A bowl of creamy and filling butter bean soup is just what you need on a cold day. This nutritious vegan option soup is budget friendly and a great way to get more beans in your diet. This nourishing soup has some vegetables blended in to it and it makes a filling lunch or light dinner.
Have you ever had bean soup before? It's so creamy and comforting - if you haven't had it then you are missing out. Butter bean soup is our favourite because the buttery beans make this a really creamy soup that feels far more indulgent than it actually is.
Our cupboard is always packed full of beans, because they are so versatile and perfect for making meals when you are on a tight budget. Really, all you need is beans and stock, but we have added a few extras to make this soup really special. If you are looking for other ways to use butter beans, then why not try our Butter Bean Hummus, Mexican Beans on Toast, Spanish Bean Stew or White Bean Pasta?
Why you will love it
- A great way to use beans - Beans are so nutritious (more on that below). If you are looking for more ways to get beans in your diet, then blending them in to a soup is an easy way to do it.
- Protein packed - This is a hearty and filling soup, all thanks to the beans that are protein packed. This will help you feel fuller for longer.
- Budget friendly - Beans are a great way to make meals on a budget and this butter bean soup is very cheap to make.
- Quick and easy - This soup is ready in just 20 minutes and it is so easy to make.
- Oil - We used olive oil to cook the shallots and carrots in. You could use sunflower or vegetable oil instead.
- Shallots - This is the base of the soup. We used shallots because they are nice and sweet, but you could swap them for a small brown onion instead.
- Carrots - This is an easy way to add some vegetable to the soup. Make sure to dice the carrots very very finely, as this is a quick cooking soup, so you want the carrots to be softened before blending.
- Butterbeans - The star of the soup. We used a can of butter beans. Don't throw away the liquid in the can, as is added to the soup and helps make it creamy.
- Stock - We used vegetable stock, but you can use chicken stock which will give it a richer flavour. Try to use the best quality stock you can, as you really will be able to taste the difference.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make butter bean soup - Step by step
One: Heat the oil in a large pan and add the carrots and shallots. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
Two: Add the butter beans (including the water from the can).
Three: Add the stock and seasoning. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Four: Blend until smooth. Serve topped with chopped bacon and chives (both optional).
Health benefits of butter beans
Butter beans, also known as lima beans, are native to South America and they have been cultivated for at least 9,000 years. Larger than most other beans, butter beans have a creamy and buttery texture when cooked which is where they get their name from.
Butter beans are super nutritious too. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, which will help keep you fuller for longer. This is a hearty and filling soup, thanks to the beans. Butter beans are also a great source of vegan fibre, vitamin B9 (folate), iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc.
We used canned butter beans, which you can find in most supermarkets with the rest of the canned beans.
What to serve with butter bean soup
We topped this deliciously creamy soup with some chopped cooked bacon and chives. The bacon adds some nice crunch to the smooth soup, as well as saltiness so you don't need to add extra seasoning. The chives add some freshness, but they are both optional.
We also love serving this butter bean with some crunchy croutons on top. We make our own easy croutons by chopping up some bread in to squares and drizzling over a little olive oil and a sprinkle of garlic granules and dried herbs. Put them in the oven for about 5 minutes to crisp up. Perfect for adding to soups and salads. Have you tried our Sourdough Croutons?
Store: This soup is always best eaten fresh, however if you do have leftovers then you can keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let it cool down and then store in an air tight container in the fridge.
Freeze: This freezes really well. The texture may be a bit different, but it will be fine once heated through. Allow it to completely cool first and then portion it out in to air tight containers or freezer bags (these are great for space saving as you can lay them flat) and then it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 months.
Defrost: Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: Once fully defrosted, you can reheat it in the microwave or heat it through on the hob.
Frequently Asked Questions
This version isn't vegan as we have used chicken stock, which gives a real depth of flavour. To keep it vegan, simply swap for a vegetable stock.
Yes, this can be gluten free if you use a gluten free stock and make sure that there is no cross contamination.
If your soup is too thick, then you may have cooked it at too high a temperature. Simply add a little more stock until it is the desired consistency. Equally, if it is too thin that you might not have had the heat high enough. Let it simmer a little longer to thicken up.
To thicken the soup, you will need to make a cornflour slurry. Simply mix together equal parts cornflour and water and then whisk that mixture in to the soup. Usually 2 tablespoons of cornflour and 2 tablespoons of water mixed together does the job. You can use this tip for thin stews too.
Yes, you can make this in advance and then leave it to cool in the pan, cover and refrigerate the whole pan. Then, when you want to serve it you can put the whole pan (uncovered) on the hob and heat it through.
Yes, you can cook dried butter beans before using them in this recipe. Dried beans work out cheaper and you can buy them in bulk.
• Keep this vegan by using a vegetable stock.
• You may need to add a little bit more stock to the soup after blending, depending on the consistency that you want. If you have cooked the soup on too high a heat, then it will need more stock, otherwise it will be very thick. But, you might like it that way.
• Make this soup even more indulgent by adding some chopped bacon on top.
• Top with some toasted seeds to add some crunch.
• Use a stick blender to blend this soup. If you are going to use a jug blender, make sure it cools down first, as putting hot soup in can cause it to explode.
• If you are making this soup for young children, then use a low salt stock.
More soup recipes
If you’ve tried this butter bean soup recipe, then let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Butter Bean soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 shallots - finely diced
- 230 g carrots - finely diced
- 235 g butter beans - (canned, including water)
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- bacon (optional) - cooked and chopped
- chives (optional) - finely chopped
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the carrots and shallots. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.1 tablespoon olive oil, 230 g carrots, 3 shallots
- Add the butter beans (including the water from the can).235 g butter beans
- Add the stock and seasoning. Simmer for 10 minutes.500 ml chicken stock, 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
- Blend until smooth. Serve topped with chopped bacon and chives (both optional).bacon (optional), chives (optional)
- Keep this vegan by using a vegetable stock.
- You may need to add a little bit more stock to the soup after blending, depending on the consistency that you want. If you have cooked the soup on too high a heat, then it will need more stock, otherwise it will be very thick. But, you might like it that way.
- Make this soup even more indulgent by adding some chopped bacon on top.
- Top with some toasted seeds to add some crunch.
- Use a stick blender to blend this soup. If you are going to use a jug blender, make sure it cools down first, as putting hot soup in can cause it to explode.
- If you are making this soup for young children, then use a low salt stock.