This Lima Bean Soup recipe is warm and comforting when it’s cold outside! Made with dry lima beans, but you can use canned if you prefer, plus vegetables such as carrots, celery, and leeks. Frugal & delicious!
Lima Bean Soup is an excellent way to feed the family. Our family has been making and enjoying this soup for many years now. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also comforting and frugal. One of the things I love about having soup for dinner is that it’s a one-pot meal. A bowl of this soup and some cornbread or a slice of crusty bread and your meal is complete!
This soup is made with the common ingredients of many soups — such as carrots and celery — but rather than onions, this recipe uses leeks. They are more mellow than onions and add an excellent flavor to the soup. This recipe also uses dry lima beans, which helps to keep this recipe inexpensive.
How to Soak Dry Lima Beans
If you are about to cook this fresh Lima Bean Soup, you may be wondering how you cook those dry beans!
First, go through the beans and remove any that are discolored or look a little funky. Then take the beans and rinse them very well. The next step is to decide how you will take your beans from hard and dry to tender and delicious!
When it comes to cooking your lima beans, there are two important processes. The first one is soaking your limas in water and the second is the actual cooking process. However, while these processes are simple, there are a few different ways you can go about doing each of them.
Option #1: Quick Soaking Lima Beans
For this Lima Bean Soup recipe, we recommend the quick soaking method. This method involves heating up the beans and then letting them soak in the hot water. It’s a great method if you don’t have time to soak overnight. And, this method is perfect for people like me who didn’t plan ahead for soaking overnight! LOL
To use the quick soaking method, place your 1 pound of lima beans in a large pot with 10 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil and boil the lima beans for 5-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover the pot. Let the lima beans soak for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Drain and rinse beans and return to the pot. From here, you can add the sauteed vegetables, the broth, and make the soup according to the instructions.
Option #2: Overnight Soaking Lima Beans
To use this method, you’ll put the lima beans in a large bowl or pot that will allow enough room for the beans to double in size. Then, cover the beans with 10 cups of cold water. Cover up the container and put it in the fridge overnight.
When you’re ready to make your soup, drain the water from the beans and rinse them. Put your drained beans in a large pot. From here, you can add the sauteed vegetables, the broth, and make the soup according to the instructions.
How to Thicken Lima Bean Soup
If you like a thicker soup, you have a couple of options:
- When I make this Lima Bean Soup recipe, I smash some of the beans with my spoon or a potato masher at the end of the cooking process. You can also blend up some of the beans with an immersion blender.
- You can add less of the broth to ensure that your soup is thicker. If you wish to use this option, add only 6 cups of broth at first. Add more broth later for thinning out the soup, if needed.
We hope this Lima Bean Soup is a recipe that your family can enjoy for many years to come. It’s a favorite of ours and will most likely become a favorite in your household too. Let us know what you think!Print
Lima Bean Soup
- 1 pound dry large lima beans
- 8 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 carrots (chopped)
- 2 leeks (white bulb only, chopped)
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 8 cups chicken broth (two 32 ounce cartons)
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add lima beans and boil for 5 – 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cover. Let beans soak for 2 – 2.5 hours. Drain and rinse beans; return to pot.
- In a large pan, heat olive oil and saute all the vegetables until carrots and celery are tender-crisp.
- Add 8 cups of chicken broth to the beans in the pot. Add the vegetables. Stir to combine and simmer on low for 1.5 hours; stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
THICKER SOUP TIPS: If you wish this soup to be thicker, you can add only 6 cups of broth at first. Add more broth later for thinning out the soup, if needed. Another option is to smash some of the beans with a spoon or a potato masher at the end of the cooking process. You can also blend up some of the beans with an immersion blender.
Note: Towards the end of the cooking, I smashed some of the beans a bit with my spoon to help thicken the soup. This is purely optional, but I was happy with the result.