Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Butterbean and Carrot Soup with bacon

I had a small bag of dried butterbeans up in my cupboard and decided I needed to finally do something with them. This soup is creamy and yummy and well it's just a nice comfort food. They're not called "butter" beans for nothing. Serve with a large piece of crusty bread. You could easily double this to feed a larger crowd.
Serves 3-4 generously

1 cup dried butterbeans, (which have been soaked overnight)
1/2 onion chopped (or use 2 large shallots)
2 tbsp oil
6 slices bacon, fried until crispy and crumbled
2 carrots chopped in small pieces
1 small handful parsley chopped
1/4 tsp celery salt or 1 stick celery chopped
1/4 tsp Thyme
2c stock or broth ( I used chicken stock)
2-3 tbsp Dry Sherry (or use water or stock)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. heavy cream (double cream) optional, could use tomato sauce

Cook butterbeans on a low simmer in water for approximately one hour until soft.
When that is almost done pan fry your bacon and set aside. Using the same pan that you cooked your bacon in add in your oil and chopped shallots and carrots and cook until the onions are lightly caramelized but not burned. Just until they turn that little bit of color and release that wonderful smell that only comes from a caramelized onion. Then add your Sherry to deglaze the pan, just scrub around with the back of your spoon or fork until you get all those "good" bits loosened up.

Add all that to your pot and the stock and stir along with the chopped parsley and thyme. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes. When this is all done take out about half the butterbeans using a slotted spoon and mash them up. Add them back to the soup to thicken it. I also added 2 tbsp thickener (cornflour, arrowroot) along with the cream. At this point you can go either direction. You can add the cream or you could add tomato paste to go that direction. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Do not eat lima beans or butterbeans raw, as they contain cyanogens, from which the poison cyanide is made. The U.S. and many other countries restrict growing limas to those with low levels. Rinse well and cook before eating


  1. Down here, butter beans are synonymous with limas - not sure if you're talking about the same thing, but I do love them! My grandmother made them all the time, but I've never seen them dried. Interesting.

    Thanks for stopping by. The peanut-butter cups got rave reviews at work. Enjoy!

  2. Hi Abby
    I think limas are a little smaller but I am not sure. We always had them in our vegetable soup my grandmother made.

    I will definitely be trying those peanut butter cups. Thanks.

  3. Sherrie: looks great! I love butterbeans, and I hope to try this soup recipe soon.

    Abby: Butterbeans are a cousin to limas, in fact I think that they are technically a variety of lima, but they have a unique texture that is all their own. Flavor is different, too -- less "vegetabley". And they're larger. No other bean is quite the same.

  4. I recently made beans with bacon soup for the royal foodie joust. It's so comforting. I like your addition of dry sherry.

  5. Thanks Angela. I love beans with bacon soup I'll have to come and look your recipe up !!!