Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup

January 11, 2008 | Chuck
Italian White Bean, Spinach and Turkey Soup

In our quest to eat lighter and less rich meals, I made Italian white bean and spinach soup today. It's been rainy and chilly in San Francisco, so a nice bowl of warm, comforting soup was perfect for dinner.

I wanted a quick fix meal and opted for canned cannellini beans. Sometimes you just don't want to presoak beans or simmer them for an hour. And instead of using the traditional pancetta or ham, I replaced it with healthier ground turkey. It's a super simple recipe that can be made in thirty minutes or less, definitely less if you aren't snapping pictures.

The soup has great flavors from the herbs, onions, garlic and ground turkey. Add a dash of hot sauce, and it's even better. We had crusty Italian country bread with the soup. It's a simple, satisfying soup that's easy to make. What else would you want, besides a bowl right now?

Italian White Bean, Spinach and Turkey Soup Recipe

SND note: The last few times we've made this soup, we've doubled the amount of beans listed below. Add additional stock or water, if it's not soupy enough for you with the additional can of beans.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups (32 ounces) low-sodium chicken stock
12-14 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
Salt and pepper

1) In a medium stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey, season with a dash of salt and pepper, break into small pieces and brown for 3-4 minutes. Drain excess fat, if necessary. Add garlic and onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until onions are soft.

2) Add cannellini beans, thyme, rosemary and chicken stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in chopped spinach and simmer 5 more minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve with some crusty Italian country bread.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

[tags]italian, white bean, spinach, cannellini, spinach, turkey, ground turkey, soup, beans, easy[/tags]

28 Comments on “Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup”

  1. patty said:

    My, that does look very delicious. I just want to sink my teeth into that bread. Hehe. I love spinach. Have you tried making spinach dip?

  2. JEP said:

    Those are just fantastic photos of a delicious soup—love the various pictures to click on! It’s is snowing here, soup is planned for my supper!

  3. Lydia said:

    Total comfort food! I love using ground turkey in soups — adds body without extra fat. I always keep the rinds from Parmigiano-Reggiano in my fridge, and I throw one in with any soup like this. It adds wonderful depth of flavor.

  4. canarygirl said:

    Ooooh, so lovely and comforting! Delicious. :)

  5. East Coast Lover of SND said:

    I made this last night using ground chicken and it was just what the doctor ordered on a cold winter’s night! We ate it with a fresh baguette and some black olive tapanade – yum!
    Also, I used just the solids from the soup and added some egg pastina (little star shaped pasta) and steamed carrots and our baby loved it too! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. Emma said:

    Last night was my 4th time making this soup since I found this recipe. I’ve tweaked it a little every time. I’d like to suggest adding about 4 pieces of ginger (about the size of two large garlic cloves cut in half) when adding the garlic. It gives the broth some extra depth and makes it even tastier! Just be sure to avoid accidentally eating them with the soup. I also add two cans of beans instead of one.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Chuck said:

    Hi Emma! I like the sound of the ginger. I’ll have to give it a try next time. I was torn about adding one or two cans of beans. I think the last time I made this soup, I added a can of beans the next day when heating the leftovers. Thanks for your feedback!

  8. edna lewis said:

    This was really quite easy and quite tasty. And perfect for a cold, winter night.

    I made several modifications… using the recipe as a kick-off point… as this was a “clean out the fridge/freezer/pantry” project. I used leftover roast turkey, shallot, navy beans, and frozen spinach. It could have used a little more “umph” and I think the ginger — I read that comment *after* I had a bowl of soup — might have done the trick.

    This is the third or fourth SND meal I’ve made. All have been great. Thanks.

  9. Yonkers said:

    Made this soup tonight for dinner. Love it!! I changed it a bit by using italian turkey sausage and throwing in the ring from my parmigiano…..Deluxe and delightful. Thanks for the recipe:)

  10. Julie said:

    College age daughter and I wanted to give this a try for lunch today to see if it was something she would want to make at school. WOW!!! I topped it with shredded parmesean and grilled some ciabatta drizzled w/a little EVOO and rubbed w/garlic. It was heavenly (even though our Houston heat index was 102 today)! So quick, so good for you, and sooooo very flavorful! Thanks!

  11. Mary said:

    Just found this recipe searching for a healthy meal with spinach n beans. So simple and my 2 toddlers ate it :). I was so bummed I didn’t have crusty bread but maybe with leftovers ;)

  12. Shelia said:

    Made this for dinner tonight and added a few pieces of ginger as one poster recommended. It was absolutely YUMMY!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  13. Yum Watercress said:

    This soup is delicious! I was skeptical at first, thinking the ingredients were so few and so basic. But it turned out great. I substituted rainbow chard for the spinach, and threw in a small rind of parmiggian reggiano that had been sitting in my fridge waiting for this very moment. I also sauteed the ribbed stems of the chard with the onions at the beginning. It was so good that even my almost 2 year-old and 6 year old ate it, and the older one claims not to like soup.

  14. DawnK said:

    Needed a soup for my church’s soup and sandwich meal this coming Wednesday. Found this soup, while searching for ground turkey soup. Looking forward to eating it!

  15. DawnK said:

    People at the soup supper tonight loved the turkey, bean and spinach soup. I have to send the recipe to several people now! Thanks for a great recipe!

  16. Cynthia said:

    Thank you so much for posting a great recipe. I made this last night and it was a hit. My husband said it was like having all the flavors of a chicken/turkey roast but in soup form. It was exactly what we needed for a rainy night. I found a bunch more recipes you’ve posted that I have to try. Keep up the good work!

  17. J Hunter said:

    Good recipe, I modified it a bit and subbed ground goat (along with 1/2 tsp fennel seed & 1 tsp fresh basil leaf) as well as subbed beet greens and chard for the spinach (too hot in NW for my spinach to grow) and the Canellini beans were fresh. VERY delicious!

  18. T Norris said:

    OMG i made this last night the only difference was that i added mushrooms but the family went crazy. Its very tasty and light as i am currently on a diet. I will be making this again in the near future.

  19. Jennifer said:

    Very Good! :) The family loved it the first time and I am about to make it again. Thanks for the recipe share and all the great photos!! :)

  20. Andreas said:

    Actually, ground turkey isn’t automatically healthier than bacon, pancetta or ham. Pork fat is over 60% polyunsaturated, while that’s not quite olive oil it’s pretty good. If you use organic meat, you’ll be adding a healthy dose of vitamins too.

    Non organic turkey meat will often arrive laced with the remnants of steroids, antibiotics and hormones. The same is of course true for non-organic bacon.

  21. Radhika said:

    I made this last night as it’s getting chilly in the Bay Area. So yummy! I added a little ginger as a reader above suggested as well as some red chili flakes for a little kick. My boyfriend was also a fan, going back for seconds just an hour after he ate the first bowl!

  22. Allie said:

    This soup is so good. My roommate went crazy for it. He could not stop eating it. My boyfriend loved it too. I accidentally put alot more herbs in than the recipe called for but I skimmed them out before serving and it was fine. In fact, as the soup sat the flavor got better and better. I froze a few containers of it and it was just as good reheated. I used the ginger as other posts suggested and I topped it with some Parmesan. Next time I’ll add some chili flakes. I don’t love cooking but this was easy to make and everyone enjoyed it.

  23. Traci H said:

    I just made this on this cold icy January day. I added a can of diced Italian tomatoes. Made it much more hearty. Topped with parmigiano. So delicious!

  24. Laura Jayne said:

    I made this tonight but with a couple changes. Instead of ground turkey, I used chicken apple sausage. In addition to all the other ingredients I also added red and green bell pepper and diced baby portabellas. It was delicious! Thanks fror this great and simple recipe!


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