Red Lentil Butter Bean Soup!
Healthy, flavorful, and brimming with plant-based goodness, this oil-free Red Lentil Butter Bean Soup is comforting, simple, and easy to pull together. Packed with hearty red lentils, creamy butter beans, earthy spinach, refreshing mint, and aromatic herbs and spices that makes for a fun and flavorful soup.
Whole Food Plant Based, Vegan, plant based, oil free, refined sugar free, no highly processed ingredients and gluten free.
Hi there, Ameera here!
This recipe was inspired by the Domestic Gothess. The minute I saw it, I thought “Wow, now that’s a little different!” With some modifications and a few twists, it turned out fantastic.
Most American palates would probably not enjoy dried mint in a soup, but this just works! The mint adds a pop of freshness that compliments perfectly with the butter beans and spinach. We absolutely loved it.
Definitely a winner for the adventurous!
Tips for Success:
- Amount of Beans: We used 2 cans of Butter Beans. We divide them in the soup as one of the cans of butter beans will slightly melt into the soup broth. The other can of butter beans will add texture and heartiness. Additionally, mashing some of the butter beans will add great flavor and thicken the soup broth.
- Butter Beans: For this recipe, butter beans are not the same as lima beans. According to the internet they are one and the same; however, using regular lima beans will not work for this recipe. Butter beans are mature lima beans. They are more starchy than lima beans. You can find them in most grocery stores in the bean section titled “Butter Beans”. They look like a very large, slightly whiter, more fragile lima bean, and the texture is very creamy.
- Flavor Profile: This soup is very unusual. The dried mint adds depth of flavor and just makes this recipe work. It perfectly complements the baby spinach.
- Dried Mint: The dried mint is essential to this recipe. We do not recommend leaving it out.
- Herbs/Spices: The herbs and spices for this soup tend to mellow over time. If you wish, add an extra pinch of thyme, mint, and turmeric to pop those flavors right before serving.
- Fresh Baby Spinach versus Frozen Spinach: We recommend using chopped fresh baby spinach. You can use frozen spinach that has been completely thawed and squeezed dry. If using frozen greens, start on the very low side (1/4 cup) and add more as needed. Frozen spinach can completely overwhelm this soup if too much is added. It can also neutralize your spices as well.
- Spinach Substitutes: You can use your favorite greens with this recipe. We suggest sticking to fresh baby greens like baby kale, etc. You can also use more mature greens; however, use less and cook until completely tender. Also add the butter beans a little later if using mature greens.
- Chopping the Fresh Baby Spinach: Chopping the fresh baby spinach creates a better mouth feel. You can leave it whole if you prefer.
- Greens: Greens such as spinach and kale are natural spice/herb neutralizers. A soup/stew can taste perfectly seasoned before adding the greens, then once the greens are added, the flavor of the soup mellows requiring more seasoning.
- Amount of Greens: The more greens you use, the more seasoning will be required as greens neutralize herbs and spices (see “Greens” above).
- Flavors to Marry: Make sure you allow at least 5 minutes for the flavors to marry. The flavors continue to develop once the soup slightly cools.
- Low Fat Dish Expectations: This recipe is designed to be a low-fat soup. It is not going to taste as decadent as a soup that has a higher fat content. It is very delicious, but we want to make sure the reader understands this.
- Amount of Sea Salt: We had family members completely divided over the amount of sea salt needed to season this soup. We ultimately landed on 1 ¼ teaspoons; however, feel free to adjust to suit your own tastes accordingly.
Leftovers and Freezing:
Leftovers will generally keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store in a covered container. Reheating can be done on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
This soup freezes well.
Pantry Products Used:
- Vegetable Stock: We use Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Stock. We love this brand because it is Whole Food Plant Based compliant, as it does not contain MSG, has no oil, and does not contain any highly-processed ingredients.
- Tamari: We used San J Tamari Soy Sauce, Gluten Free, Reduced Sodium. You can substitute the tamari with reduced sodium soy sauce, Braggs Liquid Aminos, or Braggs Coconut Liquid Aminos.
- Dried Thyme Crushed Leaves: We use Penzeys French Thyme. It has amazing flavor. If you can’t find dried crushed thyme leaves, you can use ground thyme, but use half the amount.
Kitchen Products Used:
- Ceramic/Enamel Lined Dutch Oven or similarly large stock pot
We certainly hope you give this deliciousness a try.Print
Healthy, flavorful, and brimming with plant-based goodness, this oil-free Red Lentil Butter Bean Soup is comforting, simple, and easy to pull together.
This recipe was inspired by the Domestic Gothess.
- 1 medium yellow onion, fine dice
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth *
- 3 cups water
- 1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium tamari *
- ¾ cup dry red lentils, picked through and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed thyme leaves (+/-) *
- ¼ + 1/8 teaspoon dried mint (+/-) *
- ¼ + 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (+/-) *
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper (+/-)
- 1/2 to 1 ¼ teaspoons sea salt (+/-) *
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 [ 15 oz. cans ] butter beans, drained, rinsed, divided *
- 2 to 4 cups baby spinach, chopped *
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- Place the Spice/Herb Ingredients (except the bay leaf) in a small bowl, mix well, set aside.
- In a large ceramic/enamel-lined pot or similar stock soup pot, add the diced onions, sauté over medium-high heat until the onions begin to soften, approximately 7 to 9 minutes, stirring periodically to prevent burning. Add a tablespoon or so of water if they start to stick and/or to prevent burning.
- Add the minced garlic, sauté for 30 seconds, then add all the remaining Base Ingredients and Spice/Herb Mix, stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, tuck in the bay leaf, then lower to a low-boiling simmer.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, then add the chopped baby spinach, and one can of the butter beans, simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once all the red lentils are completely tender and have broken down, stir, then push some of the butter beans up against the side of the soup pot and mash them to create a thicken broth. Simmer for several minutes.
- Add the remaining can of butter beans and distilled white vinegar, simmer for 5 minutes, check for seasonings, adjust accordingly (if needed).
- Remove the soup from the stove and allow to sit for 5 minutes for the flavors to marry. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Serve with flatbread or crusty bread.
*Please reference the blog post for Tips for Success, Pantry Items Used, Storage and Freezing, and Kitchen Products Used.
*Sea Salt: Please adjust the sea salt based upon your family’s sea salt preferences and/or based upon dietary needs.
*Servings: 4 to 5
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