From now until spring I find soups make up a large part of my meals. Once cooked, they make great fuss-free lunches or quick and easy dinners.
Baby Lima’s are the perfect bean for soups as they break apart and become creamy in much less time than other beans. Here they create a not-too-thick, velvety base that vegetables can float in without sinking.
These beans are best cooked without a pressure cooker, as their skins separate and can clog the valve.
I made some sizzled sage leaves to garnish but you don’t need them, the soup is well infused with the lovely flavor of sage as it cooks.
I hope 2013 has been a great for you all so far! I plan to be back to more regular postings soon.
Baby Lima bean soup with sage and butternut
For the beans:
2 cups baby lima beans, soaked overnight in 6 cups filtered water
2 inches kombu
3 bay leaves
15 sage leaves, or a few of sprigs
7 cups water
For the soup:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut in medium dice
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped fresh sage
2 medium carrots
2 stalks celery
¼ medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped in ½-inch pieces (about 2 ½ cups)
2 cups chopped Savoy or green cabbage
Freshly ground pepper
In a large pot, combine lima beans, kombu, bay leaves, sage, and water. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Check periodically to make sure the beans are still simmering. Remove from heat and take out the kombu, bay leaves, and sage. Drain the beans, reserving 4 cups cooking liquid.
Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot. Sauté onions with salt until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, cook for 1 minute. Add chopped sage, carrots, celery, squash, and cabbage, stirring to combine, and then pour in the bean cooking liquid. Bring up to a boil, lower heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cooked lima beans and simmer for another 20 minutes.
Sage leaf garnish:
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
12 whole sage leaves
Warm oil in a skillet over medium heat. Lay sage leaves flat in the oil and cook until they turn bright green, wait a few seconds longer, then remove and drain on a paper towel. Top each bowl of soup with a couple of leaves and serve.
Print recipe here
Photos of beans and squash by Kate Davis. Thank you Kate!