Chef John's Tuscan Bean Soup


Since fall and winter are full of shorter, darker days, we're going to need some coping strategies, and this hearty Tuscan bean soup is one of the more effective. There's just something about that combo of smooth, silky soup, and crunchy, crispy croutons that makes everything seem okay.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 1 stalk celery, diced

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans white kidney beans (cannellini), rinsed and drained

  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • salt to taste

  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • cup creme fraiche

  • ½ lemon, juiced

  • 1 ½ cups fresh bread cubes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or to taste

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add butter; allow butter to melt. Add onion, celery, and carrot, and cook and stir until onion begins to turn translucent and golden, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 more minute. Add beans and broth. Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Set heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

  2. Place bread cubes in a saute pan. Drizzle with olive oil; season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toast bread cubes over medium heat until golden brown and crunchy, tossing occasionally, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle grated cheese over the bread cubes and continue to brown cubes about 2 more minutes.

  3. Puree soup with an immersion blender until it is very smooth. Whisk in creme fraiche. Stir in lemon juice. Serve topped with browned bread cubes and chopped parsley.

    close up view of Tuscan Bean Soup garnished with croutons and fresh herbs in a white bowl
    Chef John

Cook's Notes:

This recipe is also a fantastic base for creating even more substantial weeknight meals. Things like sausage, peppers, and/or maybe a handful of greens, always work in this.

In the video, I pureed the veggies, but I think dicing them actually provides better flavor.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

432 Calories
23g Fat
44g Carbs
13g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 432
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 23g 30%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 42mg 14%
Sodium 1611mg 70%
Total Carbohydrate 44g 16%
Dietary Fiber 10g 37%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 16mg 80%
Calcium 144mg 11%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 175mg 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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