Winter cannellini bean soup

Winter cannellini bean soup

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(10 ratings)

Cook: 30 mins - 35 mins Plus freezing and defrosting times


Serves 6
A freeze-ahead soup that's perfect for a festive meal - no more last minute panics

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal214
  • fat10g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs19g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre6g
  • protein13g
  • salt1.78g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 4 shallots, finely chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 leeks, finely chopped



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 140g streaky bacon, finely chopped
  • 1.4l chicken stock or vegetable stock (Kallo is good)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano or marjoram or ½ tsp dried



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • 2x 450g cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    Cannellini bean

    Cannellini bean

    can-a-leen-ee been

    Slightly kidney-shaped with squarish ends, cannellini beans are from Italy and are creamy white…

On the day

  • a handful of flatleaf parsley, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tiny parsley sprigs



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and tip in the shallots, garlic, carrot, celery, leeks and bacon. Cook over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned.

  2. Pour in the stock, then add the bay leaves and oregano or marjoram. Season and bring to the boil, then cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Tip in the beans, cover again and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

  3. Pour the soup into a freezer container and leave it to cool completely, then seal, label and freeze for up to a month.

  4. Defrost the soup at room temperature for 3 hours, (or overnight).

  5. Tip into a saucepan, reheat gently until bubbling, and simmer for 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Swirl in the chopped parsley, ladle into warm bowls and top each with a drizzle of olive oil and a parsley sprig.

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Comments, questions and tips

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San65's picture
17th Mar, 2019
Loved the flavours of this. I made 2 changes in response to the comments - firstly, I fried the bacon until browned and then sautéed the veg, second, I puréed an extra can of drained beans and added them to the broth to give it a bit of creamy substance. Both of these worked a treat. I will make this recipe again. Yum.
13th Oct, 2011
This is quite possibly the WORST recipe I've ever made from this site. Slightly flavoured water with bits of veg floating in it. I couldn't be more disappointed. And what a way to waste some lovely bacon I used in it, just couldn't taste it at all. Cannot express how utterly awful this recipe was. So disappointed.
30th Sep, 2011
Fantastic soup, really tasty. I added some chorizo, crushed chilli and a dash of tomato puree for a little kick :). I will definitely cook it again!
29th Sep, 2010
This was okay, I've tried a lot of other soup recipes that have been tastier.
dijoxc's picture
11th Feb, 2009
Wonderful taste and very quick and easy to make. Freezes beautifully too, so added bonus. I find that the vegetables soften up on cooking, so chop the onions and garlic finely, but just thinly slice the rest. For variety, I also add a pinch of chilli powder, homemade chicken stock and sometimes some broken spaghetti pieces. Ive also experimented with swapping the cannellini beans for butter beans. Prefer it with slightly less stock than stipulated and some black pepper. Serve with lovely fresh, hot bread - gorgeous!
8th Feb, 2009
I also found it a little bland following the original recipe, so swapped the bacon for smallish cubes of chorizo and added a chilli for a bit of a kick. Much better - job done!
7th Jan, 2009
I followed the recipe exactly but found the result to be a bit bland. I probably wouldn't make this exact recipe again but the idea did inspire me to try out similar soups so not a total loss!
29th Dec, 2008
Very tasty and comforting om a cold day, although not particularly filling for a dinner (have with cheese on toast for really warming snack.) And don't bother chopping everything so finely, i wasted over an hour and everything softened once cooked through, that I really needn't have bothered.
Frantic Flapjack
13th Nov, 2008
Served this with the Cheesy Bonfire Bread. I wasn't too impressed. Watery and not too tasty.
19th Oct, 2008
Anything above 1.5g of salt per portion is TOO much


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