Judy's white bean soup with chilli oil

Judy's white bean soup with chilli oil

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(8 ratings)

Ready in 1¾ hours, plus overnight soaking


Serves 6
Spicy chilli oil provides a perfect foil to the mealiness of the beans in this funky vegetarian soup

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian


  • kcal319
  • fat7g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs49g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre15g
  • protein18g
  • salt0.89g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 500g dried butter bean
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 celery sticks, chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 1.4l hot vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus extra


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • chilli oil, for drizzling



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…


  1. Put all the butter beans in a large bowl and cover with plenty of cold water so they have room to swell up. Leave to soak overnight.

  2. Drain the beans. Shuck off and discard the skins by pinching the beans between finger and thumb – it’s a laborious job, but worth it. Put the beans in a colander, rinse and shake off the excess water.

  3. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes. Tip in the carrots and celery and fry gently for 2-3 minutes. Add the beans, stock, bay and thyme with some pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, skimming off any scum, until the beans are soft. Cool for 10 minutes, discard the bay and thyme, then whizz the soup in a food processor until smooth. (You will probably have to do this in batches.)

  4. Return the soup to the rinsed pan and bring to the boil. Check for seasoning, then serve with a drizzle of chilli oil and a sprinkling of thyme leaves.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
30th Dec, 2017
Made this as a starter for a dinner party with adults and kids and it was an all-round hit. The bean shelling _is_ tedious but the results worth it. There are a lot of them in 500g so allow at least half an hour for it - don't skip this step or your soup will be mealy rather than silky. The flavour is creamy, earthy yet light. A full bowl would be quite filling though and good to come in from the cold to. Some crisp-fried bacon went on top for the meat eaters, which complemented the flavours nicely, but it was perfect on its own. The stock I used was Knorr free-from vegetable; I suspect the stock makes all the difference so go for one with good flavour! Used a stick blender to really blitz it down in the pan. That got it to a smooth consistency without messing around with a food processor and blending in batches. I _hate_ washing up my food processor. There's a few portions left (six starter cups got eaten; as a main the "serves 6" is about right) but I will make it again soon!
14th Jan, 2013
Average, and having the skin all the butter beans was quite a drag.
31st Oct, 2011
Definitely not worth it. We had it for dinner and thought is was ok, but nothing special. Froze the rest and heated it up a few weeks later. Something happened during the freezing process and it tasted far too salty, even though I did not add anything.
10th Nov, 2010
i have been cooking all sorts of beans for soups for over 30 years white beans are my favorite and have never taken skins of and never had any problems either this soup is nice i always add pork and double smoked speck to mine for a non vegetarian soup either way white bean soup is very good on a cold night
4th Sep, 2010
I was dubious, whilst shucking so many beans, whether or not the effort truly was worth it, as suggested by the other commenters and I am happy to say they are completely right. This soup is delicious and subtly wonderful.
13th Nov, 2009
7th Jun, 2009
have loads of butter beans left that I had soaked for another recipe, going to use them up on this, it sound delicious mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
3rd Apr, 2009
I made it today in preparation for a dinner party I'm having this weekend, and it is so nice I want to eat the whole batch myself right now! When I was 'shucking' all those beans I thought that there was no way all that effort would be worth the result but it really is. I will be making this again and again, especially as it can be frozen. Delicious!
Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?