Classic White Bean Soup With Bacon

Classic white bean soup

The Spruce

Prep: 14 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 15 mins
Total: 2 hrs 29 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
210 Calories
2g Fat
36g Carbs
14g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 210
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 433mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 8g 30%
Protein 14g
Calcium 133mg 10%
*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.)

Your friends and family will love this rustic and delicious white bean and bacon soup. It's an excellent soup to have simmering on the stovetop or on the wood stove in the fall and winter months, and it's guaranteed to fill your home with tantalizing aromas.

Great Northern beans, onion, celery, and bacon combine to make a hearty, warming soup that's perfect for cold weather. The bacon lends extra depth of flavor to the simple stock, infusing salt and smoky notes that distinguish this soup. In this recipe, some of the beans are puréed to make a thicker soup, but feel free to leave it brothy and brimming with whole beans.

Serve the soup with crusty bread, garlic bread, or cornbread for dipping in the soup. For a comforting and simple fall or winter dinner, accompany the soup with a mixed greens salad.

Note that you must begin soaking the beans the night before you prepare the soup.


  • 1/2 pound dried Great Northern beans
  • 3 slices thick-cut bacon, about 3 ounces, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pushed through a press
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped, about 1 cup 
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably unsalted or low sodium
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Shaved or grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. The night before preparing the soup, rinse and pick over the beans.

    The Spruce
  2. Soak the beans overnight in cold water to cover.

    Soak beans overnight
    The Spruce
  3. The next day, proceed with making the soup. Drain the beans and gather the remaining ingredients.

    Ingredients for white bean soup with bacon
    The Spruce
  4. Cook the bacon in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the fat renders.

    Cook bacon
    The Spruce
  5. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate or cutting board lined with paper towels to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon and set aside for garnish.

    Remove and drain
    The Spruce
  6. Add the garlic, celery, and onion to the bacon drippings, and sauté until the vegetables are soft and tender without coloring.

    Add onion, celery, and garlic
    The Spruce 
  7. Add the drained beans, chicken stock, and bay leaf to the pan.

    Add beans, chicken stock, and bay leaf
    The Spruce 
  8. Partially cover the pot and simmer until the beans are tender but not mushy, about 2 hours, adding additional water or broth as needed.

    Simmer until beans are tender
    The Spruce
  9. When the beans are tender, remove and discard the bay leaf.

    Remove bay leaf
    The Spruce
  10. Carefully purée 1/4 cup of the soup in a food processor or blender and return to the pot.

    Puree soup in food processor
    The Spruce
  11. Adjust the consistency of the soup with more stock or water if necessary. Season with the lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.

    The Spruce
  12. Serve the soup garnished with the Parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon.

    Garnish with parmesan
    The Spruce
  13. Enjoy!

    Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients

    Steam expands quickly in a blender, and can cause ingredients to splatter or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only about one-third full and never more than half full, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel and firmly hold down while blending.

Recipe Tags: