Creamy Leek & White Bean Soup with Swiss-Crusted Croutons

Leeks, white beans, cremini mushrooms, parsnips, garlic and carrots combine into one creamy bowl of goodness.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Prep Time
55 min
Cook Time
80 min
80 min


  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided 

  • 2 cups chopped leek, white parts only

  • 6 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced, divided

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 1 cup cooked or BPA-free canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup chopped parsnips

  • ½ cup chopped carrot

  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, plus additional for garnish

  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • ½ tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper

  • 5 cloves whole plus 1 clove minced garlic, divided

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips

  • 3 slices sprouted grain bread (TIP: For best results, let bread dry out overnight.)

  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

  • 12 1-oz slices low-fat Swiss cheese

  • 1 tbsp raw unsalted pine nuts, optional


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large pot, heat 1½ tsp oil on medium. Add leek and sauté, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add broth, 1½ cups water, beans, parsnips, carrot, thyme, parsley, salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer until vegetables soften, about 30 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, wrap 5 cloves whole garlic and ½ tsp oil in foil. Transfer to a baking sheet. Line remaining half of baking sheet with foil and add bell pepper. Drizzle with ½ tsp oil. Bake until edges of bell pepper are slightly blackened, about 30 minutes. 

3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat remaining ½ tsp oil on medium. Add remaining 1 cup mushrooms and sauté until soft. Add 1 clove minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

4. Prepare croutons: On a separate baking sheet, add bread. Bake, turning once, until golden. Cut each slice into four triangles. 

5. Remove garlic and bell pepper from oven and set aside to cool.

6. Squeeze roasted garlic pulp from cloves and add to soup. With an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. (Alternatively, purée in batches in an upright blender.) Add yogurt and sautéed mushrooms. Heat on medium and cook until heated through; do not boil. 

7. Arrange an oven rack in top position. Preheat broiler to high. Spoon soup into oven-safe bowls and add one crouton to each. Top with cheese and broil on top rack until cheese melts. Garnish with bell pepper, thyme and, if desired, nuts. 

Tip: Freeze extra soup in serving-size containers for up to three months!

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 cup soup, 1 crouton, 1 oz cheese, 1 ⁄12 bell pepper, ¼ tsp pine nuts
  • Calories 157
  • Cholesterol Content 10 mg
  • Fat Content 3 g
  • Fiber Content 3 g
  • Protein Content 13 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 1 g
  • Sodium Content 244 mg
  • Sugar Content 4 g