Ham and Lima Bean Soup
Last week after I bought my son a slow cooker I promised him that I would post simple recipes that he could make while studying at the university. He has a rigorous class schedule and other activities that keep him busy throughout the day. So, cooking dinner for himself may not be as convenient as he would like it to be. My goal is to help him create dishes that are quick to pull together, fairly healthy and since he’s a college student, dishes that are easy on the wallet. My recipe for Ham and Lima Bean Soup is satisfyingly simple and tastes fabulous with a slice of fresh baked cornbread or a crusty French roll.
My savory Ham and Lima Bean Soup is made with a smoked ham shank, lima beans, onions, celery, carrots, and spices. If you can’t find smoked ham shanks at the store, it’s no big deal. Feel free to substitute a cup of coarsely chopped ham or a small smoked ham hock. If you are in a vegan mood, go ahead and omit the ham and use a good quality vegetable stock instead. Makes about 4 servings. Enjoy! Tessa
Oh, if you don’t own a slow cooker, don’t despair! You can easily cook this on your stove top. Just go low and slow. Cook it tightly covered and keep an eye on it. It will cook faster on the stove top than in the slow cooker.
- 1 small ham shank
- 8 ounces dried large lima beans (soaked in water overnight)
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbls. ground coriander
- 1 Tbls. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. garlic paste
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- seasoning salt to taste
- garnish with fresh chopped parsley
Begin by chopping your vegetables and place them into the slow cooker. Add the ham shank. Drain and rinse your lima beans well and add to the slow cooker. Add all the ingredients into the pot with the exception of the chopped parsley and seasoning salt. Cook on low for about 7 hours or until the beans are tender (or on high for about 4 hours). Remove the ham shank from the pot and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, use your clean fingers and pick all the ham from the bone. Add the ham back to the soup and continue to cook a bit more or until the ham is heated through. Toss out the ham bone or any inedible pieces. Fish out your bay leaf, taste your soup and correct your salt level with the seasoning salt if necessary. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.
Note: The soup can be frozen and the recipe can be doubled. Also, I have learned that not all slow cookers are created equal. You may find that yours cooks faster or maybe even slower than my recipe describes.