Broccoli White Bean Soup

Did you know that April is National Grilled Cheese Month? I didn’t, until Craig came home yesterday with some ingredients and declared his intention to make some grilled cheese. His creation, turkey breast with munster, pepper jack and barbecue sauce was AMAZING. So amazing, in fact, that we gobbled them up without even thinking of taking photos.

It’s cold and raining here in Boston. After taking Archer to the dog park where he got absolutely filthy in the mud I decided I really felt like soup. After the grilled cheese extravaganza the night before, I wanted to create a soup that would go really well with grilled cheese or any other yummy sandwich. One of my favorite lunch soups is broccoli cheddar. The version at Panera Bread is phenomenal. However, it’s loaded with calories and butter, cream and cheese. In thinking about how to create a healthy broccoli soup I had a brainwave: beans. Cannellini beans have a smooth and creamy texture and I thought they would be the perfect way to make a healthy, low calorie soup that is still creamy and hearty.

I used a food processor to shred garlic, onions and broccoli. You could certainly puree these, but I wanted the soup to have some small chunks for texture. I used some fresh rosemary for seasoning and topped the bowl off with a light sprinkle of tangy parmesan.

This soup was so good. It tastes comforting and creamy and, due to the protein and fiber in the beans, it is extremely filling. The best part is that it’s very low in calories and takes only 20 minutes to make! Please make this soup on a cold day. It feels good and it great for you. I was especially thrilled when I calculated the nutrition info and compared it to the Panera version. A cup of my soup was extremely low in fat and sodium while being less than half the calories of the Panera version! Luckily, this recipe made about 6 12oz servings, so there is plenty for me to bring for lunch!

Here’s the comparison:

My soup:
125 calories
2.9g fat
312.76mg sodium

Panera soup:
300 calories
19g fat
1250mg sodium

Read more for the full recipe!

4 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large head of broccoli (approx. 4 cups) washed and cut into florets
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, rinsed
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, washed and chopped
optional: parmesan cheese

Step by Step Instructions:

1. Using a food processor, shred garlic and onions

2. In a sauce pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil and saute garlic and onions on medium heat for 4-5 minutes

3. Shred broccoli in the food processor until desired size is reached

4. Add broccoli and saute in onion/garlic mixture 2-3 minutes

5. Puree cannellini beans in the food processor and add to the vegetable mixture

6. Season with salt, pepper and paprika

7. Using a whisk, slowly incorporate vegetable broth

8. Add rosemary

9. Cover and simmer on med-low heat for 12-15 minutes until reduced to desired thickness

10. Serve with parmesan cheese and black pepper




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39 Responses to Broccoli White Bean Soup

  1. Balvinder Ubi April 22, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    Just found out about grilled cheese month from Lizzy's and your blog.
    I like your idea of adding cannelloni beans with broccoli giving a nice colour and creamy texture:)
    Once I made broccoli soup and my daughter just did not eat it because of its green color.

  2. gobakeyourself April 22, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    Cannot believe this has so few calories – I love it! Beans, broccoli, cheese the lot! With our gloomy weather, it is definitely what I would love to be eating 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. Kim Bee April 23, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    One of us needs to make a foodie day calendar cuz I always hear this stuff after the fact. Great soup my dear. Hubs would want to swim in it then eat it.

  4. Stephanie April 23, 2012 at 2:22 am #

    Wow, this looks like a fantastic soup! I'm extremely impressed by the nutritional stats. I don't like cheese, so I'm super excited for cheese-less alternative to broccoli cheddar soup. Can't wait to try this out!

  5. Suzi April 23, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    This look sooo tasty and healthy. Love how you cut down on the calories fat and the salt. Great recipe and I love the beans too. Impressive!!

  6. Colleen April 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Great idea to use the beans as a thickener! It looks even more flavorful than the Panera verson.

  7. Red_Shallot April 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    My kind of soup! Or to be precise, I need to eat more food like this instead of big plate of dessert I just had (for breakfast) *grin*

  8. April 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    This sounds so, so good! I'm definitely going to try this. How much soup is in a serving?

  9. CJ - Food Stories April 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    I keep a food holiday calendar on my site. You may want to check it out!

  10. CJ - Food Stories April 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    This is a great recipe. I like to puree beans in my soup, as well, for the great texture without adding extra stuff.

  11. Jenn Kendall April 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

    this looks awesome – i can't believe how creamy it is!

  12. A Lovin' Forkful April 24, 2012 at 2:59 am #

    What a genius fakeout for broccoli cheese soup. Looks great!

  13. Baker Street April 24, 2012 at 3:29 am #

    I'm down with a massive cold right now and want nothing more than a bowl of your soup.

  14. Yummy April 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Ooh, I bet the white beans add a creaminess that's healthy and unexpected with broccoli soup! Yum!

  15. Lori Lynn April 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    Sounds delicious. Like that is has beans and doesn't use cream.

  16. love2dine May 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    I really like your blog – and these photos are gorgeous!

  17. Angie's Recipes June 24, 2012 at 4:35 am #

    What a comforting creamy bean soup! Totally right up my alley.

  18. Purabi Naha June 27, 2012 at 8:37 am #

    mmmm….beans and black pepper in this soup? I'm gonna love this!

  19. recetas de cocina June 27, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    Este sopa tiene una pinta excelente,y muy sana

    un saludo


  20. Soni June 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm #

    Lovely looking soup!!So delicious and comforting :)

  21. skinnysimplerecipes September 21, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    That’s how I like my soup. All fresh ingredients, no cream, so you can taste the flavour of the ingredients. Thanks
    I m following your recipes now.Meriem

  22. Kelsey October 29, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    Made this and I love it! It wasnt quite creamy enough so i added a little half and half to boost the creaminess…. turned out perfect! great along side a grilled cheese!

    • Dara October 29, 2012 at 3:41 am #

      Kelsey I am so thrilled you like this soup. It’s become one of my o to recipes. Thanks for letting me know how it turned out!

  23. Bootcampalma December 4, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    Hey, just made this for my husband and a neighbor watching Monday night football.
    Tastes great to me. Didn’t have fresh rosemary so I used herbs de Provence. Taste great!
    I predict the guys will like it.

    • Dara December 4, 2012 at 2:36 am #

      I’m so happy you like it! Adding Herbs de Provence is a great idea. Thanks for letting me know how this turned out.

  24. Lori January 8, 2013 at 3:00 am #

    The hubs and I LOVED this soup, but I didn’t puree anything; left the garlic, onions, and broccoli chopped up, and threw in the beans after rinsing. It was delicious this way too! We’ll be having it again soon, for sure! Anyone know the other nutritional info such as carbs and fiber content?

    • Dara January 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

      Hi Lori! I am SO thrilled you enjoyed the soup. I love that you threw everything in whole. I am going to try this next time.

  25. Ellen January 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    I used frozen broccoli and an immersion blender and it didn’t take much longer to make than heating a can of instant soup! Thanks for the recipe. It is also 4 points for Weight Watchers. I put the ingredients into their Recipe Builder.

    • Dara January 17, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      Thanks Ellen! That is a great suggestion. Thanks for calculating the WW points that I so helpful.

  26. Samantha January 26, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    This soup was amazing! So filling and flavorful. I didn’t have 4 cups of broccoli so I substituted with 2 cups of zucchini and 2 cups broccoli and it turned out perfect. I bet you could sub carrots too. The beans make for a perfect base. My husband is very picky and he love it! Thanks!!!

    • Dara January 27, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

      Hello Samantha! Thanks for the feedback. Zucchini sounds like a delicious addition.

  27. Christian March 9, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    I really enjoyed this soup. I followed the recipe but added 1/2 tsp of mustard powder and served with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt. The yogurt gave it a bit of tang and it was delicious.

    • Dara March 12, 2013 at 1:48 am #

      Greek yogurt is an awesome idea! Thanks for the tip.

  28. Nicole April 1, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    Just made this. Very yummy!

  29. Kathy April 1, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Any idea of the carb counts? Soup is my and my family’s weakness. LOVE!

  30. Kristen April 5, 2013 at 12:59 am #

    Yummy! It’s a keeper!


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