This isn’t your standard white bean soup recipe! Curry powder, coriander and ginger add a wonderful depth of flavor to this easy vegan soup, and a splash of coconut milk adds just the right amount of creaminess.
This curried white bean soup recipe earned a place on the menu rotation immediately. It checks all the boxes – easy, healthy and full flavor. I’ve made a Mediterranean bean soup more times than I can count, but was looking to mix things up a bit.
Enter curry powder and ground coriander. Adding these spices do not in any way make this a dish that remotely resembles curry, but they add a depth of warm flavors that make this bean and spinach soup irresistibly good.
As an added bonus, this easy vegan soup freezes well. Make a double batch and load up your freezer so that you have a hearty soup on hand for those nights when you don’t feel like cooking.
What you need for this white bean soup recipe:
These are the main components of this recipe (affiliate links included):
- Olive oil: A bit of olive for sautéing the veggies.
- Vegetables: Small yellow onion, a couple of medium-sized carrots and celery
- Garlic: The recipe calls for 4 large cloves. If you only have small cloves, use more! As always, freshly minced garlic, please (not the bottled stuff).
- Ginger: Peel (with spoon or knife) the ginger and mince it.
- Curry powder: Pitch that curry powder that’s been sitting in your spice rack for more than a year. Pop to the grocery store and buy some fresh stuff!
- Ground coriander: Ground coriander can be found in the spice aisle of any grocery store.
- Beans: Any canned white beans – white kidney beans, cannellini beans or great northern beans – work in this recipe. Empty the contents of the can into a fine mesh sieve to drain, then rinse the beans well.
- Tomatoes: Canned petite diced tomatoes can be purchased in any grocery store.
- Broth: Use your favorite store-bought or homemade vegetable broth. Chicken broth can be used in a pinch, but the recipe will no longer be vegetarian/vegan.
- Coconut milk: Only ½ cup of coconut milk is needed to add a bit of creaminess to the soup, so I encourage you to use the full-fat version. However, lite coconut milk can be used if preferred.
- Spinach: Fresh spinach leaves are stirred in at the end. No need to chop them, but I prefer to remove any long stems first.
How to make white bean soup:
This soup starts by sautéing a standard mirepoix, which is a mixture of onion, carrot and celery. Cook until the onion is translucent and the diced carrots are starting to soften.
Next up is the season. Stir in the garlic and ginger, along with the spices. In this case, that’s curry powder, ground coriander and a dash of cayenne pepper.
Add the broth, water and canned tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture reaches a boil, give it a good stir, then reduce the heat so that the mixture is simmering. The goal is a lively simmer, not a slow one.
Divide the beans in half and mash one half of them. Stir the mashed beans into the soup. It’s a great way to thicken the soup without adding cream or using a roux. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add the remaining beans and simmer for another 10 minutes. Dip in a spoon and give it a taste. Adjust the seasonings as desired.
Before serving, stir in the spinach, coconut milk and lime juice. Ready to serve!
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you freeze bean soup?
Bean soups freeze really well. If stored properly, they can be frozen for up to 6 months. In general, I don’t recommend serving soups made with coconut milk (such as a Thai Coconut Soup). However, this soup contains such a small amount of coconut milk that the texture really isn’t affected.
Allow the soup to cool completely, then transfer to ziplock freezer bags or airtight glass freezer containers.
If using ziplock freezer bags, fill the bags with the desired amount of soup (don’t fill it all the way to the top so that there’s room for the soup to expand as it freezes), squeeze out any air, seal and stack flat on a baking sheet. Once the soup is frozen, the bags can be stored vertically or stacked horizontally in your freezer.
Can this recipe be made with other types of beans?
This recipe is best with white beans, but canned chickpeas can be used if you don’t feel like making an extra trip to the store.
What can I use instead of spinach?
Other leafy screens can be used, such as chopped kale or Swiss chard. Remove the woody stem and roughly chop the leaves before adding to the soup.
Is this soup vegan?
Yes! Provided you use vegetable broth.
Can I add meat to this recipe?
If you'd like, sauté some lean ground turkey or make a batch of Instant Pot shredded chicken to add to the soup. Shrimp also pairs really nice with the curry flavor. Either sear it separately in a hot skillet or add the raw shrimp to the simmering soup. It takes just a couple of minutes to cook.
Curried White Bean Soup
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 2 celery stalks diced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 4 large garlic cloves minced
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 4 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more for heat)
- 1 (14 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
- 4 cups vegetable broth (See Note 1)
- 1 cup water
- 3 (14 oz. each) cans white beans drained & rinsed (See Note 2)
- ½ cup coconut milk well-shaken (See Note 3)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
- ¼ cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the carrots are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the ginger, garlic, curry powder, ground coriander and cayenne pepper. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes, broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so that the mixture cooks at a lively simmer.
- Mash half of the beans with the back of a fork or a potato masher, then stir into the soup. Reserve the remaining beans. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the remaining beans. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, spinach and parsley.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve.
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