Craving a nourishing bowl of soup? This veggie packed navy bean soup boasts over 2 pounds of veggies! It’s got a fresh, juicy tomato flavour and plenty of crunchy texture from the celery and fennel but you can adapt it to whatever veggies are in your fridge.

hand with spoon in bowl of vegetarian navy bean soup
Need a veggie infusion, STAT? This fresh vegetarian navy bean soup packs in over 2 pounds of veggies!

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When I don’t know what to make for dinner, my go-to is usually soup…just chop up whatever veggies are languishing in the fridge, add a bean and you’ve got a good meal with about 15 minutes of hands on effort.

Yep, that’s right…even a dietitian who writes plant-based recipes for a living sometimes runs out of steam at the “what’s for dinner?” question but let’s keep that between us, okay??

In fact, a LOT of the vegan soup recipes here on the blog originated in a “throw everything in a pot moment” that went so well I knew I had to document it, like my carrot, red lentil and ginger soup and my easy lentil vegetable soup. Because there are few meals that strike that balance between comforting and nourishing as well as a yummy bowl of soup.

Plus, leftovers get even better with time which is a bonus because all I eat for lunch most days IS leftovers.

This veggie packed navy bean soup has definite Italian vibes…but it’s different than a ribollita, the classic Tuscan soup. No bread here; it’s got a fresher, juicier tomato flavour plus plenty of crunch from celery and fresh fennel. So, it’s perfect when you want a lighter, yet still nourishing soup. You can easily adapt it to whatever veggies you’ve got in the fridge that need using up. Swap shallots or leeks for onion. Use more celery if you don’t have fennel or add some carrots or red pepper!

A couple of tips to make this soup even better: take the time to dice up the onion, celery and fennel quite small so you get a nice crispness but don’t feel like you are effortfully crunching your way through the soup. 

A second tip for soups so good you’ll feel like a chef: ditch broth for Better Than Bouillon concentrates…it’s all I ever use. They have awesome vegan options. The only hiccup? They’re not gluten free, so if you have celiac disease, use a gluten free bouillon concentrate or cube instead.

How to make this flavourful vegetarian navy bean soup

This soup is great for weeknights where you have a bit of extra time as it comes together in less than 45 minutes, depending on how fast you chop. I used canned beans here so you don’t have to plan ahead to soak and cook beans. It makes 4-6 servings (depending on how much bread you eat on the side ha ha) so it’s a great meal prep for lunches too.

Step One: Gather these 11 ingredients. You’ll need onion, garlic, celery, fresh fennel bulb, Tuscan (black) kale, diced tomatoes, navy beans, Better than Bouillion (or broth), dried thyme, cumin, onion powder and chile flakes…as well as oil and salt!

Step Two: Cook the onion, celery, and fennel with the oil in a soup pot over medium heat until the onion starts to soften and turn glossy, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, stirring constantly, for one minute more. Season well with salt and pepper.

Step Three: Add in everything else! The kale, tomatoes, beans, water and BTB, thyme, cumin, onion powder, chile flakes and salt. Bring it to a boil on high then return to medium heat and let it bubble away for 15 minutes (or longer if you have it). 

Step Four: taste, adjust salt or spices to your liking and serve with some crackers or crusty bread. This soup keeps really well for 4-5 days in the fridge and you can absolutely freeze leftovers for a month.  

Why I love white beans

Chickpeas might be the most versatile legume but it is the white beans – navy beans, cannellini beans, butter beans – that have a special place in my heart. The reason for that is that white beans have a uniquely creamy texture that is super satisfying. White beans make a wonderful creamy base for dips and sauces. I love them in soups, chili and casseroles

They’re even wonderful to add an injection of plant-based protein into a mac and cheese without your entire family complaining that you over “healthified” dinner. Actually, let’s talk about how nutritious navy beans are for a sec because I think you might be surprised.

Just a half cup of cooked navy beans contains:

  • 8 grams of protein and 6.5 grams of fibre to help you feel full and satisfied
  • 2.2 mg of vegan iron, 1 mg of zinc for skin and immune health as well as 66 mg of calcium for strong bones. 
  • Navy beans also contain choline, an important nutrient on a plant-based diet as well as folate and magnesium. Kind of impressive, right? 

More nourishing vegan soups:

hand with spoon in bowl of vegetarian navy bean soup

Veggie Packed Navy Bean Soup

This veggie packed navy bean soup boasts over 2 pounds of veggies! It’s got a fresh, juicy tomato flavour and plenty of crunchy texture from the celery and fennel but you can adapt it to whatever veggies are in your fridge.
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or your favourite oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 3 ribs celery, finely diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely diced, about 1½ cups diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 small bunch kale, stems finely diced and leaves finely chopped, about 3 cups chopped
  • 2 x 14 ounce cans navy beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian Chicken Concentrate, or gluten free bouillon if required
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • pinch dried chile flakes, optional…to taste!
  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Instructions 

  • Heat oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Cook the onion, celery and fennel, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften and turn glossy, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn, for one minute. Season the veggies well with salt and pepper.
  • Add the tomatoes, kale, beans, water, better than bouillon, onion powder, thyme, cumin, salt and chile flakes, if using. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, return heat to medium and let it bubble for 15 minutes so veggies can soften a bit and flavours can meld. If you have longer, you can cook it longer!
  • Taste, adjust salt, pepper or other spices as desired. Serve with crackers or crusty bread. I also love it with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast!

Notes

The soup keeps well in the fridge for 4-5 days or in the freezer for a month.