There’s nothing like warm, healthy, creamy soup on a chilly fall night.
This creamy bean soup feels so luxurious and indulgent but is not loaded with fat and calories. Blending the white beans make the soup feel much richer than it really is. So nice on a cool fall day.
Creamy White Bean Soup with Sautéed Spinach
1 head garlic, top quarter sliced off and discarded
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, divided, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon (14 g) butter
1 medium Vidalia onion, sliced
2½ cups (590 ml) low-sodium vegetable stock, divided
1 dried bay leaf
2 cans (15 ounces [420 g] each) white beans, rinsed and drained, divided
½ cup (50 g) shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste
5 ounces (140 g) baby spinach
1) Preheat the oven to 375˚ F (190C).
2) Place the garlic on a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the olive oil. Wrap into a pouch and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and golden brown.
3) In a large stockpot, heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the olive oil and the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
4) Add 2¼ cups (530 ml) of the vegetable stock, the bay leaf and 1 can of the white beans to the onions. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
5) Once the garlic is roasted, add it to the soup by popping each clove out of its protective paper. In batches, transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, then pour the soup back into the stockpot.
6) Add the remaining can of white beans, remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) cup vegetable stock and the Parmesan to the pureed mixture and heat through, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.
7) In a saute pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil, then add the spinach. Cook until completely wilted, about 4 minutes.
8) To serve, pour equal amounts of the soup into each of 4 bowls and top with the sauteed spinach and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Tips: Make sure you are constantly scraping the bottom of the stockpot— that’s where so much flavor lives! Use the best olive oil you can find; it really makes such a difference, especially when used as a garnish.
Megan Wolf is a NYC based registered dietitian and the founder of Megan Wolf Nutrition, a nutrition counseling and consulting private practice. She is a mother and wife, cookbook author, public speaker and healthy living expert who is active on social media: Instagram: @TheDomesticatedWolf, Twitter:@MeganWolfRD, Facebook: The DomesticatedWolf.