Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Baby Lima Bean Soup with Sausage

I made this a while back and forgot to post the recipe. Hopefully I'm remembering it right. It was my first time using dried baby lima beans and it turns out they have a nice buttery texture, just right for soup. The only sausage I had on hand was bratwurst and it actually came out well, but you can use any other kind. For fresh herbs I used marjoram and thyme. If you like, you can make this a tomato-ey soup by adding tomato paste and diced tomatoes, or you can add greens at the ends for a vegetable soup. The sausage can be omitted to make it vegetarian, but be sure to increase the spices.

1 lb. baby lima beans, soaked, rinsed, and drained
2 large sausage links, or equivalent in pan sausage
1 onion, diced
4 celery ribs, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh herbs of choice, minced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. ketchup
water to cover

Begin by sauteing the onions, celery, and carrots in butter in a heavy-bottomed pot or pressure cooker, starting with the onions and a pinch of salt and the red pepper flakes. Cook the onions until they begin to get soft, then add the celery and carrots and cook a while longer until all the vegetables are slightly browned on the edges.

In a separate pan, brown the sausage well on all sides (if you are using links, cook them whole for a few minutes, then slice into rounds and add back to the pan for further browning).

Add the lima beans, sausage, and water to cover the beans with 1.5" water. Cook until tender (30-40 minutes on the stovetop, 6-8 minutes in a pressure cooker). Add the garlic and herbs and cook for 5 minutes. Adjust the flavor with salt, pepper, vinegar, and ketchup. The end result should be a somewhat brothy bean soup with a zingy flavor.

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