Skip to main content
Family of four plays at the beach with coastline in background

Great northern bean, bacon and spinach soup

February 13, 2019 | Heather Shannon
bowl of bean, bacon and spinach soup

This hearty soup proves you don’t need a whole lot to produce something with a ton of flavor.

It starts with great northern beans, which are an excellent source of protein, says Katie Rankell, RD, director of the UCI Health Weight Management Program.

Just one cup has 15 grams of protein and less than a gram of fat, she says. Beans are also a powerhouse source of fiber, iron and potassium.

Rankell hails spinach, too, calling it a superfood.

“Spinach contains antioxidants that have been shown to lower blood sugar and improve diabetic control,” she says.

Spinach is also loaded with vitamin A, which is great for healthy skin. Its high potassium content can help lower blood pressure.

Finishing off the soup with a splash of apple cider vinegar brightens the flavors and adds a range of health benefits, including lowering blood sugar and improving heart health.

Regular bacon adds crunch and fat for satiety. Feel free to switch it up with turkey bacon to reduce the fat content of this soup.

Great northern bean, bacon and spinach soup

Download this recipe ›


  • 3 15 oz cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place a cookie rack on top of the baking sheet. Lay the bacon slices out flat and bake for 15-30 minutes, to your desired doneness.

When done cooking, chop and set aside.

Blend 1 cup of beans with 1 cup of water using a blender or an immersion blender.

Add the onion, carrots and celery to the pot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste.

Add the pureed beans, beans, broth, thyme and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil, cover and cook on low until the beans and vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes.

Lightly puree the soup with an immersion blender to thicken. Add the spinach and stir until wilted.

Turn off the heat and stir in apple cider vinegar.

To serve, ladle into 6 bowls and top with bacon.


  • Calories 272
  • Protein 21.1 grams
  • Fat 1.9 grams
  • Carbohydrates 52.2 grams
  • Fiber 11.9 grams

Related stories