My Special Italian Bean Soup with Optional Crunchy Rice

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How to Make Italian Bean Soup from Spinach Tiger

This might be the best bean soup you have ever eaten because there is a surprise crunch that packs big flavor. This is an Italian inspired bean soup.

Cannellini beans, arborio rice, pecorino cheese, are Italian but make no mistake about it, the bacon is American. No pancetta here.

The bacon flavor is profoundly aromatic and is crumbled up so that each bite gets a little bacon and crunchy rice, and when a tomato is captured in that bite the taste is redesigned comfort food because the tomatoes are not cooked, but added in at the end with just a bit of raw spinach.

It’s memorable. It’s well balanced. It’s the perfect one dish meal, that can be eaten any time of year, but is especially good when tomato season is in full peak and you need yet one more way to use them.

This Bean Soup has Options

What I most like is that this soup has options. You can just as easily serve this with crunchy bacon laced rice on the side. Or you can add fresh baby spinach and tomatoes at the end, just before serving,for a vegetarian option.

I like every option. If you do use spinach, it’s important to add it in raw, as it will wilt as it needs to, but won’t get slimy or disappear. You could also add in some kale, which you will want to cook for about 15 minutes.

The color that the tomatoes and spinach bring to this soup enhance not just flavor and texture but visually appeal to that spring/summer desire to eat colorful whole food. I served it with rosemary bread, using freshly picked rosemary and white whole wheat flour.

Whoever said that comfort food is not healthy?

Italian Bean Soup from Spinach Tiger

Serve with rosemary bread as seen below.

How to Make Italian Bean Soup from Spinach TIger

More Soup Recipes from Spinach Tiger

Chicken White Bean Soup from Spinach Tiger
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Chicken and White Bean Soup

White beans, left over chicken, boxed broth makes an easy, healthy soup.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time10 hours
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bean soup, beansoup, chicken soup, soup
Servings: 8
Author: Angela Roberts


  • 2 cups chicken, diced or shredded
  • 4 cans cannellini beans
  • 4-6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 medium white onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • few fresh thyme sprigs can use rosemary also
  • 1 handful Italian parsley chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed or 1 cup chopped fennel
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pecorino or Parmesan for serving


  • Rinse beans with water. Reserve 1 can of beans to emulsify later.
  • Add butter and olive oil to heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add in onion, carrot, celery (and fennel if using fresh) and cook until nearly soft.
  • Add in garlic, cook a minutes, but not browning.
  • Add in chicken broth. Add in beans that are rinsed and drained.
  • Add In spices, and shredded chicken.
  • Blend reserved can of beans until pureed. Add to soup.
  • Cook until carrots are soft.
  • Serve with Parmesan or Pecorino cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Please follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe,  please tag me #spinachtiger.

If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo

Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Bacon risotto

Bacon Risotto
Course: Risotto
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Angela Roberts


  • Risotto with bacon
  • 2 tablespoon butter divided
  • 4 slices bacon chopped fine
  • 1 medium white onion or 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup red wine you can use white wine also
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth hot
  • 1/4 cup pecorino cheese grated
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes sliced lengthwise


  • Saute bacon until crisp. Remove any bacon residue and bacon grease from pan. Save 1 tablespoon of bacon grease.
  • Saute onion in bacon grease until soft. Add butter if necessary.
  • Add rice until toasted. Add wine and cook for a few minutes.
  • Heat broth in a large saucepan on stove and add in very hot broth, one ladle at a time until each ladle has been incorporated.
  • Add in olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter, pecorino cheese, stir.
  • Add parsley and tomatoes.


Crunchy Rice
Cook 4 slices bacon
Remove, finely chop, divide.
Add cooked rice to pan and stir fry until crisp.
Ladle bean soup into individual bowls. Add in 3-4 grape tomatoes, sliced lengthwise to each serving .
Add in some raw spinach leaves to each bowl. Mix. Top with sprinkle pecorino cheese, crunchy rice and extra bacon bits.

Please follow me on instagram. If you make this recipe,  please tag me #spinachtiger.

If you love this recipe, please give it five stars. It means a lot. xoxo

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5 from 3 votes (1 rating without comment)

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