White Bean Chowder

Post image for White Bean Chowder

By Nancy Buchanan



by Nancy Buchanan on February 15, 2011

We interrupt our normally scheduled programming to bring you “Soup-a-palooza”!!! The brainchild of Kristen at Dine and Dish and Cheryl at Tidy Mom, today is the day we are celebrating soup – and hopefully win some cool prizes from Bush’s Beans, Pillsbury,  Hip Hostess and Westminster Crackers.

I don’t know about you, but it seems the last 5 months  have been nothing but parties – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Superbowl and Valentine’s Day -  and despite my best intentions, I managed to pick up a few extra pounds and so a wee bit more discipline and attention to my diet is in order – and this is where soup fits in.

Easy to make with infinite varieties, it is a terrific way to get more vegetables in your diet – or in my case legumes – beans to be specific. I’ve always been a black bean fan, but cannelli beans? Eh…. not my favorites. So, I decided to challenge myself to develop a soup using white beans that I would not only eat but enjoy. This bean soup is a riff on clam chowder – I amped up the vegetables and replaced most of the milk with stock. The result? A soup that still has  a rich, satisfying flavor with more vegetables and fiber!

Come join Soup-a-Palooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by Bush’s Beans, Hip Hostess, Pillsbury and Westminster Crackers


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori @ RecipeGirl February 15, 2011 at 1:54 pm

This looks delicious. Something I’d be perfectly happy with having for dinner while my husband is traveling (since he doesn’t view “soup” as dinner! So frustrating!)


Nancy February 17, 2011 at 9:14 pm

I know exactly what you mean!! My husband loves soup for dinner but it is never enough to fill up two teenage boys so I always have to have something more substantial besides the soup!!


Diane {createdbydiane.blogspot.com} February 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm

looks delicious! It’s getting colder as the week goes on and I can tell the rain will come and I’ll need soup. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!


Nancy February 17, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I think I will be making another batch of this on the weekend… brrrr….


Priscilla - She's Cookin' February 15, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I’m with you about all the parties and high calorie food that comes with them. Always love soups and a bean chowder is nutritious and satisfying. I’d love to participate in Soup-a-palooza!


Nancy February 17, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Either the parties have to stop, or I am going to have to resort to elastic waist pants!!! It was so fun to see you on Saturday – maybe when Kim’s better we can do breakfast!!


Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite February 15, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Oh this looks wonderful – I am not a fan of chowders normally but since yours is not clam or corn, I think I might really like this! So pretty too! Yeah, plus, it has BACON!


Nancy February 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm

Heck yeah!! EVERYTHING may be better with butter, but in my house it’s bacon!!!


lisaiscooking February 16, 2011 at 11:52 am

A lightened chowders sounds perfect right now, and I even already like white beans! The fresh veggie garnish looks great too.


Nancy February 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm

The garnish worked really well – I really liked the crunch that it added to the soup!


Kate February 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I am such a soup addict too !


Nancy February 17, 2011 at 9:07 pm

You and me both Kate – I honestly think I could eat it every day!!


Kim February 16, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Love your modified soup! Bet it’ll be just what I need to knock the flu. :-) And perfect for the stormy days we have coming up ahead…



Nancy February 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm

I have to admit this came out better than I thought it would. The beans really taste good in it!! I am so sorry that you are sick with the flue – that is just no fun!!
Love these stormy days since I get to make all the cold weather dishes that I love!


Magic of Spice February 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm

I love that you did this as a chowder, looks amazing :)


Nancy February 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Thanks so much – it is really a tasty chowder!!


marla {family fresh cooking} February 18, 2011 at 5:04 am

Nancy, this soup looks awesome!! Thanks for sharing this comforting recipe with us :) Anything with a bit of bacon is a friend of mine.


Damaris @Kitchen Corners February 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm

I love bean soups. i’m also not a huge fan of white beans but I want to give this a try. And can I just say that your photography is looking SO good. This picture is exceptionally good.

Hope all is well with you and your family.


Nancy February 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Hi Damaris!!

Thanks so much for the shout out on Twitter!!! I have to say I really enjoyed the beans in this soup – for some reason they took on a depth of flavor that was surprising. Thanks to for the compliment on the photography. It isn’t where I want it yet, but I am getting there!!!
Hope all is well with your crew as well!


Mary February 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Looks delicious and straight forward to make, I will definitely have to give this a try. I love cannellini beans, especially when you cook them a long time and they break down and make the soup all nice and thick.

Life of Pi is such a good book, you have inspired me to reread it!


Nancy February 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Hi Mary!!
Hope you enjoy the soup… I am sure that it would go well with the book!!!


LQ February 24, 2011 at 7:05 am

This looks delicious, but … (all joking aside) bacon is vegetarian? :o


EatLiveRun February 24, 2011 at 7:49 am

this intrigues me! I must make it!


Lydia February 25, 2011 at 2:48 am

I’m echoing LQ. It may have lots of vegetables, but that’s not quite what vegetarian means. Most vegetarians I know wouldn’t eat soup with meat stock, let alone thick-cut bacon.


Nancy February 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Hello Lydia,

If you will note, the recipe calls for chicken or vegetable stock. As for the bacon, I did err in not adding that vegetarian “bacon” may be used instead. Thank you for pointing that out and I will be making that correction!


jo February 26, 2011 at 2:27 am

did you add the bacon back in, or is it just for flavour?
Looks great BTW


Nancy February 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm

I did add it in as a garnish when I served it. Had it the next day w/o the bacon and it still tasted had that smokey flavor so you could do it either way!


Leslie December 15, 2011 at 5:10 pm

I’ve never cooked with or even bought sherry before. Any suggestions on brands and types of sherry?


Nancy December 17, 2011 at 11:38 am

Hi Leslie!!

I use a couple of different sherries depending upon what I am using them for – for the soup, an inexpensive sherry works fine – the one I use is from California. In dishes where the sherry plays more of a “starring role” I use a good Amontillado sherry – to find one that suits your needs I would try a good wine store and talk with the owner for a recommendation based upon what you are going to be using the sherry for!


Kattie December 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment
but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.

Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say superb blog!


Nancy January 16, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Awww… I am so sorry your comment didn’t show up … but I am very glad that you like the blog!!


Sarah March 25, 2014 at 9:10 am

I may have missed it (sleep deprivation!) but where do you add the bacon back in?


Nancy April 2, 2014 at 2:51 pm

Hello Sarah!

Ah, proof that I absolutely need a proof reader! You can add the bacon back when you add the milk OR if you like the crunch of the bacon, you can add it just before serving!!!


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