Delightful Butter Bean Soup Recipe (Crispy And Healthy)

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“Savor the heartiness of home-cooked comfort with our Butter Bean Soup, a rich tapestry of flavors and textures that dance on your palate. Plump butter beans are the stars of the show, simmered to perfection and melding seamlessly with a medley of garden-fresh vegetables. Each spoonful is a celebration of simplicity and goodness, with a hint of herbs and a whisper of garlic bringing the symphony of flavors to life. Dive into a bowl of this nourishing, soul-satisfying delight and let the comforting journey begin!”

Immerse yourself in the flavorful symphony of this delightful Butter Bean Soup Recipe – your new staple dish. Savor its rich, velvety texture, the warming broth brimming with buttery beans and aromatic herbs.

butter bean soup recipe

Every spoonful is a testament to its hearty simplicity, invoking nostalgia with each comforting bite. This soup is perfect for cozy nights and is your silent companion through heartwarming dinner conversations. 

Its culinary charm will resonate with the avid home chef in you, enticing you to explore the hidden gastronomic potential of the humble butter bean. Prepare to be smitten as you delve into this culinary journey of remarkable flavors.

What Is Butter Bean Soup?

Butter Bean Soup is a comforting, hearty dish typically prepared from large, flat butter beans—also known as lima beans—cooked in a savory broth. The beans, tender, and buttery in texture, impart a creamy consistency to the soup. 

For added depth, it’s often elevated with aromatic herbs, vegetables like onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and sometimes ham or bacon. A staple in many cuisines, this versatile soup can be customized to taste and is cherished for its simplicity, nutritional value, and fulfilling nature.

butter bean soup recipe

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

  • Vegetarian/Vegan: You can easily make this soup vegetarian or vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken or beef broth. If the original recipe calls for meat, omit or substitute it with a vegan protein like tofu or tempeh.
  • Gluten-Free: This soup is naturally gluten-free as it does not require any wheat-based ingredients. Ensure that any broth you use is certified gluten-free, as some brands may contain additives with gluten.
  • Whole30: To make this soup Whole30 compliant, use homemade broth or a store-bought version without any added sugars or non-compliant additives. Also, skip any legumes, including butter beans, and replace them with Whole30-approved vegetables like sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
  • Paleo: Like Whole30, replace beans with more Paleo-friendly vegetables or add lean meat like chicken. Make sure your broth is homemade or free from non-Paleo ingredients.
  • Keto: To make this soup keto-friendly, you’ll need to replace butter beans, which are high in carbs, with lower-carb alternatives. Consider using vegetables like cauliflower or broccoli or adding more meat to the soup.
butter bean soup recipe

Recipe Directions

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add the diced onion, minced garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the drained and rinsed butter beans to the pot. Stir and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth and add the bay leaf and dried thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  • Remove the bay leaf from the soup. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend about half of the soup until smooth. This will help thicken the soup while still leaving some texture.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If the soup is too thick, you can add more vegetable broth to reach your desired consistency.
  • Ladle the butter bean soup into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!
butter bean soup recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 


  • Vegetarian/Vegan: Skip the ham with vegetable broth or a vegan soup. Add in hearty vegetables or grains like kale, quinoa, or lentils for more substance.
  • Seafood: Replace the ham with smoked salmon or cooked shrimp for a pescatarian twist.
  • Spicy: Add a kick with a diced jalapeño, red pepper flakes, or a dash of hot sauce.


  • Vegetables: Add more veggies for extra nutrition and flavor, like carrots, bell peppers, or zucchini.
  • Grains: Add barley, rice, or pasta for a more substantial soup.
  • Proteins: Consider other proteins like diced chicken, turkey, or even tofu.


  • Herbs: Freshly chopped parsley, dill, or chives add a pop of color and fresh flavor.
  • Cheese: A sprinkle of grated Parmesan or crumbled feta can add a savory touch.
  • Crunch: Croutons, toasted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), or crushed tortilla chips can provide a delightful crunch.
  • Cream: A swirl of sour cream, yogurt, or vegan cream alternative can add richness and tang.
butter bean soup

Can I Make The Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker Method

  • Rinse the butter beans and soak them overnight.
  • Drain the beans and add them to the slow cooker the next day.
  • Add the rest of your ingredients – potatoes, onions, cream of celery soup, ham, spices – into the slow cooker.
  • Fill the slow cooker with enough water or broth to cover the ingredients by about an inch.
  • Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours until the beans are tender.
  • Check the seasoning before serving, adjusting if needed.

Instant Pot Method

  • If using dried beans, use the Instant Pot to quick-soak them: Cover with water, pressure cook for 5 minutes, then let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse.
  • Using the sauté setting, add some oil and cook your onions until translucent.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients – beans, potatoes, cream of celery soup, ham, spices – to the pot.
  • Add enough water or broth to cover the ingredients.
  • Lock the lid in place, make sure the valve is set to sealing, and set to pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to naturally release for 10-15 minutes before doing a quick release.
  • Check the seasoning before serving, adjusting if needed.
butter bean soup

Can I Use Store Broth, Or Should I Make My Own?

Store-Bought Broth

  • This is a great time-saver and can be a good choice to start your soup quickly. Look for a high-quality brand with natural ingredients, and avoid broths with sodium or preservatives. You can find store-bought broth in chicken, beef, vegetable, and other flavors, which gives you flexibility in the base flavor of your soup.

Homemade Broth

  • Making your own broth gives you complete control over the ingredients and flavor. Homemade broth can be richer in flavor than store-bought versions and is a great way to use leftover bones and vegetable scraps. You can make a large batch and freeze it in portions as needed.
butter bean soup

How To Serve?

  • With Bread: Serve your Butter Bean Soup with a side of crusty bread or warm dinner rolls. The bread is excellent for sopping up the flavorful broth.
  • With a Salad: A fresh, crisp salad can balance out the heartiness of the soup and make for a complete, balanced meal.
  • Toppings: Add some extra flavor and texture with toppings. Crumbled bacon, chopped fresh herbs (like parsley or chives), a dollop of sour cream, or some shredded cheese can all enhance your soup.
  • In a Soup Bowl or Bread Bowl: Consider serving your Butter Bean Soup in a hollowed-out bread bowl for a fun and hearty presentation.
  • As a Starter: You could also serve smaller portions of Butter Bean Soup as a warming starter before the main course.
butter bean

Perfect Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread or Dinner Rolls: This classic pairing is great for dipping and soaking up the flavorful soup broth.
  • Green Salad: A fresh salad with a tangy vinaigrette provides a crisp contrast to the rich, hearty soup. Include a variety of vegetables and some crunchy croutons or nuts.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A comforting and delicious partner for soup, a grilled cheese sandwich adds extra protein and a nice textural contrast.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Seasonal vegetables roasted with herbs and a little olive oil provide a delicious and healthy accompaniment to your soup.
  • Cornbread: The sweet and savory taste of cornbread complements the flavors in butter bean soup beautifully.
  • Quinoa or Couscous Salad: These can add a healthy, filling component that pairs well with the soup.
  • Charcuterie Board: If you’re entertaining, a selection of cheeses, cured meats, fruits, and nuts can make a well-rounded meal with the soup.
  • Pickles or Chutney: The tart and tangy flavor can cut through the soup’s richness, balancing the taste.
butter bean

Storage And Make Ahead

  • Soak Butter Beans Overnight: For a smoother texture, soak dried butter beans overnight. This reduces cooking time and enhances their creamy texture.
  • Sauté Vegetables: Gently sauté onions, carrots, and celery before adding to the soup. This foundational step builds a deeper flavor profile.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the soup a day in advance. Flavors meld beautifully overnight, enhancing the soup’s richness and depth. Cool quickly, then refrigerate.
  • Blend for Creaminess: For a gourmet touch, partially blend the soup to achieve a creamy yet chunky texture. Reserve some whole beans for texture.
  • Add Fresh Herbs: Stir in fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary towards the end of cooking. Their vibrant flavors will remain potent.
  • Store Properly: Cool the soup quickly and store in airtight containers. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days and freezes beautifully for up to 3 months.

What Can We Do With The Leftovers?

  • Bean Dip: Purée leftover butter bean soup and use it as a flavorful dip for tortilla chips or vegetable crudites.
  • Soup Remix: Transform leftovers into a creamy pasta sauce by thinning it with a bit of cream or broth and tossing with cooked pasta.
  • Stuffed Peppers: Use the soup as a filling for stuffed bell peppers, combining it with rice, vegetables, and cheese before baking until bubbly.
  • Savory Pie Filling: Repurpose the soup as a filling for a savory pie, layering it with cooked chicken or turkey and topping with puff pastry for a hearty meal.
  • Grilled Cheese Upgrade: Spread leftover soup on bread slices before assembling your grilled cheese sandwich for a gourmet twist on a classic comfort food.
  • Soup Risotto: Cook leftover soup into risotto by stirring it into Arborio rice along with additional broth until creamy and tender.


  • Quality Ingredients: Opt for fresh, organic vegetables and high-quality butter beans for the best taste and nutrition.
  • Soak Beans: Soak butter beans overnight to reduce cooking time and improve texture.
  • Low and Slow: Cook the soup on a low simmer to develop flavors without overcooking the beans.
  • Herbs and Spices: Use fresh herbs and toast spices before adding them to the soup for a flavor boost.
  • Blending: Blend part of the soup to thicken it while keeping some beans whole for texture.
  • Acidic Finish: Add a splash of lemon juice or vinegar before serving to brighten the flavors.
  • Garnishes: Serve with a swirl of olive oil, grated Parmesan, and fresh herbs for a gourmet touch.
Delightful Butter Bean Soup Recipe (Crispy And Healthy)

Delightful Butter Bean Soup Recipe (Crispy And Healthy)

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Course: Soup Recipes


Prep time


Cooking time





Indulge in a comforting bowl of butter bean soup. This delightful recipe combines diced red potatoes, ham, onions, and butter beans in a creamy base of condensed cream of celery soup. Seasoned with a hint of cumin and coriander, it’s a satisfying and flavorful dish perfect for any occasion.


  • 4 4 Medium red potatoes (diced, with peel)

  • 1/2 1/2 Onion (chopped)

  • 1 1 Condensed cream of celery soup (10.75 oz can)

  • 1 cup 1 Cooked ham (cubed)

  • 1 can 1 Butter beans (drained, 15.5 oz can)

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 Ground cumin (or to taste)

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 Ground coriander (or to taste)

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Preparation Steps
    Gather all your ingredients: potatoes, onion, cream of celery soup, ham, butter beans, cumin, and coriander.
  • Cooking
    Place the potatoes into a saucepan and fill with enough water to cover.
    Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they are tender. This should take approximately 10 minutes.
    Drain the potatoes, leaving about one inch of water in the saucepan with them.
    Place the saucepan over low heat and add the chopped onion. Allow it to simmer until the onion becomes soft and translucent.
    Stir in the cream of celery soup, ham, and butter beans.
    Season your soup with cumin and coriander to taste, stirring well to incorporate the spices.
  • Blending
    If you prefer a smoother texture, you can use an immersion blender at this stage to blend the soup until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Final Touches
    Simmer the soup for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until it is heated through.
  • Serving
    Serve hot in bowls, perhaps with crusty bread for dipping.
  • Additional Options
    For a vegetarian option, omit the ham and use vegetable broth instead of cream of celery soup. Consider adding other vegetables, like carrots or celery, to further enhance the flavor and nutritional value of the soup.
  • Large Soup Pot Or Dutch Oven
  • Sharp Knife And Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups And Spoons
  • Wooden Spoon Or Spatula
  • Blender Or Immersion Blender
  • Ladle


  • Feel free to adjust the quantities of the ingredients according to your taste preferences and serving size.
  • If you prefer a smoother texture, you can blend a portion of the soup using an immersion blender or regular blender before adding the ham and butter beans.
  • For a vegetarian version, you can omit the ham and use vegetable broth instead of condensed cream of celery soup.
  • Don’t skip the ground cumin and coriander, as they add a delightful flavor to the soup. However, feel free to adjust the amount according to your personal taste.
  • Garnish the soup with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro for added freshness and visual appeal.
  • Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days or frozen for longer storage. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a splash of water or broth to thin out if needed.
  • Serve the butter bean soup with crusty bread or a side salad for a complete and satisfying meal.

Nutrition Table 

Nutrition Table 

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