The Tuscan Mixed Bean Soup That’s High In Fibre and Protein

Bean soup is a delicious way to warm yourself up in the winter. But this Tuscan-style soup is even better because it is super healthy.

Warm up your tummy with a bowlful of Tuscan bean soup

Tuscan cuisine focuses on fresh, healthy ingredients. And it is the uncomplicated cooking techniques that make it a traditionally delicious fare. It is pure comfort food, which is so wonderful to enjoy this time of year. These are dishes – like this colourful mixed bean soup – that you can easily duplicate in your own kitchen.

What makes this Tuscan bean soup healthy?

Chunks of hearty vegetables and plenty of beans make this soup rich in fibre – and that is good for blood cholesterol levels and your waistline. (Add more fibre to your day by having this breakfast.)

Beans are high in soluble fibre — that is the type of fibre that seems to control blood cholesterol in certain people by lowering LDL (the “bad” cholesterol).

Add in the other seasonal vegetables, like carrots, celery and pretty much whatever else you have in your fridge, you will boost the other kind of fibre – insoluble fibre. This fibre helps the intestines maintain regularity – which you don’t us to tell you how that is health!

This bowl of Tuscan bean soup is loaded with fibre (12 grams). It also has 16 grams of protein, which is great for feeling satisfied and staving off hunger later.

Serve this hearty soup with bread (like this homemade recipe) or these a side dish (like these spring rolls).

Best Health tip: Remember that canned beans tend to have added salt. Check the nutrition facts label and you’ll see what we mean. (This is how to read and understand nutrition labels.) But that is not to say you can’t use canned beans (they save you the soaking time that dry beans require). Just be sure to rinse them several times with water before adding them to this delicious bean soup.

Make it vegetarian by swapping the chicken stock for vegetable broth. Make it vegan by skipping the cheese.


bean soupPhoto Credit: Shutterstock
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
6 25 minutes 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 25 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, carrots and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes in purée, basil and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the kidney and pinto beans and the chickpeas in a colander; rinse and drain. Stir them into the soup. Cook until the flavours develop, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Very coarsely purée about a quarter of the soup using a hand-held blender. Or transfer about 2 cups soup to a blender or food processor, very coarsely purée, and return to the pan. Serve 2 cups Tuscan mixed bean soup per person topped with 1 tablespoon of the freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Recipe Notes

Nutrients per serving: 250 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 30 g carbohydrates (10 g sugar, 12 g fibre), 7 mg cholesterol, 848 mg sodium, 16 g protein

Originally Published in Reader's Digest Quintessential Guide to Healthy Eating