Soups, Stews and Chili

Baby Lima Bean Soup

Baby Lima Bean Soup ~ My Sicilian husband loves his lima beans, so I flavored his favorite lima bean soup with fresh vegetables and pancetta and gave it a burst more flavor to his favorite soup.

Baby lima bean soup is loaded with carrots, celery, onions, pancetta (Italian-style bacon) and baby lima beans, and simmered with some chicken broth, tomato sauce and water, until the broth is reduced and thickens.  It turned out fantastic!

We love adding pancetta and even prosciutto into our soups, either one adds wonderful aroma flavors to the beans.  Nowadays, you can find them already cubed in easy-to-find packages in your deli section at the local supermarket.  Which is a great find!

This is an great soup to make on the weekends either on stove-top or in your slow-cooker or crock pot because you will need some time to prepare the lima beans before incorporating them into the soup.

When making lima bean soup, I use the entire bag (1 pound) of dry baby lima beans. You will need to rinse, boil and then soak them for 1 hour before using the beans in this recipe.  Also, you will need to simmer the soup for 1 and 1/2 hours. But guess what?  It’s definitely all worth it.

These baby lima beans become tender and luscious, making an amazing hearty soup that is not only light and comforting, but also filling.  And, it’s even high in protein and in fiber, folate and magnesium; most of all- it’s big on flavor!

Even the leftovers are never a problem, since this soup freezes very well for future quick meals when you need them.  A healthy soup is pure comfort food, especially on these cold winter nights.  Enjoy!

Here’s a tip: Adding some marinara sauce adds some sweetness to this soup and other recipes; but if you don’t have any on hand, you can add some tomato paste (about 1/4 cup) and sauté the paste with the beans before adding the broth.

Baby Lima Bean Soup

  • 1 pound dry Baby Lima Beans
  • 8 cups of boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion-chopped
  • 4 small carrots-chopped
  • 2 stalks celery -chopped
  • 2 ounces (about 6 Tbsp.) cubed pancetta
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Mom’s Quick Marinara Sauce

Rinse and sort beans. Add 1 pound of beans to a pot filled with 8 cups of hot water and on high heat, boil beans in rapid boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and set aside for 1 hour.  Drain soak water and rinse beans again in cold water.

In a soup pot or a slow cooked pot, sauté on medium heat the vegetables and pancetta in olive oil until the pancetta are cooked and onions and celery have softened, about 5 minutes.

Add lima beans and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the broth, water and cayenne pepper.
Cover and simmer the soup on low heat, for 1 + 1/2 hours.
Lima beans should be soften and tender to the bite. Turn off heat.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in 1/2 cup of marinara sauce.
Serve warm.

Yields: about 2 quarts

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  • Reply
    Dan from Platter Talk
    January 14, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    As a little boy I would run from lima beans. As an adult, I will be running toward them to use in this wonderful soup recipe which is now bookmarked and going on our MM list. Must Make. Great post!

    • Reply
      January 15, 2015 at 2:51 am

      You know Dan I was not fond of Lima beans either but I do like them in this soup. Thank you for the lovely comment.

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    January 15, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I will have to look for the cubed pancetta – that is a great find! We love bean soups also and know this would be a winner here.

    • Reply
      January 15, 2015 at 9:08 pm

      I know!~ I used to slave over cutting it all the time, but now I don't have to any more ! And that's the best part! Have a great weekend Sue! Thanks for the lovely comment.

  • Reply
    Tricia Buice
    January 19, 2015 at 1:41 am

    The marinara trick sounds pretty smart! I love bean soups – but never tired it with limas. Very nice!

    • Reply
      January 20, 2015 at 4:46 am

      Thanks Tricia! This one turned out surprisingly good – I felt I had to post it. The marinara sauce is a tip from our mom. She loves to add sauce practically to everything.

    • Reply
      January 20, 2015 at 4:48 am

      And most of the time – it works!

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