White Bean and Arborio Rice Soup Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

White Bean and Arborio Rice Soup

Northern Italian soups are often filled out with rice rather than pasta. Toasted breadcrumbs and pine nuts add an almost cheese-like flavor—without the cheese.



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3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
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⅔ cup Arborio rice
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3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
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3 ¼ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
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6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
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2 cups sliced cabbage
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1 bay leaf
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2 slices Italian bread, torn into 1-inch pieces (1 cup)
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¼ cup pine nuts
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1 15.5-oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained


1. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in pot over medium heat. Add rice, and sauté 6 minutes, or until toasted, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and rosemary, and cook 2 minutes more. Add broth, cabbage, and bay leaf; cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes.

2. Pulse bread and pine nuts in food processor until small crumbs form.

3. Heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumb mixture, and sauté 5 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are crisp and toasted.

4. Add beans to soup, and cook 5 minutes more, or until rice is tender. Remove bay leaf, and stir in breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Nutrition Information: 

6 g
Total Fat: 
11 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
35 g
0 mg
299 mg
5 g
3 g
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

I made this soup for our family last night. I did'nt have any Rosemary or Bay leaf, but I added Nutritional Yeast to give it more of a cheesy flavor. It tasted great with and without the Nutritional Yeast! The whole family liked it!

this is a stupid question; is the rice already cooked when its added? or does it cook in the broth?

I omitted the pine nuts (not available locally). I ate some of the soup garnished with Parmesan cheese and some with low-fat sharp cheddar and Bacos. I used Arborio Rice because I had some, but especially if you are planning on reheating the soup, it still breaks down. This can be a very good filling cheap soup, without pine nuts and using ordinary rice.

We dont eat cabbage. Any suggestions for a replacement? Other than that this sounds great.

Best. Soup. Ever.

I also wonder if rice is cooked or not? I guess it would take long time for rice to cook...? or not?

I felt this soup was very bland & boring

One of my favorite soups. I prefer not mixing the pine nuts and bread into the pot but to use it as a topping. My mouth waters every time I think about this soup and I am making it tonight for the fourth or fifth time.

is really good. i made mine GF by using GF bread crumbs instead of the pine nuts and bread. my 5 year old ate it all so is a miracle soup :)

I made this soup precisely to the recipe last night for my boyfriend and me, and we both loved it. He had leftovers for lunch today and texted me to tell me again how good it is. It will be my go-to soup this winter.

@Brandi - Maybe try Kale but put in later?

The rice cooks in the broth, so add it raw

WAY too much rosemary. Almost made it unable to eat. 1 tsp would have been enough. Added shredded carrots, red pepper. Nice color. To dilute the rosemary the 2nd night, I added additional broth, shiitake mushrooms, and that helped a lot.

I added a light squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the bowl before serving. Yum.

yes - 3 1/2 tsp rosemary is a lot.

I've made this one before and thought the bread was too much. It absorbed all the soup and the dish turned to mush.

I thought this was absolutely delicious and will definitely make it again. No pine nuts at the market so I used lightly toasted walnuts, and my fresh rosemary was too old, so instead used a combination of dried mint, dill and tarragon. These substitutions did not detract from the overall savory and rich quality of this stew-like soup. I like DanaMer idea of finishing with some fresh lemon juice and will try that next time.

We thought this was great, I think the trick is to really toast the breadcrumbs and pine nuts well and season with salt and pepper. Will definitely make this again!

I love this soup, it is so easy to make, and has the best flavors!

Delicious. I just made this last week and it's on the menu again already. This soup was easy to make and even better than I expected! My picky toddler who usually refuses anything served at dinner actually ate it and liked it! I omitted the pine nuts and used gluten free breadcrumbs although, next time, I'll probably skip the breadcrumbs all together.

This was absolutely delishous! I'll make it again.

Not sure what I did wrong but thought it was really bland...

This is by far my favorite soup, I've been making it about 3 times a month. I didn't have pine nuts for a couple batches so I used ground up cashews - still awesome. I add more broth than the recipe calls for I use No Chicken Base by Better than Boullion, so fabulous. I also add some fresh Thyme with the fresh Rosemary. Love Love Love

julie this will become a regular


This is DELICIOUS! Not too difficult and tastes gourmet! I used Better Than Bouillon for the stock. My husband couldn't even tell that it was vegetarian.

This was so simple, but so delicious! The one thing I would recommend is not to toast the rice as long. I toasted it for about three minutes and sensed that if I toasted it any longer, it would burn.

Looks delicious

Try this

I do not use oil. Could you toast the rice in a little broth?

I think those who find this soup bland are using a bland broth. Like others, I used the Better than Boullion vegetable base, and it came out delicious. I cant imagine using a low-sodium broth as the recipe calls for. I also can't imagine NOT using the pine-nut/breadcrumb combo (though I subbed regular wheat bread and we used it as a topping instead of stirring it in). Whole family loved it.

I LOVE this recipe. I agree about the broth; especially since rice, like eggs, requires a little salt. I did toss in one vegetable bouillon cube, and it did the trick. I subbed in a TJ shredded mix of kale, Brussels sprouts and two cabbages for the cabbage. Not being a fan of pine nuts, I used slivered almonds. Otherwise, I followed the recipe as is and it was delicious.


White bean soup.

I love this soup, it's so amazing.

Instead of vegetable stock I used organic mushroom broth. Gives the soup so much flavor and richness! Love this easy to make soup!

Mine did not look like the picture. I didn't follow directions exactly, I think I put in too much cabbage. My soup turned out rather dark.