Spicy White Bean and Spinach Soup


I was impressed with myself for finding a recipe using two cans of beans, three cans of chicken broth, and a can of tomato paste taking up entirely too much room in our pantry.

This recipe is modeled after one I found on the food network.

I made it spicy by adding the red chili flakes. If you don’t like spicy or don’t like all that much spice I would recommend cutting the amount I’ve listed below by ½ to ¼. This soup was so spicy both my nose and eyes were running after only a few bites!

This is an easy soup to modify. If you don’t have canned beans, you can use a cup and a half of dried beans, soaked overnight and then cooked. If you’d like to add some meat, try adding some ground pork or ground Italian sausage to the veggies as you cook them. Sub kale for spinach. Add some cooked noodles. Or do all of the above. When I remade this soup, we didn’t have any spinach but did have kale so we swapped those ingredients. Sis wanted to add some noodles to the soup and I had some ground pork in the fridge. Since Sis doesn’t really eat meat I made the pork separate and the noodles separate and added both at the end.


  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ c. chopped onion
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 4 T. red chili flakes
  • 1 6-oz can tomato paste
  • 2 T. garlic wine vinegar (can sub sherry vinegar)
  • 2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 c. chicken broth, water, or a combination
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch spinach, stems removed (can sub kale)
  • parmesan cheese (for garnish)
  • day old baguette (sliced, for dipping) or freshly baked bread slathered in butter


  1. Heat oil in a large pot. Add garlic, onion, celery, and chili flakes. Cook until tender. Approximately 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and vinegar, and cook another minute. Add beans and broth. Bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Remove most of the beans from the pot and blend in a blender or food processor with a little bit of the broth. Return to pot. (If you don’t have a food processor or blender you can remove the beans and mash them with a fork, but it’s very tedious to do so. You can also use an immersion blender.) Simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. Add spinach or kale. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper before serving.
  3. Serve with bread and garnish with shredded parmesan cheese.

Recipe rating: 

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