Ham and Lima bean soup was of my father's favorite things to eat. I remember more than a few fall days with a big pot cooking on the stove all day long. I didn't care for it much as a kid, but as I got older, this thick, hearty, soup became a favorite for cold fall days. This cousin of split pea soup makes use of ham hocks, ham, and juicy, delicious Lima beans. This recipe makes enough to serve eight to ten people, so scale accordingly. The soup is excellent after a night in the refrigerator, and also freezes and reheats well.
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 ounces Lima beans, small, dried
3 large onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, sliced thick
2 quarts of chicken broth
2 ham hocks, or 2 cups cooked ham, cubed
1 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped fine
1 teaspoon pepper
Place lima beans in a large soup pot, and add enough water to cover by 2 in.
Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans, discard liquid. Rinse pot and wipe dry.
Add olive oil to soup pot, and heat to medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic until clear. Stir in the broth, ham hocks, ham, carrots, water, parsley, pepper and lima beans.
Bring ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for about an hour until beans are soft. Let the soup cool a bit and serve.
Those looking for faster preparation can use canned Lima beans. Be sure to drain and rinse the beans before starting. Begin by sauteéing onions and garlic.