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Butter Bean Soup

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Butter bean soup is quick, cheap and easy to make. Unlike most butter bean soup recipes, this soup has a smoky broth seasoned with bacon and Cajun spices. It’s chock full of veggies like carrots, celery, tomatoes and onions. And it actually tastes better the next day. Are you sold yet?

I’ve been big into the  hearty soups and casseroles lately like hamburger macaroni soup, crockpot corn casserole, and chicken zucchini casserole. What can I say? I have such a soft spot in my heart and belly for down home cooking especially as we head into fall weather.

Navy, great northern, pinto, garbanzo, and black beans. I love just about every type of bean I’ve ever tried.
That said, you know what’s a conundrum? I hate Lima beans, they are the only vegetable I can’t stand, but I love butter beans. I’ve got two kiddos that love Lima beans and don’t care for butter beans.

Are Lima beans and butter beans the same thing?

Now, if you didn’t know, the only difference between a Lima bean and a butter bean is how matured and ripened the beans are! That’s right, they come from the same plant just at a different time! They are the same thing. Butter beans are so named because when the Lima fully ripens it has a buttery texture.

What kind of butter beans are best for butter bean soup?

Honestly, you can get by with using just about any butter bean or Lima bean for this soup recipe.

Large butter beans
Baby butter beans
Lima beans
Baby Lima beans

They’ll all work in this recipe. Feel free to mix it up to suit your tastes or what’s on hand and available in your area, canned beans or frozen!

You’ll need:

  • butter beans
  • bacon
  • celery
  • carrots
  • onion
  • garlic
  • chicken broth
  • flour
  • Cajun seasoning
  • canned tomatoes

You begin by frying up 4 slices of chopped bacon. The bacon adds a nice smoky flavor to the broth. After the bacon has fried crisp, remove it from the stockpot, but leave the drippings. Add the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic to the bacon grease and saute them until they are nice and tender.

Next we’ll add 3 Tablespoons of flour to the mixture, cooking and stirring just a few minutes. Whisk in the broth, canned diced tomatoes, water and cajun seasoning. Bring the soup to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Because we’ve already sauteed the veggies until tender, the soup doesn’t require a very long simmer. After 10 minutes add the butter beans and bacon to the pot and simmer 5 minutes more so that the beans are heated through. Before serving give it a good dash of hot pepper sauce if you like. Serve this soup up with a side of cornbread.

A ladle of butter bean soup in a blue pan.

Butter Bean Soup

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Old fashioned butter bean soup is full of hearty veggies and creamy butter beans in a smoky broth seasoned with bacon and Cajun spices.


  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2, 14.5 ounce cans chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1, 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2, 15 ounce cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • Louisiana style hot sauce, to taste


  1. In a large stock pot, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels for later use.
  2. Add the celery, carrots, onion and garlic to the bacon grease. Saute until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir the flour into the veggies. Gradually add the broth to the pan, stirring constantly and making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the water, diced tomatoes and cajun seasoning. Simmer 10 minutes.
  4. Add the bacon and drained butter beans to the soup. Heat through. Season to taste with hot sauce and serve.


For this recipe I recommend Slap Your Mama Cajun seasoning.

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Gerre Gannaway

Tuesday 16th of March 2021

This looks very good. We'll try it tonight and see what happens.

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