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White bean and leek soup

An easy weekday soup of white beans and leeks, with or without bacon on top.

I have to be honest with you. In real life, this white bean and leek soup looks like dishwater. Looks like it, but does not taste like it. (And because it's hard to photograph dishwater and make it look appetizing, I've added some bacon garnish, though it's absolutely not necessary to this otherwise vegan soup.)

What makes this simple bean soup great is the technique of reserving a third of the main ingredients to add after the initial cooking and blending of the rest of the soup. Puréed beans and leeks form the "creamy" base, and every now and then, your spoon will find a whole bean or two to awaken your mouth. If you are vegan, omit the optional garnishes (bacon or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese), and top the soup with fresh parsley or chives. 

Make this white bean and leek soup ahead, and freeze it.

White bean and leek soup {vegan, without the garnish}

From the pantry, you'll need: olive oil, canned cannellini beans, vegetable broth, dried oregano, bacon (for optional garnish).

Inspired by a recipe in Savory, a freebie magazine I found at the supermarket. Serves 4; can be multiplied.


1 large leek, white and light green parts only, washed to remove all dirt
2 tsp olive oil
1 28-oz can cannellini beans 
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp dried oregano

2 slices cooked bacon or some grated parmesan cheese, optional, for garnish


Slice the leek into thin slices, and rinse again under cold water to be sure all of the dirt is gone. Drain, and dry in a paper towel.

Heat the oil in a small Dutch oven over low heat. Add two-thirds of the drained leeks (reserve the remaining leeks). Gently sauté the leeks until they are translucent, and just starting to brown.

Add two-thirds of the beans, including the bean liquid from the can (reserve the remaining beans and liquid). Then, pour in the vegetable broth.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, and purée the soup with an immersion blender (or let cool slightly, and transfer the soup to a standing blender or food processor). Return the smooth soup to the Dutch oven, and add the remaining leeks, beans, and the oregano. Bring to a simmer, and let cook for 5 minutes.

Transfer the soup to individual serving bowls, and top (if you wish) with half a slice of bacon.

Serve hot.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More bean soups:
Pasta e fagiole, from The Perfect Pantry
Three Sisters soup, from The Perfect Pantry
Creamy white bean and tomato soup, from Love and Lemons
White bean soup with turkey Italian sausage, zucchini, and basil, from Kalyn's Kitchen

A simple white bean and leek soup that's perfect on a winter day. Quick and easy.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


My soup repertoire seems tired because we have soup almost every day during the winter. This is perfect for a quick dinner!

Mary, I'm always amazed that there seem to be infinite ways to combine ingredients and make soup. This one is simple, vegan, and made with things that are always in the pantry.

Not sure why I don't use leeks more in soup because I love the flavors they add and this sounds like it would be really good!

Kalyn, leeks do take a little bit of work to clean, but I love their sweet flavor.

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