I was dining alone the other night which meant my motivation for cooking something interesting was lagging. But I was hungry for spicy and delicious sustenance — and I was craving lima beans. Lima beans are not usually on the "crave" list, but you gotta do what you gotta do. And I wanted limas.
I wanted something easy to make (lazy), relatively fast (short attention span) that made use of what I had in the refrigerator and pantry. Lucky for me, dried lima beans cook really fast in a pressure cooker even without a pre-soak, so the "fast" part was within reach. I already had carrots, and kale in the fridge, potatoes in the potato drawer and a giant bag of organic, frozen Costco corn in the freezer. There was also a partially used jar of Trader Joe's no salt added tomato sauce that needed to be used up, in the fridge. The spices are ones that are always in my pantry.
When I'm trying to think of something to make, I imagine what I want it to taste like. I close my eyes and think about the flavor, texture and appearance, then set about making it happen. The chowder I ended up with exceeded my expectations. It really was great — thick, rich with flavor, satisfying. I ate my fill, then left it cooling on the stove while I went to catch up on the last episode of Mad Men, which I had missed. To make a long story short, when I woke up the next morning, I suddenly remembered the soup was still out. I had to ditch it, though it was painful. Lucky for you, I wanted the soup again so much, I remade it, measuring this time so I could save the recipe. The second incarnation was identical to the first, except it was shared with my husband, who agreed it was something special.
I'm submitting the recipe to Ricki's Wellness Weekend.
Rich and spicy lima bean chowder
- 1 cup dried lima beans, sorted and washed
- 6 cups water
- 4 medium carrots, washed, peeled, cut into a small dice
- 1 medium-to-large yellow potato, washed, unpeeled, cut into a small dice
- 2 tablespoons dehydrated chopped onion
- 3/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried chipotle powder
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce (I used Trader Joe's no salt added)
- 1 tablespoon Bragg's aminos (or wheat-free tamari)
- 2 cups frozen corn (I used organic to avoid gmo corn)
- 2 cups kale, shredded (I used org. red and green kale)
- Wash the beans well to get all the dirt off (limas always seem so dirty compared to other dried beans) and place them in a pressure cooker with 6 cups of water. Bring to pressure and cook about 18 minutes. Bring the pressure down quickly. (follow manufacturer's directions for your cooker.)
- Open the cooker and add the carrots and potato. Bring back up to pressure and cook 1-1/2 minutes. Bring pressure down quickly. (follow manufacturer's directions for your cooker.)
- Add the onion, garlic, turmeric and chipotle powder. Stir.
- Stir in the Bragg's and the tomato sauce.
- Add the corn and kale and stir in. Reheat and simmer briefly until the corn is hot and the kale wilted. Taste for salt. (I didn't add additional salt to mine.)
- If you are not avoiding oil, drizzle a small amount of olive oil over the soup before serving. Or, add some avocado slivers as a garnish.
Cooking and ingredient notes:
- I find that if I soak the lima beans for an hour, the dirt is easier to get off. If I don't have time to soak them, I just rub them together between my hands and make sure all the dirt is removed. The cooking time is the same if you give them a short soak.
- I cut up my veggies and combine the spices in a small dish while the beans are cooking. The timing seems about right.
- Granulated garlic is not the same as garlic powder. I find it much easier to use and store the granulated stuff because it doesn't get hard. If you only have powder, use about 1/2 teaspoon and taste to see if you need more. Or, use two large minced cloves of fresh garlic if you prefer fresh to dried.
- Instead of Bragg's or tamari, you could use soy sauce (if you don't care about gluten-free) or just salt to taste, though the Bragg's or tamari add flavor.
- I used 1 teaspoon of chipotle powder (not chipotle chili powder) for a moderately spicy flavor. Use 1/2 teaspoon for a less spicy soup. Use smoked Spanish paprika for even less spice.
- I cooked the dried beans in a 6-quart pressure cooker, but you could use canned beans (2 cans, drained) instead of dried. If you do, use about four cups of low-salt stock for the water. You could also soak dried beans overnight in water to cover, drain the next day, and simmer for about one-and-one-half to two hours or until they are tender, before proceeding with the recipe. Use about four cups of the cooking water for the soup stock. When using canned or conventionally cooked beans, add the carrots and potatoes to the cooked beans and stock, then cook until the vegetables are tender. Then follow the rest of the recipe (steps 3 through 6).
Have you had a look at the auction Richa from Hobby and More is holding to benefit VSPCA - Visakha Society for Protection and Care of Animals? Head over to Richa's auction page to see if there is something you'd like to bid on. You'll find books, jewelry, delicious baked goods and other items to choose from.
(Note: this post is from 2012 and is no longer applicable.)
The photographer meets her match in pink
Miss E practices her photography skills.