Living Vegan In Charlotte, NC

Southern Butter Bean Soup

In honor of National Lima Bean Day (April 20), I give to you … Butter Bean Soup!

What’s the difference between a Butter Bean and a Lima Bean?

Some say Butter Bean is just another name for Lima Bean (which also goes by Rangoon Bean, Burma Bean, Madagascar Bean, and Chad Bean). Some say a Butter Bean is just a very mature Lima Bean. Some say it is a variant that has an extra mild taste and an extremely smooth, melt-in-your-mouth, buttery texture.

Butter Bean Soup is a staple in the South. It’s delicious and incredibly nutritious. It’s also very inexpensive – an important concern for many of us these days.

This is a riff on my mom’s recipe, minus the meat. I also omitted the roux and substituted corn starch so it’s safe for my gluten-free friends.

I like to serve with a side of cornbread and a simple fruit, such as an orange, for dessert.

Makes 4-6 servings.


  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil (Canola or Olive Oil)
  • 1 Cup Chopped Carrots
  • 1 Cup Chopped Celery
  • 1 Onion, Chopped (about 3/4 – 1 Cup)
  • 2 16 oz. Cans Butter Beans (I usually use Bush’s)
  • 1 14 oz. Can Diced Tomatoes (I prefer the petite diced)
  • 4 Cups Water
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Dash of Tabasco (Optional)

Prep Work

  • Chop the carrots, celery, and onion. The measurements don’t have to be exact – a little more or less than a cup of each is fine.
  • Open and drain the cans of butter beans. If you’re watching salt, rinse the beans as well.
  • Open the can of tomatoes. Do not drain.
  • Get out your spices to have them ready. You don’t want to be scurrying around at the last second looking for a misplaced spice jar. If you don’t have both basil and parsley, you could use just basil or just parsley. You could also try dried chervil or a tiny bit of Italian seasoning blend.


  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot.
  • Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until soft – about 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the beans, tomatoes, water, dried basil, and dried parsley. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • After 10 minutes, sprinkle in the corn starch and stir well. YOU DO NOT WANT TO ADD THE CORNSTARCH TOO QUICKLY OR IT WILL CLUMP. This will not thicken the soup immediately but the soup will get a little thicker and creamier as it cooks. The end goal is for the base not to appear watery.
  • Continue cooking another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add salt, to taste, and a good grind of black pepper.
  • Add a dash of Tabasco (completely optional).

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Categorised in: Soup, Vegan Recipes

4 Responses »

  1. Making some today

  2. I love butter beans. I bet this soup 🥣 tastes delicious. Thank you for the recipe!!


  1. Southern Butter Bean Soup — VegCharlotte | My Meals are on Wheels

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