Heat a large, heavy saucepot over medium heat. Add oil and shallots and cook slowly 5-7 minutes until shallots are limp and translucent.
Add garlic, cook 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Working in batches, blend until smooth in a blender or food processor. Return to pot. Re-heat. Taste soup and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Note from Chef Jill - I cook my own beans in a slow cooker. However, the soup is still delicious with canned beans. What I would do is drain and rinse the beans, then put the drained beans into the soup with a cup of water, veggie broth or chicken broth. Note from me - I wrote about preparing your own beans yesterday. Go read the tutorial and see how easy it is to prepare your own beans.