InstaPot Butter Bean and Bacon Soup

So the great lockdown continues, seems you take your life and liberty in your hands to ride in a car with NY Plates.

Luckily, my local megamart is a very short walk away, and also luckily, my partner in crime has stocked the pantry quite well. It is by her command, “I want COMFORT FOOD”, that I create this recipe, and cook this meal.

There is an old Yiddish proverb that, “Troubles, go better with soup.” Well we do have the troubles, maybe time for the soup. I’ll reach far back into my childhood and dredge up a favorite meal from my mother’s table. “Butter Beans and Bacon”.

From Wikipedia:

Soup beans is a term common in the Southern United States, particularly the regions around the Appalachian Mountains. Soup beans are usually served with cornbread, greens (such as boiled cabbage, cauliflower, or sauerkraut and sausage), and potatoes (stewed or fried) and may be topped with raw chopped onions or ramps (Allium tricoccum). Soup beans are considered a main course, but also serve as a side dish. In rural areas, where food was scarce during the winter, these dried beans were a staple food.

Butter beans — butter beans are used to make the soup bean dish called butter beans. These dried limas are cooked with smoked pork and/or ham until the sauce starts to thicken, hence the name “butter” beans. Like white beans, butter beans represented prosperity and were often prized dishes when served. Butter beans only refers to dried limas. Fresh or canned limas are called “lima beans”.

Side Dishes

While soup beans might be served with any meal, they were typically the main course in a meatless supper. Traditionally, soup beans would be served with other home grown vegetables and homemade breads:

Corn bread — Prior to the availability of milled flour, thin, crispy fried yellow cornbread cakes called hoecakes or baked cornbread are sometimes served with a soup-bean supper. Often the beans are served atop a bed of crumbled cornbread, or cornbread may be crumbled into a bowl of beans, almost like adding crackers to chili.

Greens — Most commonly collard or turnip greens in the cold-weather months, prepared by slow cooking the greens with smoked pork or bacon grease.

Kil’t greens — are made by scalding tender garden lettuces and the nascent leaves of wild local plants, with a hot bacon and onion vinaigrette, and served hot.

Ramps or onions — Strong native onions called ramps were often served raw. They were often cut up onto the beans as seasonings other than salt and local herbs were not consistently available. Ramps are sometimes replaced by cultivated onions.

Chow-chow – a relish-like condiment similar to British piccalilli, chow chow could be preserved and served with beans year-round.

InstaPot Lima Beans and Bacon Soup

Easy, tasty, quick, and nourishing ..
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine American, Global
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 345 kcal


  • Insta Pot


  • 1 lb Lima Beans Large, dry
  • 1 lb Bacon Thick Cut or bacon ends, (Cut to 1" chunks)
  • 1 ea Yellow Onion Large, peeled, diced
  • 1 ea Carrot Peeled, Diced
  • 3 ribs Celery Diced
  • 1 tbps Minced Garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth / stock
  • 1 bottle Beer Optional Can use water ...
  • 2 ea Bay Leaves
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • Cajun Seasoning to taste, optional


  • Rinse, and sort beans. Then soak for 1 hour..
  • Set the insta pot to saute, whence hot add bacon and start to render fat (~ 5 minutes)
    We are looking for enough fat to saute our veg in
  • Add vegs and saute until onions are soft and translucent
  • Exit Saute
  • Drain beans, and add to insta port
  • Add stock, water/beer, bay leaves
  • Lid up, select high pressure, and set timer for 25 minutes
  • Natural release for 10 minutes, then vent
  • Remove bay leaves, add seasonings, taste and adjust salt / heat


If the soup is too thin , take 1/2 cup of the beans and mash, then return.
I'll serve this with a plate of cat head biscuits, some fresh chopped onion, and a cold beer
A drizzle of vinegar, or a vinegar based pepper sauce, can provide a twang of flavor and a possible hint of heat.
Ditto dusting with cajun seasoning can add an additional taste kick


Calories: 345kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 14gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 426mgPotassium: 560mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 109IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

  Filed under: American, Autumn, Bean, InstaPot, Soup, Spring, Winter

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