White Bean Pesto Soup

Happy New Year! For my first post of 2013 I wanted to feature something healthy, simple and filling, Since soups is my most popular recipe category I thought it would be a great way to kick off a healthy 2013. It is such a fun way to experiment will all kinds of healthy, delicious ingredients. I especially love soup in the winter, it’s  a perfect cold weather meal. This soup came together on Sunday afternoon as we were decorating our Christmas tree. I wanted something simple and healthy that could last a few days. I soaked some white beans and then added some other things I had on hand.

This soup provides a perfect use for my Freezer Pesto that I featured a while back. Pesto has so many uses beyond pasta. Dropping in a few freezer cubes was such a perfect way to add delicious fresh flavor. I am especially happy because I used my summer basil crop to make the pesto, so I still get to enjoy my garden, even in December!

This soup fit my three criteria: it was filling, comforting and flavorful. It was such a simple vegetarian/vegan meal! Potatoes and beans add bulk, while carrots and rainbow chard add lots of color. The pesto add delicious flavor and a bit of a kick. Serve with some crusty bread.

5.0 from 4 reviews
White Bean Pesto Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 cup dried cannelini beans, soaked (or 1.5 cans, rinsed)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large leek, washed and sliced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1lb red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into ½" pieces
  • 3 cups rainbow chard, washed and chopped
  • 4 cups low sodium veggie broth
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 pesto cubes (or 2 tbsp prepared pesto)
  1. Soak dried beans for at least 4 hours or overnight
  2. In a large pot, saute onion, garlic and leek in olive oil on medium heat 5-6 minutes until softened
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  4. Add beans, veggie broth and water and bring to a boil
  5. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer until beans are cooked, 25-35 min
  6. Once beans are cooked, add potatoes, carrots, chard and rosemary
  7. Cover and simmer on med-low for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender
  8. Swirl in pesto and serve
For CANNED beans: Skip steps 4 and 5 and just add beans when you add the potatoes and carrots. Follow the rest of the instructions.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 229 Fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 42g Sodium: 252mg Fiber: 9 Protein: 10

NOTE: Readers asked me to estimate the nutrition info for this soup after I cooked and consumed it. So, I made some estimates based on 6 large servings of this soup. Because of this, I do not have a serving size recommendation, you just have to eyeball it.

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19 Responses to White Bean Pesto Soup

  1. jules @ bananamondaes January 1, 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Mmmm. This is my kind of soup. Healthy and Hearty. Happy New Year.

  2. Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies January 2, 2013 at 1:11 am #

    I have the worst cold right now and I would kill for a bowl of this right now. It looks so good!

  3. Kristina January 2, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Happy New Year Dara! I wish I would have seen this a few hours earlier…! I was hunting for a new healthy soup recipe for dinner tonight, settled on a chili but still craving a veggie soup, will have to try! Love the pesto

  4. Christabel January 2, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    This sound amazing! I am going on a 21 day cleanse from processed food once I recover from my flu, and this seems like a great recipe to try and keep me satisfied : )

  5. Emily January 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Happy New Year! This looks delicious and it’s perfect for winter :)

  6. Dawn @ Florida Coastal Cooking January 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

    I LOVE this because I’m always trying to do something with swiss chard from my CSA. I’m going to pin this one!

    • Dara January 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

      Thanks Dawn! I appreciate you stopping by.

  7. GiGi Eats Celebrities January 2, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    Check out your lucky food stew! You will certainly have lots of luck this year thanks to the beans you slurped up in this soup! :)

  8. Jenn and Seth January 2, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    happy new year Dara! such a delicious soup – i love the pesto in here, i bet it adds so much amazing flavor!

  9. Stephanie January 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    Do you know the nutrition facts for this soup? Thanks :)

    • Dara January 3, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

      Hello Stephanie. I will see what I can do to calculate the nutrition info for this soup. Thanks for your suggestion.

  10. mjskit January 3, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    Oh YUM! Can’t think of anything better than white beans and pesto right now! What a comforting bowl of soup! Happy New Year!

  11. Stephanie @ Legally Blinde January 3, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

    This soup sounds really delicious! I love cannellini beans and pesto, so I bet this would be right up my alley. Happy new year, Dara!

  12. cakewhiz January 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    what a healthy way to start off the new year!
    i LOVEEEEE pesto in everything…can’t seem to get enough of it…lol

  13. Stephanie January 4, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    Thank you so much for posting the nutrition info! I am watching calories- I appreciate it

    • Dara January 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      Happy to help Stephanie!!!!

  14. Stephanie January 18, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    I made this soup last night and it was delicious! I added a little bit more pesto than suggested because I like the flavor so much. I brought it to work today for lunch and it was even better! This is a great recipe especially on our infrequent cold nights in Florida.

  15. Kari January 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    This soup was delicious! As a fellow young lawyer foodie I LOVE your blog!

    • Dara January 23, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

      Hi Kari! Thank you so much. I am so pleased you enjoyed the soup. I love to hear from readers so thanks for making my day.

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