Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lima Bean Laziness

This morning, while I ate my new Amish Pumpkin Butter on regular toast (its too hot to bake today...), I was reading through my copy of the cookbook Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann. One of the things that she stresses continually is how sensitive her son is to spices, onions, and other savory foods. Similarly, my mother doesn't care for overly spicy food. Although I love zesty curries, spicy hot peppers, and lip puckering vinegars.... not everyone does.

So enter today's easy crowd pleaser: Lima Bean Soup! I love soup and in the summer what better than putting stuff in a crock pot instead of heating up your house to make dinner? It's mild but flavorful, nutritious, and doesn't require a trip to the grocery store (which is great since I have tons of laundry to do). It's not terribly spicy and more importantly... its not Asian-fusion. There is a limit to how many ginger-chili-soy combos I can serve before someone complains.

Plus to quote the B52's "Some people are fat, some people are lean. But I want you to show me the person who doesn't like butterbeans!".

Lima Bean Soup

2 8 oz. cans of lima beans
1 small diced onion
2 small scallions, diced
1 stalk of diced celery
2 diced carrot
1-2 garlic cloves
a pinch each dried rosemary and thyme
1 TBSP olive oil (if cooking on a stovetop)
2 cups veggie broth or vegan imitation chicken broth
OR part broth part white wine

salt & pepper

Method #1 (lazy summer version ALSO LOW FAT)
Put all vegetables & herbs in crock pot. Omit oil. Add enough broth/wine to barely cover the vegetables. Turn crock pot to high for one hour then turn heat back to low until you are ready to eat (give it a few more hours). Season with salt & pepper prior to serving

Method #2 (stovetop)
Heat oil in large pot
Saute onions, celery and carrots until onions are nearly translucent.
Add garlic and herbs, stirring constantly to avoid burning until garlic is slightly colored.
If using wine, add now and bring to a boil. Boil wine for a few minutes before adding broth to cook out the alcohol. Add the rest of the liquid and bring to a boil.
Turn heat down to simmer and add lima beans. Simmer for at least 10 minutes to combine flavors and then season with salt and pepper.

NOTE: for a thicker consistency, blend about 1/3 of the soup and stir back into pot.

No matter how it is cooked, this soup is excellent served over rice or with cornbread. In our house we especially like this recipe. Due to the heat, today we ate it with sandwiches.

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