This vegetable based Christmas Lima Bean Soup Recipe features giant lima beans, carrots, celery, shallots and garlic. Known as Christmas Lima Beans, these giant beans are hearty and filling – similar to corona beans.
After discovering these GIANT Christmas Lima Beans at Seed Savers Exchange, I knew I had to purchase some! I was intrigued by the colors and size of these beans!
They are big and meaty like corona beans. If you have never tried corona beans, Heidi Swanson’s recipe for pan sautéd beans with kale (here) is delicious.
I discovered some really great recipes floating around on the web for Christmas lima bean recipes. I narrowed it down to a few ideas and then decided that I would make a hearty soup adapted from a recipe I saw in the NY Times.
How to Make Christmas Lima Beans Soup
- The recipe starts by cooking the Christmas Lima beans the night before with some onion, garlic, bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Keep beans and bean broth – this is the base of the soup!
Remove bay leaf, onion, and thyme spring and discard.
- The next morning, sauté carrots, celery, shallots and more garlic.
- Mix in tomato paste and stir around until incorporated.
- Add a big can of chopped San Marzano tomatoes. Cook that down until it makes a nice chunky sauce.
- Add all of this into a pot with cooked beans and their broth from the day before.
- I found some pesto in the freezer (I store mine in cubes) and tossed in a few of those…half a jalapeño – soup can become anything your refrigerator has been hiding for too long.
- And of course you can always add in some heat with some hot sauce – some of us put it in everything!
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Huge Christmas Lima Beans are the star of this vegetable soup!
- 1 pound cooked Christmas Lima Beans or any large lima - for directions on how to cook beans see the notes section.
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 3 carrots diced
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 Tbs. tomato paste
- 28 oz can diced San Marzano tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Optional: fresh basil julienned to top, 3 Tbs pesto, any other veggies you might have in your fridge
Cook beans. See notes section.
Put beans and the bean broth in a pot and heat. If you are using canned beans and do not have the broth you used to cook them, toss in about 4 cups of chicken broth.
Heat olive oil in a pan and saute shallots, carrot, celery until tender. Add garlic and 1/2 tsp salt, cook another minute.
Add the tomato paste, blend that in for another minute.
Add the diced tomatoes and simmer everything about 15 minutes until it becomes a chunky sauce.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add everything into the pot with the beans.
Add any other veggies you might need a home for.
Simmer the soup, covered, on low for about 30 minutes.
Optional: Right before serving you could stir in fresh spinach.
To cook lima beans, add 8 cups of water to a large pot, add beans(rinsed first), a few sprigs of thyme, a bay leaf, a few cloves of garlic and an onion quartered. Bring to a slow rolling boil and turn down to a simmer, cover and cook 1 hour and 45min. Add salt about halfway through to taste. Cook until the beans are tender.
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