20-Minute Butterbean and Chorizo Soup


Almost like a hearty, slightly-spicy stew, this butterbean soup with chorizo, is filling and super-flavourful.
Topping it off with feta and watercress might sound a little strange, but please try it. It just works.

Two light grey bowls filled with chorizo and butterbean soup, topped with feta and watercress. There is a spoon sticking out of the front bowl of soup.
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The delicately creamy butterbeans (lima beans if you’re in the US) soak up the flavours from the chorizo and tomato to make it a hearty and delicious soup.

20 minutes from start to finish, you could easily serve this with some salad and maybe some crusty bread for a quick, after-work dinner.

📋 What do we need?

Ingredients for butterbean and chorizo soup on a wooden board.

📺 Watch how to make it

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

👩‍🍳PRO TIP Add a splash of hot sauce (I like Franks hot pepper sauce) for a spicier version.

You can make this soup ahead, and it also freezes really well. I’ve included instructions at the end of the recipe card on this.

Overhead image of a blue cast iron pan filled with butterbean and chorizo soup. The pan on on a grey background.

🍽️ What to serve it with

I love to make a double or triple batch of this, then freeze it in portions.

Overhead of butterbean and chorizo soup topped with feta and watercress in a light bowl. There is a second bowl just in shot at the top of the frame.

It makes the perfect warming meal when we go for a chilly Spring walk on the beach. I fill up a flask of it, then take a little pot of the feta with me. On those occasions the watercress is left out – cold beach walks and salad leaves definitely don’t go together!

🍲 More warming soup recipes

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Close up square image of butterbean and chorizo soup topped with feta and watercress in a light bowl. There is a spoon sticking out of the bowl.

Butterbean and Chorizo Soup

Butterbean Chorizo and Feta Soup – so delicious and ready in 20 minutes!

Prep Time 5 mins

Cook Time 15 mins

Total Time 20 mins

Course Lunch

Cuisine British

Servings 2 servings

Calories 508 kcal


  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.

    1 tsp oil

  • Add the onions and chorizo and fry for 5-6 minutes until the onions start to turn translucent and the chorizo is lightly browned and starting to release its oils

    1 onion, 85 g (3 oz) chorizo

  • Add in the tinned tomatoes, stock, tomato puree, sugar, thyme, salt and pepper and simmer for 7-8 mins, stirring occasionally.

    400 g (14oz) tin of chopped tomatoes in juice, 300 ml (1 ¼ cups) chicken stock, 1 tbsp tomato puree (paste of USA), 1 tsp sugar, ½ tsp thyme, Pinch of salt and pepper

  • Add in the butterbeans, stir, and cook for 2 minutes until warmed through.

    400 g (14 oz) tin of butterbeans (lima beans)

  • Ladle into two bowls and top with crumbled feta and watercress.

    45 g (1.5 oz) feta cheese, Handful of fresh watercress

✎ Notes

Can I make it ahead?
Yes, you can make the soup ahead, but don’t add the feta and watercress toppings until you come to serve it.

  • Make the soup, cool, cover and refrigerate for 2-3 days, then reheat in a pan, over a medium heat, stirring often, until piping hot (about 5 minutes).
  • Add a splash of water or stock to loosen it up when reheating if you think it needs it.

Can I freeze it?

  • Yes, make the soup (but don’t add the watercress and feta toppings – leave those off until you’re serving the soup) then cool, transfer to a suitable container with a lid and freeze.
    I like to freeze mine in individual portions.
  • Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as per the ‘make-ahead’ instructions above.

Ingredient swaps

  • Swap the watercress for pea shoots or spinach
  • Add more vegetables. Peas, sweetcorn, chunks of cooked potato or cooked butternut squash work well.
  • Make it spicy with a splash of hot pepper/chilli sauce.
  • Make it creamy with a splash of double (heavy) cream or a tablespoon of creme fraiche. I sometimes like to make it creamy AND spicy!
  • Swap the feta for crumbled chunks of cheddar, Lancashire cheese or a sprinkling of parmesan.

How to scale up this recipe
Double or triple the recipe, sticking to the same ingredient ratios. It will take 10 minutes longer altogether with the prep time and cooking time:

  • Add an extra 2-3 minutes frying time for the onions and chorizo.
  • Add 3 minutes longer simmering time when you add the tinned tomatoes.
  • Add 2 minutes longer simmering time after you add the butterbeans.

Nutritional information is approx, per portion (this recipe serves 2)


Calories: 508kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 26gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 2693mgPotassium: 1100mgFiber: 12gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 370IUVitamin C: 23.5mgCalcium: 235mgIron: 6.6mg

This post was first published in May 2015. Update March 2023 with new photos, video a small recipe tweak and some housekeeping.

Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Hi I’m Nicky

I love to cook and I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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