White bean soup is one of the healthier comfort food dishes out there, even when paired with fried salami or mayonnaise, as some of the chefs do here.
Philadelphia chef Jose Garces makes a simple, brothy white bean soup and garnishes it with crisp bits of bacon.
For his silky take on bean soup, Hudson Valley chef Waldy Malouf simmers the beans with ham hocks until they’re flavorful and then pulls the meat off the bones and adds them to the puree.
3. With spring vegetables
Cookbook author Joanne Weir of Copita in Sausalito, California, adds asparagus, peas, tons of herbs and lemon to her light and lovely white bean soup.
4. With salami
David Ansel, who created a soup delivery service and shops known as The Soup Peddler, tops his chunky beans-and-greens soup with bites of fried salami.
5. With clams
In the hands of San Francisco chef Laurence Jossel, bacon-studded clam chowder gets thickened with white beans instead of potatoes.
6. With tomatoes and Swiss chard
Restaurateur and TV personality Joe Bastianich grew up eating homey bean stews like this one.
7. With mussels
The winey, briney liquid created by steamed mussels becomes the broth for New York City chef Alex Raij’s white bean stew.
8. With greens and mayo
Atlanta chef Steven Satterfield tricks out his homey white bean soup with two clever garnishes: quickly sautéed mustard greens and a garlicky mayonnaise.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.