I love to make homemade soup during the cold winter months here in Southern Oregon. Several weeks ago I received a bag of dried Christmas Lima Beans as a gift from my uncle and aunt. I’ve never seen or heard of Christmas Lima Beans before, so naturally, I was really excited to try them. Christmas Lima Beans are an heirloom variety of Lima Beans that have a lovely white and rust speckled color. I was surprised to see that they are larger than the traditional white Lima beans that I know and love. They hold their shape nicely and they darken in color slightly when cooked.
I had no idea how uncommon these big beautiful beans were. I’ve never seen this variety of legume locally in Southern Oregon and after doing some research, I found that I can purchase them online from a grower in the Southern California area. The fact that they are a heirloom variety and non GMO make them complete winners in my book. One day, when Bruce and I have adequate garden space, I will be planting a few long rows of these amazingly delicious beans.
My Christmas Lima Bean and Chicken Soup is really easy to make. It’s hearty, healthy and most of all delicious! Feel free to substitute the common white Lima beans if you don’t have access to the Christmas Lima beans. Enjoy! Tessa
2 cups Christmas Lima Beans (soaked in water overnight, picked over and rinsed well)
2 cups chopped leeks
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 pound cooked chopped chicken (I used boneless skinless chicken thighs)
1 1/2 qt chicken stock (or more as desired)
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp ground coriander
1 – 2 tsp garlic paste
salt and pepper to taste
Place a heavy bottomed pot on medium high heat add leeks, onion, celery and carrots. Cook until onions are opaque, taking care not to burn. Turn down to medium low heat, add the Christmas Lima Beans, 1 1/2 quarts of chicken stock, thyme, coriander, garlic paste and pepper. Cover and cook with a gentle simmer for a about an hour. Add cooked chicken and salt to taste towards the end of the cooking process. Cook until beans are tender. Taste and correct your seasonings. Makes about 8 servings.
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.