Herby chicken & butter bean soup

This rustic, chunky soup uses up leftover roast chicken and is packed with flavour from fresh rosemary, sage and thyme

  • Prep:20 mins
    Cook:1 hrs
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 363
  • fat 19g
  • saturates 4g
  • carbs 19g
  • sugars 11g
  • fibre 7g
  • protein 32g
  • salt 0.8g


  • 1 leftover chicken carcass, plus 225g meat (thigh or leg meat is best), or 4 skinless chicken thighs, plus 1½ litres chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs sage, leaves picked and chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked and chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 400g can butter beans, drained
  • crusty bread, to serve


  1. If using a leftover chicken carcass, place in a large saucepan and cover with 2 litres of water. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and gently simmer for 20 mins. Meanwhile, heat the oil in another large saucepan. If using chicken thighs, add these and brown on all sides, then remove and set aside.

  2. Add the onions to the oil and cook for 10 mins until starting to caramelise. Add the carrots, herbs, spices and flour, and stir for 1-2 mins to toast the spices. If using a chicken carcass, strain the cooking liquid into the pan with the vegetables, otherwise add the browned chicken thighs and stock. Stir well, cover and simmer for 30 mins.

  3. If using chicken thighs, remove them from the pan, shred the meat and discard the bones. Add the meat (or the meat from the carcass) back into the soup, along with the butter beans, season and heat through for 1-2 mins.

  4. Use a hand-held blender to blitz the soup until smooth, or leave it chunky. Or blend about half, so it’s creamy but still has chunks of chicken, carrot and butter bean. Serve with extra pepper, and good crusty bread.

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