Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lima beans?!

During finals week, I had two very good reasons not to cook. They were "Death and Dying" and "Christian History".

But, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, cooking helps me relax. I had all the ingredients for this dish already in the pantry (actually, in the pantry for weeks), and what could be more comforting on a snowy day than a bowl of soup?

There are only five ingredients in this soup. This is absolutely amazing to me, considering how ridiculously rich, filling and flavorful this soup is. Most of the flavor comes from the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (this is a small, canned good found by the tortilla chips and salsa in Whole Foods). Add in the aromatics--the garlic and the onions--and it is impossible to find these lima beans bland.

Oh, did I fail to mention this was a lima bean soup? I know what you're thinking. "Lima beans, Cody? Really?" Well, I'm a convert. I was a little cautious scooping out of the bulk bin at Whole Foods, but found them a perfect canvas for the adobo, garlic, and onion. The beans soak up the flavors and become rich and hearty.
You might notice the whole head of garlic bobbing in the pot. It seems weird, but trust me--lob off the top and bottom, remove as much of the papery outside as you can, and toss it in the pot. The water in which the beans boil gets infused with all that garlic flavor.

Lima Beans in Chipotle Broth
1 pound dried baby lima beans, picked over and rinsed
10 cups water
1 head garlic, top lobbed off to expose the cloves and loose skins removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, halved top to bottom and sliced into thin crescents
1 to 2 chipotles in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons salt

1. Rinse the beans in a collander. Throw them in the pot with the water and the garlic head. Let the beans simmer for 30-40 minutes. They should be "al-dente", not mushy. Taste them to check their doneness.
2. Saute the sliced onions (I used my mandoline slicer) with the chipotle peppers and two teaspoons of adobo sauce in the olive oil. I know it is tempting to put more in, because it doesn't look like much. But hold back. Try your best. Saute them just until soft, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the salt and onion mixture to the lima bean mix. Simmer for about five minutes.
4. Remove the garlic head just before serving.

I couldn't eat the whole batch myself, so I put some in the freezer to come back to next week. I am awful glad I did.

And sorry I didn't get a shot of the finished product. It is a beautifully colored broth. Check out Heather's shot (and original recipe) here.


KnitXcorE said...

sounds good to me, but i lovvvvvve beans. have you ever bought any from rancho gordo? i keep going back and forth about ordering some. they also have, what they claim to be, hull-free, pop-corn.

sydney said...

you might be shocked to hear this, but i love lima beans!

Nina said...

sounds delish, but I hate lima beans! maybe I'll reconsider.