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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Vegan White Bean Soup (Slow Cooker Recipe)

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This slow cooker vegan white bean soup is loaded with veggies and a rich smoky flavor. It’s hearty yet light, and an easy weeknight meal.

vegan white bean soup served with avocado and greek yogurt in a white bowl

I am a total sucker for homemade soups. No matter the season, even when we’re out of the cold months of the year, I’m always in the mood for a good, veggie loaded soup. Creamy vegan soups are some of my favorites, because they are a little lighter but still super filling and satisfying.

Enter: This slow cooker vegan white bean soup. This cozy soup recipe is a cross between a soup and chili, with a rich smoky flavor that comes from the ancho chili peppers. 

I absolutely love using my slow cooker to prepare dried beans and lentils. Using a variety of spices I have on hand, I ended up with a delicious smoky vegan white bean soup that’s packed with veggies, protein and deep spices.

And can I just tell you – the leftovers for this creamy white bean soup were even more rich and flavorful the next day! The perfect balance of heat from the ancho chilis, the freshness of the veggies, and sweetness from the tomatoes rounded out this meal. There is no reason to feel guilty after eating a huge bowl (or two!) of this recipe.

I topped it with a dollop of vegan sour cream and some chopped cilantro – but you can use any toppings you like: avocado, crushed tortilla chips – the possibilities are endless!

This creamy vegan white bean soup recipe makes a TON of food so it’s perfect for serving a large group of people. It also freezes great so you can always make a big batch and save half of the soup for later. It really is the best soup ever – my family loved this dish and said it even rivaled my “Best Vegetarian Chili” recipe! They couldn’t wait for me to make it next time!

vegan white bean soup served with avocado and greek yogurt in a white bowl

👩‍🍳 Why This Recipe Works

  • Simple Soup
  • Easy meal prep recipe!
  • Make in the Slow Cooker or Instant Pot
  • Healthy and Creamy Soup (without any cream)!
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-Free
  • Dairy-Free

🥘 Ingredients

Zucchini: Be sure to pick fresh, firm zucchini! The best time to enjoy them is in the summer. However, if you can’t find zucchini in your grocery store because they are not in season you could substitute with broccoli, or cauliflower. You could even add baby spinach to add some pop of green to your soup!

Yellow Bell Peppers: I used yellow bell peppers in this recipe, but feel free to use any colored bell pepper you prefer. I think the yellow color contrasts nicely with the rest of the vegetables in the soup!

Red Onion: Finely dice your red onion. If you don’t have red onion, white or yellow onion will do just fine!

Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Paste: Look for organic fire roasted tomatoes for the best flavor!

White Kidney Beans: I used creamy white beans for this recipe. However, you can use any kind of white beans that you have on hand. Navy beans, soft cannellini beans, butter beans, or Great Northern Beans would also be superb in this delicious soup!

Vegetable Broth: This helps to thin out the soup a bit, and give enough liquid for the vegetables to cook down. It also adds more flavor than just adding water. Look for a broth that is low-sodium. For a creamier version and a thicker soup, try unsweetened coconut milk!

Ancho Chile Peppers: These peppers are the dried form of poblano peppers. When poblano peppers are harvested they are green. But if they are allowed to fully ripen they turn red, and their flavor becomes sweeter. Thus, ancho chile peppers are red and have a sweet and mild in flavor. That is how the same pepper can have two different flavors. If you can’t find ancho chile peppers, you can use a poblano pepper, or jalapeño pepper, but the soup will be spicier!

Spices: The spices you will need include fresh garlic, oregano, ground coriander, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and bay leaves. You can also add crushed red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper for more heat!

Fresh Herbs: The finishing touch to this easy white bean soup, is to top it with some fresh cilantro!

🍽 Equipment

📖 Variations

Add Greens: Make this easy vegan white bean soup with lacinato kale or fresh spinach to add more greens into your diet! The veggies will melt down beautifully into the soup as it cooks.

Add Potatoes: Make this vegan white bean stew with diced gold potatoes or sweet potato for an even heartier texture.

Add Toppings: Top with shredded vegan cheese, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, a dollop of vegan sour cream, avocado slices, or crushed tortilla chips!

🔪 Instructions

Step 1: Combine 1 cup diced onion, 1 cup diced bell pepper, cilantro, oregano (or Italian seasoning), garlic, lemon juice, and ancho chile peppers in a food processor, blender, or immersion blender; process until almost smooth.

onion, bell pepper, cilantro, oregano, garlic, and ancho chile peppers in a blender
onion, bell pepper, cilantro, oregano, garlic, and ancho chile peppers in a blender

Step 2: Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion mixture to pan; cook 8 minutes or until liquid nearly evaporates, stirring frequently. Add cumin and next 6 ingredients (through bay leaf); cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. .

onion mixture added to pan

Step 3: Transfer mixture to a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in remaining onion, 1 cup bell pepper, vegetable stock, beans, and tomato puree; cover and cook on LOW 7.5 hours.

all ingredients in slow cooker

Step 4: Stir in remaining bell pepper, zucchini, and diced tomatoes

bell pepper, zucchini added to slow cooker

Step 5: Cook on LOW 30 minutes – 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.

soup in slow cooker

Step 6: Top chili with a dollop of vegan sour cream, cilantro, crushed corn chips, diced avocado – or anything you like!

vegan white bean soup served with avocado and greek yogurt in a white bowl

❓Recipe FAQs

Is Vegan White Bean Soup Healthy?

There are a ton of health benefits in this hearty vegan soup! It is:

** Rich in Vitamins and Nutrients: The added veggies and white beans make this a nutrient rich soup. White beans are high in folate and iron, white veggies like zucchini are high in B6, Vitamin A, folate, riboflavin, and thiamine. All these added veggies give this soup a chunky texture without adding fat or calories.
** Low in Fat and Calories: One serving of this soup has 215 calories and and only 2 grams of fat.
** High in Protein and Fiber: The white beans in this soup add a ton of protein and fiber. One serving has almost 9 grams of fiber and almost 12 grams of protein!

Is it better to use dried beans or canned beans?

The type of white bean you should use depends on your needs and purposes. Using dried white beans is less expensive than canned. Canned beans often have added salt, so using dried reduces the sodium in your recipes.

There are also some concerns about using canned items due to BPA. However, you can find canned beans and other foods that are BPA free, and most canned items have now adopted BPA free liners. Canned beans offer convenience, as they are already pre-cooked, and can reduce the overall cooking time of this soup from 7 hours to 4 hours. 

What are ancho chiles?

This easy recipe calls for ancho chiles. Ancho chiles are sweet and smoky. It’s what gives this soup a rich depth of flavor. They are dark red, and wrinkled, with a mild heat.

Will kids enjoy this slow cooker soup?

This vegetarian white bean soup may be a little spicy for young kids, so the key to making this kid friendly is cooling the spice or omitting the ancho chiles altogether. Adding a dollop of vegan sour cream, or topping with creamy avocado also helps to neutralize the spice. 

❄️ How To Store

Refrigerator: Allow this slow cooker white bean soup to come to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container. Keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Freeze: Allow the soup to cool, transfer to a freezer-safe container. Label with the contents and date. Keep in the freezer for 2-3 months.

👪 How To Serve

💭 Expert Tips

  • Be sure to blend the onion, bell pepper, cilantro, oregano, garlic, and ancho chile peppers, and sauté before adding to the slow cooker. This really helps to combine the ingredients and deepens the rich flavor of the soup.
  • Chop remaining vegetables into even pieces for a more uniform bite.
  • Using dried white beans increases the cooking time in the slow cooker.
  • If you do not have dried beans and use canned beans, you can reduce cooking time to 4 hrs.
  • You can use any mix of vegetables you like in this delicious recipe! Corn, summer squash, and leafy greens would all work well.
vegan white bean soup served with avocado and greek yogurt in a white bowl

🍲 More Vegan Soup Recipes!

If you have tried this recipe, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!

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📋 Recipe Card

vegan white bean soup served with avocado and greek yogurt in a white bowl
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5 from 8 votes

Vegan White Bean Soup (Slow Cooker Recipe)

This slow cooker vegan white bean soup is loaded with veggies and a rich smoky flavor. It's a hearty yet light, and an easy weeknight meal.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time9 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 214kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 red onions diced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 bell peppers diced
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro stems
  • tbsp dried oregano
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 3 dried ancho chile peppers stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • cups organic vegetable broth
  • 16 oz dried white beans
  • 28 oz unsalted tomato puree 1 container
  • 3 zucchini chopped
  • 15 oz unsalted fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained 1 can

Instructions

  • Combine 1 cup diced onion, 1 cup diced bell pepper, cilantro, oregano, garlic, and ancho chile peppers in a food processor; process until almost smooth.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion mixture to pan; cook 8 minutes or until liquid nearly evaporates, stirring frequently. Add cumin and next 6 ingredients (through bay leaf); cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Transfer mixture to a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in remaining onion, 1 cup bell pepper, broth, beans, and tomato puree; cover and cook on LOW 7.5 hours.
  • Stir in remaining bell pepper, zucchini, and diced tomatoes; cook on LOW 30 minutes – 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.
  • Top chili with a dollop of vegan sour cream, cilantro, crushed corn chips, diced avocado – or anything you like!

Notes

Top Tips for Making the Perfect Slow Cooker Soup
  • Be sure to blend the onion, bell pepper, cilantro, oregano, garlic, and ancho chile peppers, and sauté before adding to the slow cooker. This really helps to combine the ingredients and deepens the rich flavor of the soup.
  • Chop remaining vegetables into even pieces for a more uniform bite.
  • Using dried white beans increases the cooking time in the slow cooker.
  • If you do not have dried beans and use canned beans you can reduce cooking time to 4 hrs.
  • You can use any mix of vegetables you like in this recipe! Corn, summer squash, and leafy greens would all work well.

Nutrition

Calories: 214kcal | Carbohydrates: 40.4g | Protein: 11.7g | Fat: 1.7g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 441.7mg | Fiber: 8.9g | Sugar: 5g

Posted In…

Soups ·

Soups can be hearty enough for a cozy winter meal, or fresh and light like my summery cucumber gazpacho. My family’s favorite option is the best vegetarian chili ever!

Whether you like your soups smooth or full of healthy chunks, my recipes will help you combine fresh, flavorful ingredients into a filling, balanced meal.

30 responses to “Vegan White Bean Soup (Slow Cooker Recipe)”

  1. I could always eat a savory soup like this white bean soup! The beans have incredible benefits and quite simple to make in a slow cooker!5 stars

  2. I love cooking with white beans, they are so creamy and delicious. I can’t wait to try this soup this week – looks fantastic!5 stars

  3. This soup was a big bowl of comfort food! I think we will be eating it all fall and winter long!5 stars

  4. Curled up with a bowl of this for dinner last night and it did not disappoint! Delicious and flavorful; definitely a new favorite soup recipe!5 stars

  5. This recipe looks amazing – perfect for those nights you want comfort, without something too heavy. Bookmarking for the weekend! Thanks!

  6. I really love the flavor and texture of white beans. This soup sounds incredible and so easy made in the slow cooker!5 stars

  7. I love hearty soups and this one sounds so delicious. Pass nice and chunky slice of homemade bread and I’m sorted!5 stars

  8. This is great Anjali! My favorite thing to do with bean or lentil dishes is to always add some fried bacon. It might not be vegetarian but I think it will work perfectly with this dish!

    • Thanks Rosemary! Let me know if you end up trying this dish and how it works out with the bacon!

  9. it look so yummy. really mouth watering !! i’m gonna try to make this amazing Smoky White Bean Chili . Thank you Anjali 🙂

  10. Hi Anjali – this looks great. I think we definitely have space for a few more chilli bean nights before summer finally sets in over here in England!

    • Thanks Bijal! I can’t wait for you to try this recipe – I’m sure you will love it. Let me know how it goes!

  11. I have been following your blog for so many years and love your creativity! I love your other chili recipe and am going to try this one tonight. I am a non-vegetarian and am slowly trying to cut back. Between your awesome recipes and my mom’s Indian veggie food, I feel so empowered to cut back on meat. Clearly I am not missing any flavors! Lots of well wishes to you!

    • Hi Renee! It’s so wonderful to “meet” you – I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying my recipes on my blog for years now 🙂 I’m sure you will love this recipe when you try it – you will definitely not miss the meat in it, I promise! Keep me posted on how it goes!

  12. This looks beautiful and oh so delicious! I bet even my carnivorous husband would savor this dish! I cannot wait to try it out. I will comment back with reviews!

    • Thank you so much Rebecca!! I’m sure you and your husband will love this recipe – you will have to let me know how it goes! 🙂

  13. This was a favorite comfort food of mine when I lived in Wisconsin. I never used the crock pot, nor did I add the yogurt as a condiment. Nice touch! And everything tastes better when it’s slow cooked!
    Thanks for solving another weeknight dilemma: dinner. 🙂

    • Of course!! 🙂 I can’t wait for you to try this recipe – I’m sure it will bring back memories of being in Wisconsin!

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