This is a hearty, comforting soup, the kind of soup, like the Italian minestrone, you make with whatever vegetables you have in your kitchen. Mostly, it combines beans, in this case giant lima beans; stir fried garlic, onions and celery, plus carrots and seasoned with parsley, bay leaves and black pepper.
This minestra may be vegetarian or have some meat. I chose some smoked bacon. Some people cook it with pasta or rice. The bean broth is thick and the carbohydrates provided by the beans make this soup a very fulfilling one and a meal by itself.
I love it for cold days like today, when you sit by the fire place and can have a bowl that will keep you warm.
Giant Lima Bean Soup | Ingredients for 6 portions
1 pound of giant lima beans
2 quarts of water
¼ of pound of frozen smoked bacon finely chopped
1 yellow onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
½ red bell pepper finely chopped
4 parsley sprigs
2 medium carrots finely diced
2 celery stalks finely diced
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
In a stock pan over medium heat, add the water and the lentils and cook for 30 minutes. In a saucepan over medium heat place the bacon and cook stirring constantly about 3 minutes. Add the onions, garlic and parsley and cook until the onions are translucent, 5 minutes. Add the red pepper, carrots and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add the bacon and the vegetable mix to the beans. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the beans are tender, 10 to 15 more minutes.
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