Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup


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Sometimes called "Italian Style Wedding," this soup is a traditional champ.

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  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 cans (15 to 19 oz. each) white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained
  • 2 C. water
  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 bunch (10 to 12 oz.) spinach, tough stems trimmed
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

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In 3-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring, until celery is tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add beans, water, broth, pepper, and thyme; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Roll up several spinach leaves together, cigar fashion, and thinly slice. Repeat with remaining spinach. With slotted spoon, remove 2 C. beans from soup mixture and reserve. Spoon one-fourth of mixture into blender; cover, with center part of cover removed to let steam escape, and puree until smooth. Pour into bowl. Repeat with remaining mixture. Return puree and reserved beans to saucepan; heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve with Parmesan, if you like.

Yield: Makes 7-1/2 C. or 6 servings

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