White Bean Chowder

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White Bean Chowder - all the flavors you love in clam chowder but with cannelli  beansWe 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 in my case, White Bean Chowder – 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 White Bean Chowder  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


White Bean Chowder

For a vegetarian version of this soup, feel free to use vegetarian bacon and of course use vegetable stock.

(Serves 4)

4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 cup finely diced red onion

1/2 cup finely diced celery

1/2 cup finely diced carrot

1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup dry sherry

1 Tbsp. flour

1 tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried

5 cups  low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

2 – 15 oz. cans white cannelli beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup milk or fat free half and half

salt and white pepper to taste


  1. In a dutch oven or large soup pot cook the bacon over medium high heat until browned and crisp. Remove from the pot and drain on a paper towel.
  2. Pour out all but 1 tsp. bacon fat. Return pot to medium high heat and add the onions, celery, carrots, and red bell pepper. Saute until vegetables are softened – about 3 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to high and add the sherry – scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until almost all the sherry has evaporated – about 4 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and sprinkle flour and thyme over the vegetables. Stir and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken or vegetable stock, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan. Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to medium and simmer the soup for about 4 minutes. Add the beans, bacon and the milk or half and half.
  7. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  8. Garnish with additional minced vegetables or fresh thyme if desired.



    • says

      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!!

    • says

      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!!

  1. says

    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…


    • says

      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!

  2. says

    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.

    • says

      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!

  3. says

    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!

  4. Lydia says

    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.

    • says

      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!

    • says

      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!

    • says

      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!

  5. says

    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!

    • says

      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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