Butter Bean Soup with Portabellas and Wild Rice

by on December 20, 2008
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Butter Bean Soup with Portabellas and Wild RiceIn the depths of winter weather–or as deep as it gets in these parts–often the only thing standing between me and acute culinary boredom is the freezer. Sure, pumpkins and winter squash are exciting at first, but it doesn’t take long before summer produce envy sets in and I start pining for the juicy tomatoes and fresh field peas of a few months ago. There’s not much I can do about the tomatoes–canned and frozen are okay for cooked dishes, but they’re never going to make it into one of my salads–but peas and beans that have been frozen when they’re fresh lose only a little of their taste and nutrition and make a decent substitute for the fresh thing.

I have friends and neighbors who buy enough butter beans and lady cream peas to eat their summertime fill and have enough left over to blanch and freeze for the winter. In my next life, I hope to be one of these people. For now, I have to settle for store-bought frozen peas, which I’m able to find in several varieties. For this delicious, savory soup, I used Pictsweet brand speckled butter beans. They’re about the same size as Fordhook lima beans, but they’re dark and a little less starchy. If they’re not available in your area, feel free to substitute frozen lima beans or black-eyed peas. Just avoid anything canned; I find that canned butter beans can ruin the flavor of just about anything!

Butter Bean Soup with Portobellas and Wild Rice

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Amy October 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Do you think canned cannelini bean or another canned white bean would work well in this soup? It looks delicious!


2 SusanV October 23, 2010 at 4:18 pm

I think they would be delicious. Please let me know how it comes out.


3 stephanie January 15, 2011 at 5:36 pm

got this bubbling on the stove right now. can’t wait to try it!


4 janell December 18, 2011 at 6:49 pm

S0 excited to try this recipe! I love my butter beans and have been looking for a recipe to share with my boys. This one looks like a winner.


5 Emily March 2, 2012 at 12:19 am

This looks great. I’m a bean fanatic but I live on the west coast and am unfamiliar with these…are butter beans or fordhook limas a dried type of bean? Would something like dried Scarlet Runners work better, or would regular old grocery store frozen limas work better?


6 Susan Voisin March 2, 2012 at 12:27 am

The frozen Limas would work better for this recipe because I used frozen butter beans. They’re like large limas, but fresh (or frozen), not dried.


7 Joe Sampogne August 5, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Yum I doubled the garlic,and used half a large onion. I also used 2 cups of chicken stock and substituted 3 cubes of chicken bouillon for the salt,and 1/2 butter beans,half cannellini beans and stick blended the butter beans to thicken because I always find them chalky for my taste. used pearl barley because it was on hand and it was awesome!!! I would have made it as written if I had someone craving butter beans. Thank you for Your awesome inspiration to make soup in august! lol


8 Joe Sampogne August 5, 2012 at 10:56 pm

Whoops Sorry didn’t notice it was a vegan recipe page. Will make again in a few weeks and just add kale for the color.


9 Nancy Sherman November 2, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I am wondering if you know of any fat free vegan recipies for Scarlet Runner Beans…???


10 Kelly October 4, 2015 at 11:16 am

Hi Susan,

How do you make your broth so rich? Mine doesn’t have the same color and thickness.

Thank you!


11 Emily T September 10, 2016 at 11:14 am

Hi — I was wondering if you thought this soup could be modified for the slow cooker by adding less water. Thanks in advance!


12 Susan Voisin September 10, 2016 at 11:22 am

I think it could do well in the slow cooker. I would do a search for similar crockpot recipes to determine the correct timing.


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