Grandma Little’s Buttersoup



Published by Harmony Books

When Ellen Schoen Brockman was a child, her Grandma Little made this hearty soup for her. Ellen, a friend of Bonnie’s, loved buttersoup better than candy, cake, or cookies. We love it too. Our adapted version, like most soups, is even better the second day!

4 to 6 servings

Cooking Methodsauteeing



Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Mealdinner, lunch

Type of Dishsoup


  • 1 cup dry lima beans, picked over and soaked
  • 2 small carrots, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
  • 2 large celery ribs, finely chopped (about 1/3 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped, drained tomatoes
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about ½ cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons pastina or other tiny pasta
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. In a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, combine lima beans, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until beans are tender, about 1 hour.

  2. In a small skillet over very low heat, melt all but 1 teaspoon butter. Add onion and parsley and cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour until smooth. Add to simmering soup, stirring constantly, until blended. In same skillet over high heat, melt the remaining butter and cook the pasta until golden, about 3 minutes. Add to the soup, season with salt and pepper, and simmer until the pasta is cooked through, about 5 minutes.


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