave until piping hot.
Tips and Notes
- Using dry beans. If you’re using dry beans instead of canned, ensure they are cooked before adding them to the soup.
- Bacon fat. We’ll be saving the bacon fat after cooking the bacon. This will add extra flavor to the soup when you sauté the vegetables. If you omitted the bacon or don’t have much fat left over, you can use butter or olive oil instead.
- Adjusting the thickness. If your soup is too thick, you can easily adjust the consistency by adding more chicken broth or water until it reaches your desired consistency. For a thicker soup, allow it to simmer a bit longer, or use a potato masher or immersion blender to break down some of the veggies.
Bacon White Bean Soup Variations
- Use other kinds of bacon: Turkey bacon can be used as a leaner option while still providing a smoky flavor. You can also omit the bacon for a meatless version.
- Make it vegetarian: Choose vegetable broth, omit the cream and choose a vegetarian cheese.
- Choose a lighter cream: Heavy cream will give a richer texture, but you can use whole milk for a lighter version if you prefer.
- Use another cheese: Feel free to experiment with different types of hard, aged cheeses for a unique flavor profile.
- Additional vegetables: Adding kale, spinach, or other leafy greens can boost nutrients and add different textures to the soup.
One of the best ways to enjoy this soup is with a side of crusty bread, like my No Knead Artisan Bread. It adds a delightful texture contrast and is perfect for soaking up the flavorful broth. Homemade Breadsticks or these Buttery (Whole Wheat) Bread Machine Rolls are also great choices for soaking up soupy goodness!
A light, fresh salad like Easy Broccoli Salad would make a great accompaniment to this rich, creamy soup, balancing the meal and adding a variety of textures and flavors.
More Comforting Soup Recipes To Try
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White Bean Soup with Bacon
- 6 slices bacon (or 4 thick cut) chopped
- 3 large carrots (peeled and sliced)
- 2 ribs celery (sliced)
- 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (finely minced)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cans white kidney beans (540 ml or 19 oz each)
- ¾ cup half and half
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- fresh chopped parsley or spinach (optional)
- Heat a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pot, but leave the fat in the pot.
- Add carrots, celery, and onion to the pot and cook over medium-high heat until the onion is softened and beginning to brown, about 4-5 minutes. (if there’s still a lot of excess fat after this point, you can dab some up with a paper towel if you prefer.)
- Add the garlic, salt, thyme, oregano, parsley, paprika, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 1 minute.
- Add broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any stuck-on bits.
- Place the beans in a fine mesh sieve and rinse well. Place ¾ cup of beans in the blender with cream and blend until smooth.
- Add the beans, bacon, and bean puree to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10–15 minutes.
- Stir in parmesan and optional parsley or spinach as desired. Taste and serve.
- *Optional: if you prefer a thicker soup, you can dissolve 1 tablespoon of corn starch in 2 tablespoons of cream or water and add it to the soup while it is simmering.
- Bacon: you can skip the bacon for a vegetarian soup option (with vegetarian cheese and vegetable broth), but I recommend it if you can have it because it adds loads of flavor! Italian sausage would also be great here.
- Carrots, celery, and onion: a mirepoix is the most traditional flavor base for a soup, and I don’t recommend skipping any of these ingredients unless absolutely necessary.
- Herbs and spices: yes, there are a lot. Beans don’t add a lot of flavor so I wanted a soup that is full of flavor. This is the one! If you need to adjust some, feel free. This soup has a little kick — if you can’t handle spice you can omit the red pepper flakes.
- Broth: I always start with low-sodium broth and adjust as needed. If you’re starting with salted broth, you may want to reduce the salt and adjust as needed.
- Pureeing the beans: you don’t need to puree the beans, but I like to do so because it makes the soup thick and creamy. If you don’t have a blender, you can achieve a similar effect by mixing 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with the cream before adding it to the soup.
- Store: Store any leftover Bacon White Bean Soup once it has fully cooled in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 4-5 days. Simmer on the stovetop or reheat in the microwave to enjoy it again.
- Freeze: This recipe freezes so well! Store it in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for up to 1 month. Put portions in freezer-safe containers or freezer bags and freeze for 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop or in a microwave until piping hot.
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