Recipes, Photography, Musings

White Bean Soup with Leeks and Greens

Nourishing and wonderfully fragrant, this  white bean soup with leeks and greens will chase away any chills in the air.  Sauteed onions, leeks, and garlic, plus white beans, dark leafy greens and a splash of lemon juice make up this very simple, healthy, and flavorful soup.

In the winter, I love a good soup full of greens to fill me up with powerful vitamins and minerals.  There are a lot of germs flying around this area right now (including in my own house!) and I want to make our immune systems as strong as possible.  This soup is a delicious step in that direction.  The purifying properties of dark leafy greens make me feel like I am taking good care of my body.  This delicious soup is also a light soup, so it is perfect if you want a lighter meal, yet still want lots of protein and iron.  It goes well with a nice piece of rustic bread too.

soup in potThe onions, leeks, and garlic are gently sauteed till they are nice and soft and fragrant, and then the broth, beans, greens and lemon juice come in.  The soup only takes about forty minutes to make, so it makes a great weeknight meal or a warm, cozy lunch, and it tastes even better the next day.  For me, the lemon juice is what really makes this soup.  The bright citrus flavor balances the earthy flavors of the other ingredients.

The weather has been unseasonably warm here the past few days, and all the sunshine has gotten me longing for the green of spring.  That is probably another reason I had a craving to make a soup with lots of greens in it.  We are a long way from spring here in Michigan, and it is actually supposed to snow here tomorrow, but this recent warm-up has been refreshing and energizing.  It’s amazing what a few days of sunshine will do for a person!

white bean green soupGetting outdoors has been so pleasant this past week.  It’s too early to start working in the garden (though my husband did churn up the soil last weekend), so we did lots of walking/biking on trails along a river near us.  Being around water is so soothing and inspiring to me.  The river water level is really high right now because of all the rain we got earlier in the winter, so the water is moving quickly, making lots of currents and carrying sticks and leaves along with it.  As I was watching the water flow so smoothly and naturally, I felt like I should try to be more like the river.  Flowing naturally toward my destination.  Not fighting my own inner nature, but going with it.  Navigating the rocks and bends in the earth with such natural grace.

This white bean soup with leeks and greens is in that same vein, in that it is natural and pure and nourishing.  I hope you all have a great weekend! I will be sharing this recipe over at Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Anugya @ Indian Curry Shack and Margy @ La Petite Casserole.white bean green soupwhite bean green soup

White Bean Soup With Leeks And Greens

  • Servings: 4
  • Print


  • 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion (or about 1/2 cup), finely diced
  • 2 leeks, washed thoroughly and finely chopped (I used just the white bulb parts, not the leafy parts)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  •  1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (or to taste)
  • 4 cups of your favorite vegetable broth
  • 1 can (14 ounces) of cannellini (white) beans, drained and rinsed
  • a couple of big handfuls of dark leafy greens, such as spinach or Swiss chard, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • black pepper to taste


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, leeks, bay leaf, and salt and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until very soft.  About a minute before the onions and leeks are soft, add the minced garlic.

Then add the vegetable broth and beans to the pot.  Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until everything is soft and the flavors are all nice and blended.  Discard the bay leaf.  With a wooden spoon, carefully smash some of the beans against the side of the pot to give the soup a thicker texture.  Add the greens and the lemon juice.  Cook over medium heat until the greens are just wilted, about 3 minutes.  Add some black pepper if desired and adjust the salt and lemon juice, if desired.  If it is too salty, add some water.  Serve warm with some rustic bread, if desired. Enjoy!




  1. Karen

    I make bean soup often but haven’t used leeks…great idea and lots of added flavor.

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Karen! The leeks do add flavor and body. And they remind me of springtime. 🙂

  2. apuginthekitchen

    Love this soup, it looks delicious. I love cannellini beans and greens. Saved this!!

    • Jenny

      Thanks, Suzanne! I love the combination too, there is something so soothing about it.

  3. Amanda | What's Cooking

    Healthy and flavorful even if it’s unseasonably warm. I love how you capture the steam. It feels so bright and cozy. I love the way you cook. And I’m jealous of your garden. This year I’m tempted to finally start my fire escape garden. In fact, maybe I’ll go today to start and I’ll blame/thank you. Xoxo

    • Jenny

      Thanks, Amanda! Your fire escape garden sounds like a great idea! I am amazed how much food can be grown in a small space. We are hoping to be more proactive about our garden this year–last year was not a good vegetable gardening year for us with my husband’s knee surgery and other things going on, but we have hopes and plans for this year! 🙂 Hope your training is going well! I went to yoga today after missing almost two weeks, and it felt good to get back to it.

  4. Julie is Hostess At Heart

    I love everything about this soup! Leeks are so good and so much milder than onions this time of year and I love beans in almost any soup.

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Julie! I really enjoy the leeks in this soup too!

  5. Lily

    Nothing more comforting than a good bowl of soup. Yours looks delicious – thanks for sharing:)

    • Jenny

      Thank you, Lily!

  6. Margherita Romagnoli

    I bet this soup tastes very good! Thanks for bringing it to FF!

    • Jenny

      Thank you so much, and thank you for co-hosting FF last week!

  7. Ginger Dawn Harman

    Oh I will try this! What do I do with the left over green part of leek? Compost or cook?

    • Jenny

      Thanks, Ginger! Sorry for the delay answering–I have been under the weather this week. I have never tried it, but I have seen recipes for sautéed leek greens–not sure how they taste but it sounds like a good idea! Composting is always an easy option…:) Hope you enjoy this soup, if you try it!

Leave a Reply