Creamy Tomato and White Bean Soup

Creamy tomato bean soup without any cream! Takes only 30 minutes to make. With tomatoes, onions, white beans, Parmesan, and basil.

Creamy Tomato and Bean Soup
Sally Vargas

You just couldn't resist that last crate of tomatoes at the farm stand, could you? They called to you, pick me, pick me, pick me! Well, now what?

I love the simplicity of this late-summer soup. Tomatoes, onions, white beans, a little cheese, and basil. That's all, folks.

Creamy Tomato and Bean Soup
Sally Vargas

This is a soup that spans the seasons from late summer to early fall. Add a grilled cheese sandwich and everyone will be full and happy.

You will also want to freeze a few portions for the cool, rainy and snowy days to come, when you don't feel like cooking and fresh tomatoes are long gone.

What Kind of Tomatoes to Use

You can use plum (Roma) tomatoes or any ripe tomatoes that you have on hand, or use canned tomatoes when ripe ones aren't in season. Beans add body and flavor to the finished soup, so no cream is required.

If you don't have cherry tomatoes for the garnish, just set aside one of the smaller tomatoes intended for your soup and use that instead. The garnish brightens the soup with a flash of fresh sweetness and an herby spike of basil.

This recipe has been updated January 2018.

Creamy Tomato and White Bean Soup

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Servings 6 servings

When it's fresh and in season, basil makes a nice alternative to the rosemary in this recipe.

You will need a blender or an immersion blender for this recipe.


For the soup:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 3 pounds ripe plum (Roma) tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (or two 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes and their juices, crushed in a bowl)

  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, or homemade

  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

  • 1 1/2 cups water, plus more as needed

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

For the garnish:

  • 12 cherry tomatoes, sliced or quartered

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 12 basil leaves, thinly sliced


  1. Cook the onion and garlic:

    Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until softened.

    Creamy Tomato and Bean Soup
    Sally Vargas
  2. Add the tomatoes and beans:

    Add the fresh or canned tomatoes, rosemary, beans, 1 1/2 cups of water, salt, and pepper to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very soft. Remove the rosemary sprig. Stir in the Parmesan.

    Creamy Tomato and Bean Soup
    Sally Vargas
  3. Puree the soup:

    In 2- to 3-cup batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth, or use an immersion blender. (Warning! The soup is hot! To puree hot liquid in a blender, only fill it 1/3 full. Cover the lid with a folded dishtowel and hold it down with your hand. Start on low speed, and increase the speed gradually.)

    Transfer the soup to a pot and stir in enough additional water to bring the soup to your desired consistency (up to 2 1/2 cups of water). Taste and add salt and pepper, if you like. Reheat over low heat until hot.

  4. Make the garnish:

    In a bowl, stir together the tomatoes, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Just before serving, stir in the basil.

    Creamy Tomato and Bean Soup
    Sally Vargas
  5. Serve the soup:

    Ladle the soup into bowls, and top each bowl with the fresh tomato garnish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
224 Calories
10g Fat
27g Carbs
9g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 224
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 838mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 9g
Vitamin C 23mg 117%
Calcium 189mg 15%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 730mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.