Creamy White Bean Tomato Soup
Do you love soup? I sure do. More than most other foods, I think that soup often has memories attached to it: like being nursed back to health with some homemade chicken and dumpling soup prepared by my mom. My mom’s soup somehow always did the trick. I’m not sure the soup healed me, but the memory of it doing so is strong.
This is not a soup from my childhood nor have I been making this soup for my family over the years, but it’s a soup with a memory attached. This lovely soup reminds me of a mistake I made recently, proving sometimes mistakes are not all that bad. By mistake, I accidentally bought the wrong kind of beans at the store. I wanted chickpeas (for my older son who is chickpea-obsessed these days) but I was rushing (as I often do) and bought navy beans instead–lots of them.
With limited pantry space available (mine is often a bit full…) I needed to figure out what to do with my many mistake beans. I did what any other food blogger would do in a pinch, I searched “bean soup” online and scrolled my way down numerous soup posts till I found a gem. This recipe is from the blog Love & Lemons, and it’s a keeper.
I have adapted the recipe only slightly. This is a great, easy-to-make (rather healthy) blended soup made with either vegetable or chicken stock to accommodate any vegetarian or vegan soup lovers. The original recipe uses cannellini beans, a well-known kidney-shaped bean from Italy. But navy beans are a great substitute for cannellini beans. And with my pile of navy beans before me, I decided to make this soup.
I have previously posted a vegan lentil soup recipe that has some similarities. I like them both. But the addition of cashews in this white bean tomato soup adds a lovely creaminess without the use of heavy cream. You can omit the nuts if you wish, they are not imperative, but I suggest you try it this way once, as I think the nuts add nicely to the consistency.
The wilted spinach and whole beans add texture. I also added crispy croutons to incorporate some crunch-factor (and because my boys love croutons), and a dash of red pepper flakes to enhance the flavor profile. This soup is perfect for a cool Fall night or lunch on the weekends. It works great made ahead and reheated later as well. A splash of water or vegetable stock during reheating can work magic, just remember to readjust the seasoning as well.