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overhead view of two bowls of tomato white bean soup

Smoky Tomato and White Bean Soup

Serve this brimming-with-flavor soup in deep bowls that you can cozily wrap your hands around on a chilly evening. It’s easy to make, easy to eat and one of those recipes that gets even more flavorful with time, so it is perfect for making ahead. It even freezes well.
Reprinted with permission from Vegan Comfort Cooking by Melanie McDonald, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019.
Course Soup
Cuisine American, Gluten-Free, Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 5 people
Calories 312kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or water
  • 1 large onion , finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs , finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic , finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 27 oz chopped fire-roasted tomatoes , canned
  • 2 teaspoon salt , plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper , freshly ground
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar , or granulated white sugar
  • cups white kidney , cannellini or lima beans, drained and rinsed


  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil or water (for oil-free cooking) over medium heat. Sauté the onion and celery for about 10 minutes, until they are starting to go golden brown. If you are using water to sauté, you will need to add a little more water every few minutes to prevent the onion and celery from sticking.
  • Add the garlic, smoked paprika and cumin and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Then add all the other ingredients. Stir well to combine, allow to come to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes. Add a little water to adjust the consistency to your liking, check the seasoning and adjust to taste; then serve. I like the soup chunky, but you can use an immersion blender right in the pan to make it smoother and creamier, if you want to.


Tips: Make this soup with only 11/2 to 2 cups (360 to 480 ml) of stock instead of 3 cups (720 ml), so it’s more like a thick stew, and serve it over rice, quinoa or couscous.
Notes by Melissa Huggins:
  • This recipe has amazing flavor and I didn't have to add a thing. I did swap out the vegetable broth for a low-sodium variety because that's what I use for all of my recipes. 


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 312kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 490mg | Potassium: 921mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1010IU | Vitamin C: 8.5mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 5.3mg