Lima Bean Soup

Thanksgiving is my father’s favorite holiday. My mother does not like to cook (and my father does not cook), so I think Thanksgiving may be her least favorite holiday. But no one wants to disappoint my dad, and no restaurants are going to have anything for me and Mark, so my mother continues to make Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, everyone’s problems would be solved if I were allowed to host Thanksgiving dinner since I love to cook and I love hosting dinner parties, but that’s a rather Renae-centric perspective because I’m pretty sure my father would counter there’d be the problem of a lack of a dead turkey. ANYWAY, I’m trying to help ease the burden on my mother and aunt by bringing whatever I can. This year one of the things I offered to bring was succotash.

Now, in prior years I would never have made such an offer, because lima beans, gross! But then a couple of years ago I found fresh lima beans at the farmers market and learned I do like lima beans. In fact, not too long ago, I made succotash – the single part of Thanksgiving I despised as a child – and loved it. So I said I could make succotash this year, IF I could use dried baby limas instead of the nasty frozen ones. But I’ve never made it from dried beans before, so today as a trial I soaked and cooked some of those dried baby limas, mixed a few with some corn and Earth Balance, and tried to decide if I thought there was a chance my family would eat it. It tasted fine, but I haven’t yet admitted to Mom that dried limas are white, not green like the frozen ones, so not only is it an extremely boring looking dish, it may be too different-looking to pass muster with my father. I’m thinking about adding some chopped scallions for Thanksgiving, though, to give it color.

That’s a very long way of telling you that today I had a mess of cooked baby limas and nothing to do with them. Actually, they’d have been fine just waiting for Thursday so I guess I didn’t have to do anything with them. But I like cooking a whole bunch of things at once for holidays, so I’d just as soon cook another batch of limas on Wednesday. (Is that weird?) Today’s limas went in…well, if you’ve been reading long enough, you know. Soup. If I don’t know what to do with something, it’s soup. Soup, soup, lovely soup. Oh 8-year old Renae, how I love to confound you with my lima bean creations.

Lima Bean Soup

8 oz dried baby lima beans
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped (I included some leaves, too)
3 medium carrots, chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
4 oz white wine
14.5 oz tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 cups vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Note: I cooked my lima beans separately from the soup because I was trying them in a different dish as well. You could also simply cook the limas in the soup, adding 30-60 minutes to the soup cooking time as needed.

Soak the lima beans overnight in cold water, or pour boiling water over them and “quick soak” for an hour or two. Drain, then cook in fresh water to cover until done. I think it took about 45 minutes for mine; maybe not even that.

Chop all the vegetables, then heat some oil in a Dutch oven and add the onions, celery, and carrot. Cook until soft, then add the garlic and cook another minute or two. Deglaze the pot with the wine. Add the chopped tomatoes and thyme and cook for another minute or two, then add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then add the limas.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. This is particularly good with a nice crusty bread and salad.

In cat news, Gomez gave us a scare last night when he didn’t appear for cat dinner. Mark searched the house while I went outside in the cold desperately calling his name. Eventually I went back inside in full panic mode and started randomly opening closet doors I knew Mark had already searched. I was talking to Mark and absentmindedly opened a dresser drawer…and out sprung Gomez like a jack-in-the-box! Which was both astonishing and a tremendous relief, although I’d like to know why he didn’t ANSWER US when we called him. Apparently he just sat in there in oblivion for 45 minutes. Well, other than the psychic “meow” he sent me. I had thought I heard a faint meow just before getting up to get their dinner, and I said to Mark, “Gomez is trapped somewhere!”, in fact, that’s why I got up to get their dinner. But Mark hadn’t heard it and didn’t think anything of it until Mez didn’t appear for his food. If Gomez HAD meowed from the dresser, I couldn’t possibly have heard him in the room I was in, so I guess my brain was just sending me a signal he was in trouble. It was weird. Here are some pictures of Gomez NOT trying to give me a heart attack.


  1. susan Said,

    November 21, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    Oh Gomez! I hate when that happens here at the home of three. People assume cats are all laid back. Mine follow me like the pied piper so a missing one is quickly noticed. I’ve found mine in a closet in a room I keep the door closed at all times? Glad he’s safe.

    Lima beans and I have love affair. I was looking for a fall soup for them that I don’t blend and now I have my dinner menu.


  2. FoodFeud Said,

    November 21, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

    Aw, glad all is well with Gomez! It can get scary not knowing where kitties get to.
    Anyway, the soup sounds really good! I only recently came to like lima beans (the last 2 years or so) but they are very tasty. Love the succotash too!

  3. Lisa Goldstein Kieda Said,

    November 21, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

    Ah, the time honored cat game of “made you look”….

  4. Tt in nyc Said,

    November 21, 2011 @ 10:04 pm

    Ooooorrrrr you could swap in edamame for the lima beans!! They are and stay bright green and somehow i think your dad’s edamame identification skills may be lacking… 🙂 you might be the only one who knows they arent “special baby lima beans” 😉
    Not that i have eeeever done something like that……

  5. renae Said,

    November 21, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

    Great idea, Tt! Edamame succotash would taste good too!

  6. Josiane Said,

    November 21, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

    I love baby Lima beans in soup, and this one sounds great! I keep thinking I should keep wine around so that I can use some to give that little je-ne-sais-quoi to my soups…

    I have never had succotash, so this may be of no help at all, but when you said yours might not go over as well as the traditional one because your beans would be white and not green, I thought: what about adding some edamame? It would make it even less traditional, but I don’t know, I’m just throwing the idea out there.

  7. renae Said,

    November 21, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

    Clearly I’m going to have to get some edamame before Thursday! The last time we were at the parental homestead I forced them to try avocado for the first time. Next up: edamame!

  8. Katrina Fleming Said,

    November 22, 2011 @ 9:55 pm

    Your kitty is GORGEOUS!!

  9. jamie and shawn Said,

    November 29, 2011 @ 2:03 am

    i just harvested the last of the scarlet runners for beans yesterday…I’m going to try making this soup with them tomorrow.

  10. Jes Said,

    November 30, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

    If I left my dresser drawers cracked, Dorian would climb up the back of them to the top drawer, crawl in, cozy up, and eventually scare the shit out of me when I opened it. It was super weird. She stopped doing it after a year though. Glad you found Gomez!

    The soup looks super tasty too!

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