Cilantro Lime White Bean Soup

I left a glowing review of this recipe on Tasty Kitchen–and for good reason.

What a perfect weeknight meal! It’s filling, quick and easy to make, super tasty, and healthy to boot (creamy without the cream). I served it with some goat cheese sprinkled on top, which was delicious. This recipe is awesome and everyone should make it immediately.

I was a little worried that since the texture of the soup is creamy it wouldn’t be interesting enough to have as a stand-alone dish. But I was wrong! I couldn’t get enough of this stuff, and continued to eat spoonfuls of it straight from the pot after finishing a bowl and a half of it for dinner. You can also serve it with some crostini, as the lovely author of the original recipe suggests.

Though great by itself, since the cilantro and lime flavors scream “Mexican!” to me, I couldn’t help envisioning that this would also be great alongside some tacos or enchiladas.


(Serves 5)

3 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
3-15 oz cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional garnishes: cilantro, lime wedges, goat cheese, crostini

Here’s our humble assembly, which in under 30 minutes will be transformed into an addictive, filling soup.

Start out by chopping the onion and mincing the garlic.

Everything is going to be pureed at the end, so there’s no need for a pretty dice.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, until softened.

While that’s cooking away, zest both the limes.

You’re probably tired of me extolling the virtues of my microplane zester, but bear with me one more time–it’s amazing. Zesting a lime on a regular box grater = danger untold. (i.e., the skin shaved off your knuckles as the citrusy acid burns the cut). With the microplane, zesting things is safer and easier. Just remember: Safety First, Safety Always. Thus endeth my small sermon.

Now, squeeze the living daylights out of those limes to extract every drop of juice.

Add the cannellini beans and lime zest to the pot . . .

. . . and cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

You should have enough time at this juncture to give the cilantro a rough chop:

Set aside a little cilantro and maybe a wedge or two of lime to garnish the soup later.

And it’s back to the pot! Add the stock . . .

. . . the lime juice . . .

. . . and the cilantro.


Bring to a boil, then cover the pot and lower the heat.

Simmer for 5 minutes. During those 5 minutes, please haphazardly toss bowls, spoons and napkins on the table and call it a ‘tablescape’ as you shout “Dinner in ffffiiiiiiive!”

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until creamy.

Now give the soup a taste . . .

. . . and season it with salt and pepper until it’s to your liking.

Serve hot!

Oh yes.

There are so many choices for garnishing this soup. Personally, I really loved the goat cheese.

You could also do crumbled crackers.

It’s just so dang good, people.

I can’t wait to personally devour the leftovers.*

*As this post was written over a week ago, the leftovers are long gone. So please don’t go looking in my fridge for them, because if you do, you will only find heartache and despair.

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20 Responses to Cilantro Lime White Bean Soup

  1. losangelas says:

    nice! Def. need to try this recipe :) thanks so much!

  2. Layla says:

    Is that a dutch oven your cooking it in? If so, since I (unfortunately) don’t have one yet, can it be cooked in another type of pot? Thanks! It looks good and I hope to make this someday…

  3. Erin says:

    Yum! I’m so excited to try this, that I accidentally typed ‘yum’ in the ‘name’ box at first. *snicker* Anyhoo, if someone happens to be anti-cilantro, do you have any suggestions for a good substitute? Or do you think the lime zest/juice/garlic would carry the flavor without it? I think cumin would take it too far in a different direction. hmmm…

    Oh, and on a totally unrelated note, I started reading one of your past recommendations, The Help, a day or two ago, and I cannot. put. the. thing. DOWN! I’m glad I have quiet moments through the day when I’m feeding Zoe that I can read, otherwise I would be seriously behind in getting anything else done. It’s especially gripping since the whole thing takes place in the same county in Jackson where we lived for four years, so I know exactly what streets, buildings, schools, etc. that are being described. Whew!

    • Jenna says:

      I’m thinking about the cilantro–the lime might carry the flavor without it, and you could add a little more zest to compensate or something. I’m really bad at coming up with substitutions. =) I think cumin might take away from the lightness and brightness of the flavor, but it could be good in a different way.
      I’m glad you’re liking “The Help”! It’s crazy that you lived there and can recognize the places the author describes!

      • giselle says:

        Could parsley work? Or garlic chives? Just something to give it a little green taste? I love me some cilantro but my boyfriend hates it, so I might try some alternatives for his servings.

      • Jenna says:

        I would give parsley a try–great idea. Though of course, nothing can exactly replace the cilantro/lime combo. =)

  4. Sarah says:

    i’m not a fan of white beans but this soup looks fabulous!

    • Jenna says:

      I’m actually not a big fan of the texture of white beans, but since the beans are obliterated in the blender, I really loved the results! It tastes bright and creamy and happy, and (in my opinion) not ‘beany’ at all.

  5. Twinky Satterthwaite says:

    Looks great, esp since I AM a fan of white beans. How do you think this would be NOT pureeing it so that it came out more like a fabada? Just askin’!

  6. giselle says:

    I love beans. Love lime. Love cilantro. This sounds like the recipe for me!!! AND it’s a good reason to get the immersion blender I’ve always wanted and never got.

  7. This looks fantastic…the perfect Spring soup!

  8. Corinne says:

    Love it when you post meatless recipes :) This looks so yummy! And summery. Lime and cilantro always makes me think SUMMER!!

  9. I’d love a bowl!!! Looks and sounds wonderful! I’d have to cut WAY back on the cilantro though ’cause it gives me heartburn really bad. But sure do love how it tastes! :)

  10. Tracy says:

    This does sound amazing! I’ll have to go on TK and add this to my recipe box! Thanks for sharing it!

  11. Wow yummy~ I’ve couple of cans of beans just waiting for the right recipe ;) The green and yellow plating perfectly accentuates this dish too :)

  12. Julie M. says:

    I can see why you were so won over by this soup; it looks incredible! I am a huge fan of the cilantro lime combo. Send a bowl this way!

  13. Pingback: Cilantro Lime Soup

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