Easy Lima Bean Soup With Potato and Thyme

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Lima Bean Soup | This warm and comforting soup is the perfect one pot dinner, packed with lima beans and potatoes as a starchy base, full of flavourful vegetable broth and seasoned with dried herbs. The perfect hearty vegan soup to warm you up.

A bowl of lima bean soup on a wooden board.

The best thing about this lima bean soup recipe is it’s one pot, so it’s really quick and simple. You can make this bean soup in 30-35 minutes. It’s also completely vegan! Wonderful for those seeking a wholesome yet hearty soup.

Have you ever wondered why soup is so comforting? It’s the combination of flavour, warmth and nourishment that makes us crave soup, especially when we’re under the weather.

Lima beans, the star of this vegan soup, are a protein and fibre rich legume, according to Healthline. When we have such nutritious ingredients at our disposal, it’s easy to create delicious and nourishing vegan and vegetarian recipes.

Potatoes provide a hearty substance to the lima bean soup. They’re similar in texture, both creamy and delicious. Despite being fairly low in calories, potatoes are quite filling, being a starchy vegetable.

If you love plant based soup, you’ll love Tomato Tofu Noodle Soup!

Canned or dried lima beans?

I use canned lima beans in this soup recipe for pure ease. They’re ready to be used and are soft, which is good, but because of how tightly packed they are in the can, some had broken apart. To avoid this, you could use dried lima beans. Just cook them according to their package instructions, then use them.

A pot of lime bean soup with a wooden spoon.

How to make flavourful vegan soup?

Vegan food can be bursting with flavour, just like any other food. The key to delicious recipes is building flavour every step of the way, with technique. For example, starting with a mirepoix, adding the herbs and seasonings straight away, and using flavours that work together.

Almost every good, flavourful soup starts with a mirepoix. A mirepoix is a mix of chopped celery, carrot, and onion. Saute the vegetables and get them nice and tender, they’ll work together to provide a flavourful base to the soup.

You’ll want to add the dried herbs in at the beginning, to wake them up and start flavouring everything from the get go. The biggest mistake most people make is adding herbs and seasonings once the broth is already in the pot. They won’t provide much flavour if they’re just boiled, so instead cook them from the start.

How do you make lima bean soup?

Starting with a mirepoix, a blend of onion, celery and carrot, is essential. Start by sauteeing them on medium heat in a bit of olive oil. You can add a splash or two of water to loosen them from the bottom of the pot and scrape up all that flavour.

Then, add the dried herbs, salt and pepper. It’s good to get them flavouring the soup from the get to. Finish cooking the vegetables with the herbs, then add the garlic and cook it until fragrant, about 20-30 seconds. Garlic cooks quickly and can burn easily so be careful.

Next, add the lima beans and potatoes. Stir into the mirepoix mixture, then add the broth. I use “chickenless” broth for its cozy flavour, but you can use any vegetable-based broth you have. Or make your own with stock powder and hot water, or real vegetables.

Add a bay leaf, then cover the pot with the lid. Bring the soup to a simmer, then you can leave the lid almost all the way on. Simmer the soup until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, about 15-20 minutes depending on the potato size. I cut 1/2-inch cubes and it took about 15 minutes.

How can I thicken lima bean soup?

If you want a thicker soup instead of a brothy soup, you can puree some of the soup with an immersion blender. Or add it to a blender and blend until it reaches your desired consistency. Potatoes and lima beans, which are both creamy in texture, are great for thickening soups.

Ingredients

More about the ingredients in this recipe. The exact measurements are below.

Lima bean soup ingredients with text.
  • Lima beans- I use canned lime beans, but you can also use dried lima beans and cook them according to their package instructions.
  • Vegetable broth- The liquid base of the soup. You can use homemade or storebought vegetable broth.
  • Russet potatoes- The starchy main ingredient of the soup, you can add them raw to the broth and they’ll cook in 15-20 minutes.
  • Celery, carrot, and onion- This vegetable blend is called a mirepoix and it’s the building block of almost every good soup. Begin sauteeing these three ingredients, and go from there.
  • Olive oil- For sauteeing the mirepoix. Olive oil also provides flavour, unlike neutral oil.
  • Garlic- For added cozy flavour.
  • Thyme, basil, oregano and a bay leaf- The herbs infuse the soup with their signature comforting flavours and the bay leaf provides depth of flavour.
  • Salt and pepper to taste– Make sure to taste the soup along the way and add more if needed.

Instructions

  • Drain and rinse the lima beans of the liquid inside the can. If using dried lima beans, cook them according to their package instructions.
Cooking celery, carrot and onion.

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the celery, carrot, and onion (mirepoix).

Cooking celery, carrots and onion.

Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until the onion is just tender. Between stirring, you can add a splash of water to loosen the vegetable from the bottom of the pan.

Adding herbs and spices to pot.

Add the herbs, salt and pepper to the mirepoix and stir. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. The onion and celery should be soft. The carrot can cook more in the broth.

Adding garlic to pot.

Add the garlic and stir into the mirepoix. Cook for 20-30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Adding lima beans and potatoes to soup.

Add the lima beans and potatoes, and stir to combine all the ingredients.

Piercing potato with a fork.

Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover almost completely with a lid and let the soup simmer until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork. About 15 minutes.

Taste the soup and add more salt or pepper if needed. Ladle the soup into a bowl, and top with black pepper and a sprinkle of parsley. I like to serve soup with a slice of buttered bread, or a handful of whole grain crackers.

A bowl of lima bean soup with a spoon and bread.

Tips for making lima bean soup

  • Add water to the mirepoix: When sauteeing vegetables, they can start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Add a splash of water and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. This will loosen them up and steam them a little.
  • Puree the soup: Use an immersion blender or add the slightly cooled soup to a blender, and blend until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Taste after you add salt and pepper: Add more depending on your taste preferences.
  • Add other vegetables, like mushrooms or bell peppers a few minutes after you start cooking the celery, carrot, and onion.
  • Add leafy greens, like spinach or kale about 5 minutes before the soup is done.

What to serve with bean soup

I always think soup is best served with a slice of bread, garlic bread, or some whole grain crackers.

Add some protein to the soup by adding tofu puffs, cubed tofu, or extra beans like white or pinto beans.

Enjoy the classic pairing of soup and a sandwich, by making my vegan cucumber sandwich.

For another easy potato dish, try Vegan Potato Curry!

Substitutions

  • This recipe is vegan and gluten free
  • Swap out russet potatoes for yellow or red potatoes.
  • Instead of vegetable broth, try “chickenless” broth, it can sometimes be more flavourful than plain vegetable broth.
  • You can use fresh herbs instead of dried, but add them at the same time as the broth.

Storage

Let the soup cool to room temperature, but don’t let it sit for more than two hours. Then transfer to an air tight container and store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Or, freeze in freezer bags or an air tight container for up to 3 months.

To reheat a large batch, add the soup to a pot and heat on medium heat until hot, or microwave. You may need to add water to the soup if it thickens in the fridge.

To thaw frozen soup, transfer it to the fridge to thaw, place the freezer bag in a bowl of lukewarm or cold water or microwave it slowly, stirring in between.

A bowl of lima bean soup with a piece of bread.

FAQ’s

How do you thicken lima bean soup?

You can thicken lima bean soup by lightly pureeing it with an immersion blender, resulting in a chunky, creamy bean soup.

Can I freeze lima bean soup?

Yes, you can freeze lima bean soup by storing it in freezer bags or an air tight container. To thaw, transfer to the fridge or if it’s in a bag, a bowl of lukewarm water.

Lima bean soup square image.

Lima Bean Soup Recipe

5 from 1 vote
This warm and comforting soup is the perfect one pot meal, packed with lima beans and potatoes as a starchy base, full of flavourful vegetable broth and added dried herbs. Perfect for when you're under the weather or need a little warming up.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 6

Equipment

  • 1 heavy bottom pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion chopped
  • 3 celery stalks chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups lima beans canned and rinsed or dried and cooked
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 russet potatoes peeled and chopped

Instructions
 

  • Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom pot on medium heat.
  • Add the celery, carrot and onion. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The onion should be just tender. Add splashes of water before stirring to loosen the vegetables from the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the thyme, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir into the vegetables and cook for another 2-3 minutes. The onion and celery should be softened.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 20-30 seconds, or until fragrant. Be careful not to burn it.
  • Add the potatoes and lima beans. Stir to mix all the ingredients together.
  • Add the broth and stir. Bring the soup to a simmer with the lid almost covering the pot. Simmer the soup, stirring occasionally, until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork, about 15-20 minutes.

Video

Notes

Occasionally add a splash of water when sauteeing the celery, carrot and onion. This will steam the vegetables and help make them tender.
Puree the soup once it’s done, with an immersion blender or a regular blender.
Taste as you go and add more salt or pepper.
Swap out russet potatoes for yellow or red potatoes. Cooking time may vary.
Add more vegetables, like chopped mushroom, peppers, spinach or kale.

Nutrition

Calories: 215kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 8gFat: 3gFiber: 7gSugar: 7g
Keyword lima bean soup recipe
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