06 Jun Chicory and White Bean Soup


Chicory and White Bean Soup

6 June 2021

PREP. TIME: 10 MIN   -   COOK TIME: 3o mins   -   SERVES: 4 -6

This recipe can be as long winded or as quick as you want.  For maximum nourishment make your own broth, otherwise box-stock can be used as is or you can doctor it a little to improve the flavour.  You can also soak and cook your own dried beans but you may find the tinned variety more convenient.  If you do cook your own beans, reserve the cooking water and add this to the stock that you use.  Tinned beans should be rinsed and drained before using. 

Recipe Template

The soup may be quite a violent sort of green colour - just be reassured of all the goodness and chlorophyll that you are consuming with it.

Alternatives to chicory are - Rapa, Silverbeet, Escarole, Kale...  Chicory can be quite bitter when eaten raw.  This does diminish with cooking but you may like to temper the bitterness further by adding a peeled and chopped potato with the chicory stems.

ingredients for 4 -6 people

250 g dried cannelini beans or 2 x 400g tins of cannelini beans

2 medium onions

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - plus extra for serving

5 cloves garlic

Pinch of dried oregano

1.2 litres of meat stock

1 head of chicory

Parmesan Cheese


3  - 4 litre, heavy based soup pot

Wooden spoon

Chopping board and kitchen knife

Measuring cup

Electric blender

Cheese grater


Step 1 - Prepare the ingredients:

Peel and chop the onion and the garlic

Wash the chicory well, removing the base and any bruised or discoloured leaves

Chop the chicory stems and set aside.

Finely chop the chicory leaves.

If using tinned beans - drain and rinse well.

Grate the Parmesan cheese

Step 2 - Cook

Heat the oil and add the onions to the pan over moderate heat.  
Add a teaspoon of salt and stir well, cooking gently for about 5 minutes until the onions soften without browning.

Add the garlic and crumble a good pinch of dried oregano into the onions.  Stir until aromatic, and then for another 1 -2 minutes.

Add the chopped stems of the chicory and cook for about 5 minutes to soften.

Stir in the chopped leaves - cook for about 5 minutes or until the stems are tender.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the broth and bring to the boil.

Add the beans and reduce the pot to a steady simmer. 

Season again and cook for another 5 - 10 minutes allowing the flavours to amalgamate.

Step 3 - Assembly

Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender (always take care when blending hot ingredients).  Puree until smooth.

Return the puree to the remaining soup in the pot and reheat.

Season again with salt and pepper

Step 4 - To Serve

Ladle the soup into individual bowls and grate fresh Parmesan cheese over.


Recipe from Epicurious maganzine, December, 2003

Adapted by Elizabeth Peddey

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