For this soup I was inspired by rustic Italian flavours. The white bean and garlic are a match made in heaven, and the crispy pancetta and breadcrumbs with basil tie it all together.
It’s magical what happens when you take these humble ingredients and give them a bit of love – you’re left which such a luxurious and elevated soup.
White beans are also just such a staple in my pantry (also my fridge is broken at the moment so I’m all about the pantry recipes right now). I like that they give a plant-based protein and they’re really so versatile. I’m using Bush’s Great Northern Beans for this tasty soup recipe.
Feel free to check out my other soup recipes that I’ve created for my series “Soups that don’t suck” – I’ll list them all below!
How to make Creamy Garlic White Bean Soup:
Let’s go step-by-step and dig into how to make this cozy bowl of soup:
Peel the garlic and cover with olive oil in a small saucepan or an oven safe dish. Option to add thyme. Cook on low on the stovetop until the garlic is tender (30 min-1 hr) or bake in the oven at 250 degrees for 1-2 hours.
In a large pot, add some of the garlic confit olive oil, roughly chopped shallot and sautée for 2 minutes. Add the softened garlic confit, and the Great Northern beans. Stir.
Add in chicken stock and thyme and bring to a bubble. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
Transfer to a blender while carefully holding down the top and blend (or use an immersion blender). Pour back into the pot, add heavy cream and keep on low.
In a separate pan, brown the pancetta until crispy. Remove pancetta, transfer to a paper towel and keep the pancetta fat in the pan.
Pulse up/rough chop some bread to make coarse breadcrumbs and toast these in the pancetta fat until golden. Remove and set to the side.
Take a few sprigs of basil and mash in a mortar & pestle with some of the garlic confit oil (or blend up in a blender). This will be the drizzle.
Time to assemble! Ladle the soup into a bowl, top with toasted breadcrumbs, crispy pancetta and drizzle the basil oil all over. Enjoy!
This soup is versatile and can be adapted to suit different dietary needs. Vegetarians can omit the pancetta and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. For a vegan version, replace the cream with coconut milk or any plant-based cream alternative. If you’re gluten-free, simply skip the breadcrumbs or use your favorite gluten-free bread.
This soup stores beautifully, making it a great make-ahead meal. Allow the soup to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It also freezes well for up to a month. Just thaw and reheat on the stove, adding a little extra stock or water if needed to adjust the consistency. Make the pancetta, basil oil and toasty breadcrumbs upon serving.
Tips & Tricks for the perfect Creamy Garlic White Bean Soup:
- Roasting Garlic: Slowly roasting the garlic brings out its natural sweetness and prevents any bitter taste.
- Blending the Soup: For a super smooth texture, blend the soup in batches and sieve it to remove any lumps.
- Crispy Pancetta: Don’t rush cooking the pancetta. Let it get really crispy for that perfect crunch.
- Basil Oil: Using fresh basil and quality olive oil for the drizzle makes a significant difference in flavor.
- Bread Crumbs: Homemade bread crumbs are far superior to store-bought and add an extra layer of texture.
If you end up trying this recipe out, please tag me @britacooks on social media so I can see your lovely creations!