Here is a hearty, easy white bean soup with turkey. I'm using leftover Thanksgiving turkey, but leftover roast chicken or rotisserie chicken works equally well. It has lots of vegetables and rich flavor. Grab some leftovers, canned white beans, veggies and broth and make this warm and satisfying soup. It even freezes well.
The nice thing about this recipe is that it goes together quickly for a fast and healthy meal. When you’ve spent all day in the kitchen cooking Thanksgiving dinner, the last thing you want to do is spend more time cooking the day after. Even the cook needs a day off. Sounds good, but it doesn’t work in my house, so an easy recipe is welcome.
I use Cannellini beans. If you are not familiar with them, Cannellini’s are large white kidney beans. It's fine to substitute Great Northern beans or Navy beans. Read labels and choose beans with lower sodium and BPA-free liners. I usually buy this brand.
For broth, I use homemade chicken broth or turkey broth. Again, read labels and choose lower sodium or no sodium brands, and check the freezer section for good options too. If you have an Instant Pot, here is a super easy Instant Pot chicken broth recipe.
On herbs, I often use fresh, but dried is easier to keep on hand. Use half to a third of the amount of dried versus fresh herbs. Ultimately it depends on your taste preferences.
Sometimes I'll use wild fennel pollen versus fennel seed. If you like the taste of fennel (which we love), you will find wild fennel pollen online or pick it up in a specialty spice shop. The flavor is fantastic. It is the most potent variety of fennel and has an amazing aromatic quality. If you want to learn more about wild fennel pollen read this.
Chop onion, celery, carrots, fennel and herbs and saute in a little olive oil until soft. In the mean time, dice leftover turkey or chicken, and rinse and drain 2 cans of white beans. When vegetables are soft, add the meat and beans, then pour in broth. Simmer until hot and all flavors are combined. That’s all there is to it. Easy!
Pour into warmed bowls and garnish with a few fresh chopped herbs, but with this soup, just enjoy it simply. Nothing extra is needed.
Freeze leftovers in labeled and dated containers. I usually freeze in 3 cup portions for 2 servings. Because this soup is so fast and easy, make it ahead and freeze it for busy days.
Thawing and Re-Heating
The safest way to thaw is overnight in the refrigerator. It might still be icy in the morning. To thaw faster, submerge the container in cold water and change it every 30 minutes until fully thawed, then heat in a small pan over low with a lid on.
More Warming Soup Recipes
- Chicken bean soup with Mexican flavors.
- Creamy leek and mushroom
- Tuscan bean and vegetable soup (ribollita)
- Link to the soup category
Easy White Bean Soup With Turkey
- Large soup pot like a Dutch oven about 5 quarts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ¼ cups finely chopped onion 1 medium onion
- ¾ cup finely chopped celery 2-3 ribs
- ¾ cup finely chopped carrot 2-3
- ½ fennel bulb save some fronds for garnish, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 2 teaspoons fresh chopped sage or ¾ teaspoon dried
- 1 teaspoon wild fennel pollen or fennel seed optional
- 1 large bay leaf
- 3 garlic cloves chopped fine
- 2 15 ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained Sub cannellini, Navy, White or Great Northern
- 1 ½ -2 cups leftover shredded chicken or turkey rotisserie or turkey
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth or turkey broth
- In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and fennel, and herbs. Cook slowly until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- When the vegetables are soft, add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add the drained beans and turkey, then broth. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes, then enjoy hot.