Cancer Palate- White Bean and Spinach Soup Recipe

For many cancer patients, the side effects of their treatment can make eating difficult or undesirable.  One of the ways to deal with this issue is to simplify; focus on foods that are easier to swallow yet are packed with nutrients.  Soups are a great way to go.  This recipe for White Bean and Spinach Soup provides many potential health benefits.  Mom always said to eat your spinach–and she was right.  Spinach provides a great source of vitamin c, antioxidants and glycocylcerolipids, which some studies have indicated help protect the lining of the digestive tract (and what cancer patient wouldn’t appreciate that).  White beans provide a good source of minerals, protein, vitamins and fiber.  They are also high in inflammation-fighting antioxidants.  In addition, of course, there are few things as comforting as a warm bowl of homemade soup.  Enjoy!

 White Bean and Spinach Soup:


  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced finely
  • 4½ cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-oz) can no-salt added diced tomatoes (fresh may be substituted)
  • 1 (14-oz) can no-salt added cannellini beans (any white bean may be substituted)
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • Dash freshly ground pepper
  • Dash red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 oz. small whole-wheat pasta shells
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 4 tsp. shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, carrots, and onions until the carrots are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add stock, tomatoes, beans, rosemary, Italian seasoning, and pepper to skillet. Bring to boil.
  3. Add shells and cook 14 minutes. If soup is too thick simply add a bit more stock.
  4. Stir in spinach and continue cooking until wilted.
  5. Serve in soup bowls and sprinkle Parmesan on top.
 Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research (

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