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WHITE BEAN & TOMATILLO SOUP

White Bean and Tomatillo Soup – Bright, flavorful and healthy, this easy tomatillo soup with beans, jalapeno and warm spices is a delicious vegan lunch, dinner or make ahead meal!

top down view of bowl filled with white bean tomatillo soup with items surrounding.

Today is a celebration of tomatillos and white beans, and I can’t think of a better way to enjoy them than in this easy as can be White Bean & Tomatillo Soup recipe!

Summer is coming to an end and cooler weather is setting in. It seems a good time to put some of the season’s tomatillos to good use and this soup is a great way to use this wonderful fruit.

Eaten raw tomatillos have a bright, somewhat lemony flavor about them. Once cooked, they soften in texture and their flavor mellows making them a wonderful complement to the white beans and other ingredients in this hearty tomatillo & white bean soup.

White beans are a great source of protein, and together the tomatillos and beans have plenty of fiber to keep you feeling full and keep your digestive track running smoothly. If you find you are gassy with beans, take a look at this article from Care 2, 7 Ways To Avoid Gas From Beans, to see if it can help you.

Once you start to add beans to your diet on a regular basis your body will naturally adjust and ease itself of those unwanted symptoms. Beans should be a staple in your healthy vegan diet as they are accessible, affordable, versatile and contain plenty of nutrients to keep the body healthy and satisfied.

Cheers to the cooler temperatures, bundling up with a big bowl of soup while keeping our food pure and clean as possible!

top down view of ingredients used to make healthy white bean tomatillo soup recipe.

Ingredients You’ll Need

This easy tomatillo soup recipe combines onion, tomatillos, jalapenos and spices simmered with the white beans until soft and tender for a hearty soup that’s full of simple flavors.

Here is everything you will need:

  • white beans – northern beans or cannellini beans – dried or canned
  • onion – I’ve used white here, but brown or red will be great too
  • garlic
  • tomatillos
  • jalapeno – can sub with an Anaheim or poblano pepper
  • vegetable broth – I used 1 teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon veg paste with water, and highly recommend stocking it in your refrigerator.
  • cumin + coriander
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes
side by side photos showing the process of making white bean tomatillo soup.

How To Make White Bean + Tomatillo Soup

(Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post)

  • Prep the beans: If using dried beans, soak them in cool water overnight. If using canned beans, simple drain and rinse them well before using.
  • Prep the tomatillos: Tomatillos are sold in their husks so you’ll want to remove them and wash them well to remove any waxy residue. Cut each tomatillo into 6 or 8 slices.
  • Saute + Simmer: Saute the onions for 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, tomatillos, jalapeno, cumin, coriander, and salt, saute another 5 minutes. Add in the beans and liquids, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes if using canned or cooked beans1 minutes, or if using soaked dried beans 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until beans are tender.

Helpful Tips

  • Make it creamy. For a creamy soup, puree 1/2 of the soup using a standing or immersion blender. This was inspired by one of the comments and such a great idea!
  • Add more spice. I just wanted a hint of the spice, but if you’re a cumin lover by all means add more to your liking.
  • Add corn. Try adding corn, canned, frozen or fresh off the cob, for even more heartiness, touch of sweetness and more color.
  • How long do you cook the soup if using canned beans? If using canned beans you only need to let the soup simmer for 20 minutes to allow the veggies to fully soften.
  • How long do you cook the soup using dried beans that have been soaked? Soaked beans will need a little longer as they are not cooked bringing the simmer time to 60 – 90 minutes to fully cook the beans.

top down view of ladle filled with white bean tomatillo soup in a pot with items surrounding.

How To Store + Reheat

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container.
  • Freezer: This tomatillo soup is freezer friendly and freezes well for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, let cool completely and store in freezer safe containers (affiliate link), leaving 1/2 inch head space for expansion. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags (remove as much air as possible before zip locking). Let thaw before reheating.
  • Reheat: Warm the soup on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave using 30 – 60 second intervals, stirring after each, until warm.

Serving Suggestions

I absolutely love this soup with avocado, a squeeze of lime juice and cilantro. If you have radishes on hand, they are delicious as well, adding color and crunch.

side angle view of white bean tomatillo soup in a bowl with wooden spoon.

More Easy Soup Recipes

If you try this tomatillo and white bean soup recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

Print

WHITE BEAN + TOMATILLO SOUP

Bright, flavorful and healthy, this easy white bean and tomatillo soup is simple, full of flavor and ready in about 40 minutes!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
  • Category: Soup, Entree
  • Method: saute, simmer
  • Cuisine: Tex-Mex
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb. dry northern beans or 3 cans (15 oz) cannellini beans or navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 tablespoons olive oil or 1/4 cup water/broth for water saute
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 23 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 1/2 lb. tomatillos (about 1113), husks removed, washed and quartered or cut into 6 pieces
  • 12 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or water/broth combo)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • mineral salt, to taste
  • pinch or two red pepper flakes (I like it for a little color)

To serve, optional

  • chopped cilantro
  • avocado
  • lime wedges
  • sliced radishes
  • corn or flour tortillas (organic tortilla chips would be great too)

Instructions

Beans: If using dried beans, wash and pick through removing any unsightly beans or pebbles. Soak beans overnight or quick soak them according to package directions. Drain and rinse beans well. Place in a medium size bowl until ready to use. If using canned beans go to the next step and add the drained and rinsed canned beans as called for below.

Tomatillos: Prepare your tomatillos by removing the husks and washing them well to remove any of the sticky residue. Chop into quarters or six pieces depending on the size of your fruits. Cut and remove seeds from your jalapeno, and dice. Dice your onion and garlic.

Saute + Simmer: In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat, add onion, saute for 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, tomatillos, jalapeno, cumin, coriander, and a pinch or two of salt, saute another 5 minutes. Add in the beans and liquids, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 hours (90 – 120 minutes), or until beans are tender, stirring occasionally. If using canned beans, cook for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.

Serve: Ladle soup into individual bowls and serve with diced avocado, cilantro, lime wedges and tortillas.

Serves 4 generously or 6 small portions

Notes

Make this fat free by opting to add all the ingredients to the pot without sauteing the vegetables in oil. I did this on my first batch of this soup and it was still very delicious without any added oils.

I used canned beans for the recipe shown, but have made this many times using dried northern beans. If you have the time I recommend using dried beans.

Add more cumin if you like, or none at all. I just wanted a hint of the spice, but if you’re a cumin lover by all means add more to your liking.

Add 1 can of corn (drained) to the soup to make it even heartier. Even corn fresh of the cob would be great. It will add a touch of sweetness and more color.

This soup could also benefit from a dollop of Lime Cilantro Cashew Cream

Updated: White Bean + Tomatillo Soup was originally published in September 2013. It has been updated with new photos and helpful tips in May 2020.

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26 Comments

  1. Nancy Steed says:

    White beans and tomatillo soup! Turned out perfect first time! Added a can of corn for a hearty fall soup/stew! This is going to be a “go to ” family favorite!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      So glad you enjoyed the soup and I absolutely love your addition of corn, what a nice touch! Thanks for the inspiration! Cheers :)

  2. This soup is so good! A generous sqeeze of lime juice and avocado took it over the top.

  3. I was looking for something (besides salsa) to utilize my brand new harvest of tomatillos. This is delicious! So fresh and tangy tasting.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for sharing, Deborah! I bet is was wonderful with your homegrown tomatillos! Cheers :)

  4. Dee Amick says:

    Hmmmm….I used dried beans, prepared as per the recipe. They never cooked!
    Have you used dried beans before? I have read that acidic elements can prevent beans from cooking. Also the few pinches of salt are suspect. I never add salt to beans until they are done cooking. Generally I only add beans that are cooked to soups as well.
    Delicious recipe, but issue with beans was very disappointing.
    I cook beans successfully all the time, but I have had issues with dried cannellini beans before.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Well darn! I’ve updated the recipe to cook the beans until tender, 60 – 90 minutes, maybe longer. As for the salt, I’ve cooked beans with and without salt, never any issue either way – but you can try without if that’s what you’re used too. I’ll retest the recipe using dried beans as soon as I find them. The first time I made the soup with dried beans, but this time I used canned because since everyone bought up all the dried beans. I’ll update the recipe as soon as I spot a bag at the store. Going today as a matter of fact. Thanks so much to the feedback, Dee!

      1. Thanks for the reply. I pureed it and we ate it as a porridge! Still delicious!

  5. This was delicious, so much flavor! I added corn and partially blended as suggested.

  6. rachel pugliese says:

    Yet another awesome dish!

  7. To make it a little more "creamy" I placed half of it the blender half way through cooking it. It turned out so good!

    Side note: I took a 30 day vegan challenge to see how my body reacts to not eating dairy and meat products. I'm so happy I stumbled onto you blog. I've made 6 dishes so far and been so happy with them. Thank you!

  8. Bethany Wolf says:

    Cardamom accidentally substituted for coriander, what a delicious mistake!

  9. Could you make this in the crockpot?

    1. julie | The Simple Vegansita says:

      Yes, place everything in, set on low and let it cook! If using dried beans make sure to soak them overnight before placing in the crock pot. Let me know how it goes! :)

  10. betterwithlemons says:

    This sounds amazing! I've had some tomatillos hanging out on my kitchen counter waiting to be used. Now I know what I'm making for dinner tomorrow!

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