A Deliciously Tasty Italian Butter Bean Soup Recipe

Butter beans refer to a type of legume. These types of beans originate from the continent of South America. Butter beans are creamy and delicious and are used to create a variety of cuisine types. These large beans also provide a powerful nutritional punch.

Butter beans peak during the late summer, as their growing season ends. And they are available dried or fresh-frozen all year.

It is noted that from a purely botanical perspective, butter beans and lima beans are the same beans – with their name being determined simply by the region they are found.

How to Make this Deliciously Tasty Italian Butter Bean Soup Recipe

This delicious soup is flavorful and light, despite its offering as a portion of comfort food for many.

  • Preparation Time – 10 – 15 minutes.
  • Cooking Time – 2 – 3 hours.
  • Serves – 4 to 6.

Ingredients For the Tasty Italian Butter Bean Soup Recipe

This butter bean soup recipe offers a complex flavor profile and is both filling and delicious.

  • 2 Cups of Carrots – Finely Diced
  • 2 Cups of Onion – Finely Diced
  • 2 ½ Cups of Celery – Finely Diced
  • 2 – 3 Tablespoons of Cooking Oil
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic – Minced
  • 4 Tablespoons of Sun-Dried Tomatoes
    Pro-tip – these can be bought at most grocery stores. To save money, you can create your own sun-dried tomatoes at home.
  • 4 Tablespoon of Italian Parsley – Minced & Divided
  • 1 Tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
  • 4 Cups of Napa Cabbage – Cut Into 1″ X 3″ Pieces
  • 1 Lb. of Dried Italian Butter Beans
    Pro-tip- To soak dried beans, rinse the beans with cold, filtered water. Then with additional cold water, cover them and let them soak for upwards of one day or 24 hours. After you have soaked the butter or lima beans, rinse them again, this time with fresh cold water.
  • 1 Ham Bone
    Pro-tip- while this is optional, note that a ham bone, which has previously absorbed flavor from the meat when cooking, infuses great flavor when added to a slow-cooked soup recipe. Plus, a ham bone can add additional nutrients – minerals like phosphorus and calcium, to this butter bean soup.
  • 3 ½ Cups of Crushed Tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoon of Hatch-Style Green Chilies
  • 24 Oz. of Beef Stock
  • 1 – 2 Bay Leaves
  • Filtered Water To Cover Beans
  • Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper (Approximately 1 Teaspoon of Salt And 1 Teaspoon of Pepper)
  • Chopped Parsley – for garnishment.

Cooking Directions For Butter Bean Soup

  • Place the cooking oil and the diced carrots, celery, and onions in a large, heavy soup pot – 7 to 8 quarts.
  • Sauté the veggies and oil over medium heat.
  • Stir these vegetables for 5 – 10 minutes. This is the time it takes for the vegetables to become translucent and fork-tender.
  • Add the minced garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, and cabbage to the soup mixture and mix well.
  • Sauté these vegetables for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Combine all the remaining ingredients with the cooked vegetables in the soup pot.
  • Cover with filtered water, leaving approximately 2″ of space between the top of the soup liquid to the top of the soup pot.
  • Boil over medium-high flame until the butter beans are tender and cooked through.
  • You may need to add additional water throughout the cooking process because water will be absorbed by the beans and also evaporate while cooking. This extra water will help to maintain a consistent water level in the soup and the desired consistency. This part of the cooking process can take 2 or even up to 3 hours, depending on two important variables – the size and age of the beans being used to cook the soup.
  • Once the beans are cooked through and tender, add salt and pepper to taste (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt & 1 teaspoon of pepper).
  • Garnish with chopped parsley and serve hot.

Serving Suggestions for this Deliciously Tasty Italian Butter Bean Soup

Although this Italian butter bean soup is delicious and hearty on its own, you can consider adding the following –

  • Sausage – you can add some of your favorite sausage to this butter bean soup recipe. Note that hot or mild works well in this soup recipe.
  • Pesto – looking for an herbaceous pop – plop some fresh pesto on this delicious soup.
  • Pancetta – beans pair well with pancetta. Render diced pancetta and save the drippings to use to add a layer of flavor to the vegetables when cooking them.


How do you Store This Italian Butter Bean Soup?

Soup is one of those foods that seem to taste better the day after it was made. Leftovers of this tasty Italian Butter Bean soup are ideal for a quick lunch or a starter for dinner. Just be certain to store the butter bean soup within an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Then just reheat and serve.

Can You Substitute the Butter Beans for Cannellini Beans?

If, for some reason, you can’t for don’t want to use butter beans for the above recipe, you can substitute cannellini beans instead. Cannellini beans are white beans, firm, buttery, and often found as an ingredient in many traditional Italian soups and stews.

What are the Nutritional Values of Butter Beans?

A cup of dried beans contains 12 grams of protein, nine grams of fiber, and 40 grams of carbs.

What are the Do’s and Don’ts of Using Dried Beans?

If you plan to use dried beans, consider these suggestions


  • Select quality dried beans to use in this Italian butter bean soup.
  • Consider adding subtle heat – which could mean a spoonful of salsa or roasted chilies. This can often add depth to a soup made with butter beans.


  • Use dried beans that are old or stale. It is best to use beans that have been harvested and dried in one season.
  • Rush the time you plan to soak the beans. The longer you can soak the beans, the more consistent they will cook in this soup.
  • Add any salt until the beans have been thoroughly cooked. This is because the presence of salt has the potential to inhibit cooking.

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