Broccoli White Bean Soup Recipe - Pamela Salzman Skip to content

Broccoli White Bean Soup Recipe

You have the appetite for one last soup, don’t you?  Last I checked, it was still chilly and damp in many places.  And even where I live in Southern California, it is very cool in the evenings.  We love soup all year.  My husband and I especially love soup as our entire dinner.  This particular soup is light, but filling, and has plenty of protein and fiber to qualify as a meal!

The step-by-step is so easy.  You likely have all the ingredients and if you don’t, you can find something else to use that you do have.  Isn’t that what we have all learned this past year in terms of cooking?  Use what you’ve got and it will be ok.

I taught this class last February in my in-person and online monthly class.  Everyone raved about it since the ratio of delicious to time (and ingredients) invested is very high!  Plus it’s pretty healthy and budget-friendly.  Use veggie or chicken stock; fresh or frozen broccoli; any kind of white bean, chickpea, or even pinto or borlotti bean (Jovial makes a really good one.) I always keep parmesan rinds in the freezer, and I think that is a must-use ingredient!  So much flavor for something that you would otherwise throw away.

The only downside to this recipe is that the broccoli doesn’t look as vibrant and green after it has been sitting in the soup for very long, and especially the next day.  But it tastes exactly the same!  You can also make the soup without the broccoli the day before and reheat; then add the broccoli right before serving.  Other vegetables in that group that could be delicious here are cauliflower, green cabbage and kale.

Because white beans blend beautifully into a creamy velvety texture, you can blend the entire soup as well after the broccoli is tender.  I know this soup looks very basic, but I promise there are a couple of flavor boosters that make it special (parmesan rind and a splash of vinegar) and make all the difference!

Because this is so easy and quick, you can treat yourself to a warm bowl of delicious and healthful soup any day.  If you make this or any of my recipes, please let me know here or tag me on Instagram @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman so I can see your beautiful creations!

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4.8 from 6 reviews
Broccoli White Bean Soup
Serves: 6
  • 1 Tablespoon unrefined cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or vegan butter (or use all olive oil)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups cooked cannellini or Great Northern beans or 2 15-ounce cans, drained
  • 1 3-inch piece of Parmesan or Pecorino rind
  • 6 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock or water (or a combo)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups broccoli florets cut into 1-inch pieces (about 10 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (dark or white)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup shredded or coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)
  1. Heat the oil and butter over medium heat in a 3-quart saucepan; add the onions, celery, and garlic. Saute until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Add the beans, cheese rind, stock/water and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli, and simmer 3 to 5 minutes, until just cooked. Just before serving, stir in the balsamic vinegar and season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve the soup with grated Parmigiano cheese, if desired.
If you prefer to puree the soup before serving, you can blend the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender.

For a dairy-free option, you can omit the rind in step 2. Whisk in 2 Tablespoons of white miso paste, or more to taste into the soup just before serving. Alternatively, scoop out ½ - 1 cup of liquid from the soup and blend with miso in a blender until smooth. Pour miso mixture back into pot and serve.


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  1. This soup is SO good! I thought it would be good, but WOW! I made the miso option and blended about 2/3 of the soup. It tasted like an indulgent meal but it is a healthy good for you delight! Now in my regular rotation!

    • Ah! SO glad you enjoyed it!

  2. if you mince the stalks and add them with the celery and onions you will increase the depth of flavor. Some chefs define the flavor as a combination of cauliflower, water chestnuts and broccoli. The stalks hold a lot of flavor and fiber. If minced they can also look beautiful in soup. Just a thought. 🙂

    • Totally! Great idea, Ivette. I have a broccoli stalk recipe on the site that is super delicious.

  3. Just tried this recipe and it turned out deliciously! Used low sodium veg broth to cut back on salt. Added pepper, balsamic vinegar and shredded parmesan before serving as suggested. Tasty, easy to prepare and healthy! It is a nice base recipe that can be adapted in many ways also. Thanks Pamela for a new go-to soup recipe for the fall season!

    • Glad to hear that! I’ll be making it on Instagram Live tonight.

  4. I made this soup yesterday to have as an option for lunch this week for my family. I ended up pureeing it and it is so delicious!! I gave everyone a small bowl to try and had to stop them from having more so that it wouldn’t all disappear before this week. Pamela you are so right about the flavor boost the soup gets from the parmesan rind (Trader Joe’s Grana Padano parmesan) and the balsamic vinegar (Trader Joe’s White Modena vinegar). I also used Trader Joe’s canned organic Great Northern beans-Hmmmm, I’m noticing a trend here:)

    I am interested to know if this soup could be frozen either pureed or not? I would like to double it next time.

    Thank you for all of your amazing recipes and your suggestions for substituting other ingredients-I find this to be very helpful when I don’t have all of the ingredients as the recipe is written, as well as to open my mind to trying new things!

    • Thanks, Meghan! It’s a great Trader Joe’s run recipe. Great idea about making a double batch. I think this soup would freeze well either way!

  5. I harvested 2 cups of broccoli last night from my garden and wondered what I should make. You came to mind so I checked your website and voila on the landing page was this recipe! Magical that I had all the ingredients (even the Parmesan rind) with cutting the recipe in half.
    The soup was delicious! Thank you Pamela!

    • That’s amazing! Thank you, Cynthia for giving it a try.

  6. Hi Pamela
    I made this today with two changes. I added pancetta with the onions and celery. And then instead of the broccoli, I wilted baby spinach. It was delicious! Thank you for always inspiring and making me a confident cook. Miss you and hope you and your family are healthy and happy. LInleigh

    • Thank you for sharing, Linleigh 🙂 Love your adaptations!

  7. Pamela, I tried your recipe tonight. This is a great go-to soup during these cold months. The only change I made is that I added 2 tsp Gourmet Garden Italian herbs. I don’t think I would necessarily do that again, but I love adding herbs to my food. Do you think thyme or parsley would work?

    • Sure! Those would be great. Thyme can have a stronger flavor, so I would start with a sprig or two.

  8. How do you feel about using Rancho Gordo flageolet beans precooked in this?

    • I haven’t tried them, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t work here. I’m sure they would be great!

  9. If you puree the soup, will the color still change overnight?

    • It will become a pale green as opposed to a bright green.

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I come from a large Italian-American family with 28 first cousins (on one side of the family!) where sit-down holiday dinners for 85 people are the norm (how, you might ask – organization! But more on that later …).

Some of my fondest memories are of simple family gatherings, both large and small, with long tables of bowls and platters piled high, the laughter of my cousins echoing and the comfort of tradition warming my soul.

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