Surreptitious Creamy Beany Soup

It’s been an enjoyable adventure adding more soup recipes to the blog during National Soup Month (January) this year. And this recipe in particular is a surreptitious (secretive or sneaky) one. I thought it was the perfect soup to wrap up our soup journey for the month. When you scroll down to the ingredients you understand why. 

1. Because it’s considered a creamy soup, but there is no cream in it.

2. Because there is a lot of garlic in it, but it does not have a garlicly flavor. Honestly you will not be overwhelmed with garlic. I’m Italian, I know this.

3. Because the fresh rosemary and thyme can overpower the flavor of the soup if left in too long. (Or maybe it’s just that my herb plants are super pungent.) 

That being said, it’s a nice mildly flavored bean soup with a luscious creamy consistency that can satisfy any vegetarian and can stand alone as a meal or pairs well with other foods as a side dish.

I pulled out the rosemary and thyme stems after a few minutes of cooking. 

Soup after it has been emulsified. A cup of beans was removed previously and added back in to add a little chunkiness to the soup. It sure looks like cream was added, but it is the mashed beans and potatoes that create the creamy texture.

Since the soup is so mild, you can garnish it with about anything. Grated cheddar is always good!

If you don’t need or want to keep the soup strictly vegetarian, crumbled pieces of bacon add a little crunch and flavor as a garnish to the soup.

Creamy Beany Soup

Yields 6

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  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced (about 1 stalk)
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced (about 1 carrot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 head garlic (about 12-18 cloves), peeled and left in whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian version)
  • 2 small russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or substitute great northern white beans)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups water


  1. Prepare all vegetables before cooking. It will make putting the recipe together much easier. See ingredient list for how vegetables are to be prepared (chopped, diced, etc.)
  2. Heat olive oil in a large pan and sweat the onion, celery, and carrot over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic (left in whole cloves), paprika, salt and pepper to the pan and cook until fragrant (about another 2 minutes).
  4. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add stock. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Add potatoes, beans, herbs, bay leaf and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and lowering temp to a simmer, partially covering with a lid.
  6. Test soup for flavor after a few minutes. If the rosemary and thyme are too strong, remove the stems and discard. If not, leave in for another few minutes.
  7. Continue cooking soup until potatoes and garlic are very tender (about 15-20 minutes).
  8. Remove soup from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Pull out the bay leaf and discard.
  9. Scoop out a cup of beans and set aside. Either pour soup into a blender or use an immersion blender to smooth the ingredients, blending in batches as necessary.
  10. Add the reserved beans back into the blended soup in the pan and adjust seasoning.
  11. Serve plain, or add garnishes of cheese, bacon, bread crumbs or chopped green onions.

What I realized this month is that I’ve amassed quite a soup collection on the blog. Do I dare organize this collection in a cookbook? [Insert laughing emoji here] :):)

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