This is what I make when I need to get a vegan dinner on the table fast that everyone loves. My Butter Bean Soup has creamy butter beans, burst fresh tomatoes, white wine, and a swirl of pesto before serving. Yes, it's really vegan even though it's creamy, because we're going to do something special with one of the cans of beans!
This soup is so cozy, creamy and delicious! I also love that it comes together in just 30 minutes! It relies on simple pantry staples, plus it puts to use that pack of grape tomatoes you already have.
I can't quite decide the most delicious part of this soup. Is it the creaminess that comes from blending a can of beans before adding it to the pot? It might be the way the grape tomatoes burst in the pan with garlic alongside. The swirl of pesto just before serving might be your favorite part.
This butter bean soup is simple ingredients, like canned beans, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and dried spices. If you have fresh oregano left from making my edamame white bean salad, you can use two teaspoons of fresh instead of a half-teaspoon of dried.
How to Make Butter Bean Soup
This soup has an Italian slant, with the burst tomatoes, Italian seasoning, oregano, and white wine. Most butter bean soup recipes contain ham, or they are basically a vegetable soup with a few bean pieces floating around. Here on Bean Recipes, we always let the beans take centerstage.
While I do have a Butter Beans recipe that is made simply with stock and ham, this soup is definitely not that. And if you want a vegetable soup with plenty of beans stealing the show, make my slow cooker vegetable bean soup. That recipe has 3 different kinds of beans, and it's stellar.
Ok, but back to this little 30-minute weeknight wonder meal. I make this frequently because the flavor tastes like it has been simmering all day. When I'm cooking for my vegan husband, I use vegetable broth. If he's not around, I definitely use chicken broth here. The choice is yours. Grab your cans of beans, your blender, those grape tomatoes in a giant container you weren't going to finish, and some spices and let's make soup!
- Olive Oil. We need 3 tablespoons of olive oil as the base of this soup, because we're bursting the tomatoes in plenty of oil and garlic. It does not need to be extra virgin because we're cooking it.
- Grape Tomatoes. Ten ounces of grape tomatoes, which is usually one package. If you shop at a bulk store, just portion out about 2 cups of tomatoes. The best part about this butter bean soup recipe is that we don't have to slice them. They go straight in the pan whole, and they burst to make a sauce as they collapse.
- Garlic. Two cloves of fresh garlic, minced.
- Onion. One small onion that has been finely diced.
- White Wine. We need ¼ cup of a dry white wine for deglazing the pan and contributing flavor to the burst tomato sauce. If you don't like to cook with wine, use an extra ¼ cup of broth instead.
- Italian Seasoning Blend. This is a spice blend that contains basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. The amount can vary depending on the brand, but any blend is fine, as long as it doesn't contain salt.
- Oregano. Yes, we're adding an extra half-teaspoon of dried oregano to the soup, even though Italian seasoning has oregano in it. If you have fresh oregano, use 2 teaspoons minced.
- Broth. The type of broth is your choice. I prefer chicken broth, but vegetable broth keeps this butter bean soup recipe vegan.
- Butter Beans. We need two 15-ounce cans (or one 28-ounce can) of butter beans. Please drain and rinse both cans of the beans. We will puree one can with broth to make the soup creamy, while the other can will go in whole to the pot.
- For serving: salt, pepper and optional store-bought jar of pesto for swirling.
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to burst and collapse. This takes about 5 minutes, and don’t be afraid of some burnt spots on the tomato skins. Once the tomatoes are blistered and starting to collapse, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Next, add the minced onion, stir, and cook for 5-7 minutes, until it softens. Reduce the heat if it starts to burn or turn golden around the edges.
Place the other can of butter beans in a blender and puree with the remaining ½ cup of broth until smooth.
This is the creamy part of your soup! We will stir it back into the pot.
Add the white wine and cook until reduced by half. Next, add the Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, pepper, 1.5 cups of the broth and one can of the butter beans.
Finally, stir the contents of the blender in the pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for about 15-20 minutes. The soup should reduce about ½-1 inch on the sides of the pot.
- Beans - We specifically reach for butter beans for their ultimate creaminess, but you can use any white beans here. If you love my white bean soup, try them here and enjoy this spin.
- Vegan - As written, this recipe is vegan because it uses vegetable broth. However, if you use chicken broth or pesto that contains Parmesan cheese, it will not longer be vegan. Do what feels right for you.
- Pesto - The pesto on top is amazingly delicious, but please know that most pesto sauces are not vegan. A vegan topping that is delicious would be a chiffonade of fresh basil, an extra drizzle of olive oil, and a dash of smoked paprika. To make a vegan pesto, try this easy one.
FAQ: Butter Bean Soup Recipe:
I love this soup with a swirl of pesto on top just before serving. It's just as good without it, however. I serve it with thick crusty bread, cornbread, or a big green salad with a vinaigrette.
You can technically freeze almost any soup, as long as you add more broth to it while it reheats. However, I don't think this soup is a good candidate for the freezer. This is because the fresh tomatoes contain a lot of water, and beans can sometimes become tough when frozen. This recipe doesn't make more than a few servings, so try to enjoy it the day you make it. Leftovers keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 ounces fresh cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups vegetable broth, divided use
- 2 cans of butter beans, rinsed and drained (divided use)
- For serving: pesto and crusty bread
- Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to burst and collapse. This takes about 5 minutes, and don’t be afraid of some burnt spots on the tomato skins.
- Once the tomatoes are blistered and starting to collapse, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Next, add the minced onion, stir, and cook for 5-7 minutes, until it softens. Reduce the heat if it starts to burn or turn golden around the edges.
- Add the white wine and cook until reduced by half.
- Next, add the Italian seasoning, oregano, salt, pepper, 1.5 cups of the broth and one can of the butter beans.
- Place the other can of butter beans in a blender and puree with the remaining ½ cup of broth until smooth.
- Pour the pureed beans into the soup pot, bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook for about 15-20 minutes. The soup should reduce about ½-1 inch on the sides of the pot. Ladle into bowls and serve. I like to serve this garnished with a drizzle of store-bought pesto, but it's optional.
Beans - We specifically reach for butter beans for their creaminess, but you can use any variety of white beans.
Vegan - As written, this recipe is vegan because it uses vegetable broth. However, if you use chicken broth or pesto that contains Parmesan cheese, it will not longer be vegan. Do what feels right for you.
Storage: You can make this soup ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days, covered tightly. I don't recommend freezing this soup. The beans and fresh tomatoes don't defrost well.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 477mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 6gSugar: 9gProtein: 7g