Christmas Lima Bean Stew

Christmas Lima Bean Stew Recipe


A number of you emailed asking about the soup pictured at the top the recent favorites list. This one. It was at the top of my list for a reason. If last year was the year of lentil soups, this year has been all about one rustic bean and celery soup. I make it a lot. I make it for us to eat. I made it when our neighborhood wine club came over. And I made it to share at soup night over at my friend Holly's. The original recipe is Hassan's Celery and White Bean Soup with Tomato and Caraway, from Moro East. It's a soup shared in the book by Sam & Sam's allotment neighbor - celery, caraway, and garlic are cooked together alongside big hearty beans and chopped tomatoes in what becomes an olive-oil dappled broth. You serve each bowl with chopped black olives and fresh lemon wedges. I thought I'd share a holiday version of the stew made with Christmas Lima beans.

Christmas Lima Bean Stew Recipe

As is prone to happen, the first few times I made Hassan's stew, I followed the recipe verbatim. Then I started making tweaks. In the beginning, I would blanched and seed the tomatoes, I would track down spring onions. I would use the exact beans called for. And I was smitten. The soup is awesome. But eventually the onions disappeared from the market, and then the best tomatoes did too. And I still wanted to make the soup. And I wanted it to be just as good.

There were also those nights when I wanted to make the soup, but I was short on time. I wondered, could I shave some time off the prep by using good canned tomatoes? What about beans? I have some giant corona beans already cooked, those might be nice. And on and on...you'll see all my tweaks, notes, and considerations in the recipe below. I also made this a larger pot of soup. Most of you know by now, if I'm going to make soup, I'm going to make a good-sized pot of it. Plenty for leftovers.

Christmas Lima Bean Stew Recipe

If you ignore everything else I write about today, pay attention to this. You can't skip out on the toppings. Please, just trust me on this one. The chopped black olives and fresh lemon wedges for squeezing are key. Collectively they add dimension, surprise bursts of flavor and nuance you don't get otherwise. And a chunk of toasted, crusty artisan bread is the perfect sidekick.

Lastly, the recipe has you make your own celery salt. It couldn't be easier, and any leftover sea salt is great sprinkled on any number of things - eggs, potatoes, soups, you name it. The trick is finding celery with lots of leaves still intact. I stumbled on a bunch of heirloom celery this time around with endless leaves, but this is atypical. It seems like grocers "top off" most celery leaves. That said, I can always find celery with a few leaves intact, and there are generally more leaves hiding in the heart of the celery - so I use those to make the celery salt. Works just fine.

 
 
 
 

Christmas Lima Bean Stew

I call for Christmas Lima beans here, but alternately, you can use white cannellini or giant corona beans. I've made this soup with all of the above at one point or another. You can cook the beans a day or two ahead if you want to get a jump start.. Remember to reserve some bean cooking liquid! It's not the end of the world if you forget. But it adds nice body flavor to broth. Don't skimp out on the olive oil here, it is important for the texture and body of the broth. And the soup actually freezes well, I wasn't sure if it would...but I did a de-thaw the other night, no problem!

1 pound / 450g dried Christmas Lima beans
OR equivalent cooked beans ~ 2.5 pounds / 1.2 kg*

16 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 large heads of celery, preferably with leaves, trimmed then sliced into 2 cm / 3/4-inch chunks

3 bunches of scallions, green parts included
OR if spring onions are in season, I use about 12 of those, either way slice into 1/3-inch / 1cm rounds

8 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
scant 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, lightly crushed
fine grain sea salt

1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, drained, rinsed, cored and roughly chopped

2 - 4 teaspoons celery salt **
5 1/2 cups water or broth -or combination)
oily black olives, seeded and roughly chopped
1 lemon, cut into 1/8ths

If you haven't already cooked the beans, do so.*

Heat 12 tablespoons / scant 2/3 cup of the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the celery, and stir until coated with olive oil. Cook for ten minutes, stirring often. Add 2/3 of the scallions, the garlic, caraway, and a couple big pinches of salt. Cook for another 10 - 15 minutes, or until everything softens and begins to caramelize a bit.

Add the tomatoes and 2 teaspoons of the celery salt and cook for another few minutes.
Add the beans along with 5 1/2 cups liquid (I typically do 2 cups bean liquid/broth + 3 1/2 cups water), and remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil.

Bring to a simmer, taste, and season with more salt or celery salt if needed. Let sit for a couple minutes and serve each bowl topped with a spoonful of chopped olives and a squeeze of lemon. You might also like to serve the soup sprinkled with the remaining scallions/spring onions.

Serves 8 - 10.

Inspired and adapted from Hassan's Celery and White Bean Soup with Tomato and Caraway in Moro East by Sam and Sam Clark.

*To prepare dried beans.Drain and rinse beans after an overnight soak covered with water. Drain and place the beans in a large saucepan and cover with an inch or two of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the beans are cooked through and tender. This can take anywhere from an hour to two hours (potentially more) depending on your beans, but do your best to avoid overcooking. Remove from heat, salt the beans (still in bean broth) - enough that the bean liquid is tasty. Let the beans sit like this for ten minutes or so before draining - reserving a couple cups of the bean broth. Set the beans aside. At this point you can use the beans, refrigerate for later use, or bag and freeze.

**To make celery salt: Pick leaves from celery stalks. Make sure they're as dry as possible if you've recently washed them. If they're damp, they'll steam rather than crisp. Bake on a baking sheet in a 250F / 120C degree oven for 15 -25 minutes. Toss once or twice along the way, until dried out. Alternately, if I don't feel like heating up the oven, I toast them in a large skillet - over low heat, tossing regularly, for 30 minutes or so, while I'm prepping the other ingredients. Either way. Crumble the dried celery leaves with equal parts flaky salt.

Prep time: 25 min - Cook time: 25 min

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Your Comments


Jessica @ How Sweet
December 14, 2010

This would surely warm me up tonight!

 

Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes
December 14, 2010

this makes me lonesome for my grandma! Being of Pennsylvania Dutch background lima beans and celery are two big staples in her cooking! I'm intrigued by the two of them in a stew, and this is certainly going to be made sometime this winter...thank you!
love,
cathy b. @ brightbakes

 

DessertForTwo
December 14, 2010

I have absolutely fallen in love with the Christmas limas from Rancho Gordo! And you're the one that got me into them! Thanks so much :)

 

kate
December 14, 2010

This sounds awesome! However, of all the things in the world I love, I will admit I am not the biggest lima bean fan. Heidi, do you have any suggestions as to a tasty substitute? Last grad final of the term tomorrow... looks like another soup recipe and some Christmas cookies are in order!

 

Nisrine | Dinners & Dreams
December 14, 2010

Heidi, I've been making so much lentil soup lately but it's time for a change. This lima soup sounds very flavorful and worth a try.

 

Angela (Oh She Glows)
December 14, 2010

Oh my gosh this looks so comforting and perfect for the holidays! I can't wait to make this. Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipes.

I love recipes with short ingredient lists too!

 

Satpreet Kahlon
December 14, 2010

Christmas soup? A great alternative to Christmas cookies, which is usually what I eat when feeling festive.

 

Audra
December 14, 2010

Fiance HATES olives... Anything else you'd recommend?

 

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet
December 14, 2010

Love the celery salt recipe. I don't think I have ever tried Christmas lima beans. I am going to keep my eye out for them.

 

sally
December 14, 2010

I've never heard of Christmas lima beans before. They look really beautiful in your soup. The toppings sound great too! Who would have thought you can make your own celery salt!

 

Sophie
December 14, 2010

Lovely recipe Heidi. I'm impressed that it freezes well - I thought it might not be so freezer friendly with all of those big pieces of celery.

I'll look forward to trying this with the olives and lemon wedges. Toppings can really make a soup - my favourite soup recipe is topped with little tiny cubes of golden halloumi & a sprinkle of seeds (and it's just another soup without these little tweaks!)

 

Stephanie
December 15, 2010

I love the homemade celery salt idea! That's something I never bother buying, so I'm thrilled that I can make it at home that easily!

I want that toast in the photo!!

 

Julie Anne Rhodes
December 15, 2010

I am sooooooo making this tomorrow!

 

Caffettiera
December 15, 2010

Whenever you post something, I know it is going to be what I'll make for dinner today or tomorrow. You recipes are huge favourites around here. For some weird reason I don't really like celery apart from when it is cooked in soups, and I already know we are going to love this one. I love all soups that need lemon on top. Thanks!

 

Simply Life
December 15, 2010

Oh what a perfect winter stew!

 

Kate
December 15, 2010

This sounds most delicious. I loved Moro's first cookbook and make their paella regularly. They are wonderfully nuanced dishes, with real attentiont to balance of flavour and textures. I shall certainly make this over the Christmas period.

I made your green soup with ginger the other night and it went down a storm.

 

Katrina
December 15, 2010

This stew looks perfect! I love the ingredients you used!

 

Heather
December 15, 2010

this is such a beautiful, hearty dish! perfect for this time of year :)

 

Becca
December 15, 2010

Thank you thank you! I've had dried lima beans in my cupboard for almost a year now and have been stumped on how to use them. I wonder if sprouting them first would give a little nutritional boost? This sounds delicious, I'm going to try it soon!

 

Thank you! This is a lovely recipe. I am heading back to Canada for Christmas, and will be all to happy to whip this soup up for everyone.

I love the table that you're shooting on. It's stunning. I often dream of a beautiful long table with that finish. Seating for 10! :)

Anyways, happy holidays from Spain to you.

Katharine
agirlinmadrid.com
gastronomy and everyday life in Spain

 

I've noticed that about celery - when I was a kid it always came with the leaves but now they're always chopped off. What's up with that? Either way I've never even heard of making celery salt but it doesn't look too hard!

 

laura @ alittlebarefoot
December 15, 2010

this sounds wonderful. i have a big bag of dried fava beans, perhaps i could try it with those?

 

Jen @ keepitsimplefoods
December 15, 2010

I didn't even know there was such a thing as Christmas lima beans. You are such a smarty! Thanks for sharing. Looks delicious.

 

Alexandra
December 15, 2010

I love Rancho Gordo. Those beans are my favorite

 

Allison @ iccokedit.com
December 15, 2010

I followed your like for Christmas Lima Beans, but wanted to do a little more research to see their origins. I found this information on wikipedia

Christmas lima is a larger heirloom variety that is plumper, with a maroon batik-like pattern on a creamy background. It is smooth, creamy, savoury, and slightly starchy with a distinctive taste. It grows as a climbing vine or a bush variety. The Christmas is prized for its chestnut-like flavour and its appearance.

--Allison @ icookedit.com

 

ann
December 15, 2010

I love when celery is really featured. It's just the cleanest taste. Too often it is just a companion to carrots and onions in mirepoix. So thank you for the soup and the celery salt recipes!

 

Anu
December 15, 2010

OK Heidi..you need a pressure cooker! I am from India and they are very very common back home. It will cut the cooking time of your beans wayyyy down. 30 minutes or under. I use mine everyday for rice, lentils, beans and even meats. It will change you life! Trust me!

 

Kelly
December 15, 2010

Heidi, your recipes are fanTAStic! I will make this recipe and probably add potatoes to it.

My favorite recipe of yours to date is the Mole--http://www.poorgirlsvegandiet.com/search/label/Pinto%20Kale%20and%20Butternut%20Mole%20recipe

You rock!

 

The Healthy Apple
December 15, 2010

Seriously, this looks delicious. I am running home to make this tnitey!
Thanks Heidi.
Happy Holidays!!

 

Amanda at Enchanted Fig
December 15, 2010

This is exactly what I needed. And honestly, if I do nothing else but make that celery salt, I think I will be eternally grateful. Thanks!

 

Tom @ Tall Clover
December 15, 2010

Oh Heidi, I hate having to evolve. If I start liking Lima beans what will I have to complain about to my Southern friends. You have not led me astray so far, so I say trust you on this one and give it a try.

Also, thanks for the link to Rancho Gordo -- love it!

 

Lindsey
December 15, 2010

What a beautiful soup. I have to be honest though. I couldn't take my eyes off that bread! ;)

 

Faythe
December 15, 2010

I love soup. I will add this to my "gotta make this sometime" list. I may just have to add a dash of cayenne pepper, as the Mister and I like to put it in almost anything.

 

Rennie
December 15, 2010

I can't wait to experiment with celery salt!

 

Emm
December 15, 2010

Those beans look beautiful! I have never seen or heard of them before. Have a great christmas :-)

HS: You too Emm!

 

Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul
December 15, 2010

Happy Holidays Heidi!
I get my beans from Rancho Gordo, and my boyfriend's aunt is a friend of Steve. However, I've been reading 101cookbooks longer than I've know about RG.
Christmas Limas are one of my favorite beans. I make a yummy Red Cabbage Butternut Squash soup with these guys :)
I love this post !

HS: I miss Steve now that he doesn't make it into San Francisco quite as often. I'm going to add a link to your soup here, thanks for the added inspiration!

 

max
December 15, 2010

Was thinking about doing this with lovage instead of looking about for celery with leaves (cause I have lovage in my garden anyway...) just a suggestion.

Also, random note, I made the sweet potato candied ginger muffins from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone the other day and it seemed like a good recipe that was ripe for you to mess with. Dunno why, it just seemed up your alley, and ripe for a slightly healthier version. The molasses flavor in it was divine.

 

Steve
December 15, 2010

Really like this...i love cooking and i think on this Christmas definitely i will cook this recipe for my family...This would surely warm me up on this winter season

 

Dee
December 15, 2010

I want to make the celery salt! Getting leaves is not a problem here, but I need to use course sea salt (or ground up salt) because I live in México and can't get flake salt. Do you think it would work?
The soup sounds wonderful and I am keeping the recipe. Right now, it's turkey soup.

HS: You can experiment with different salts, but I like making it with the flaked salt best, common salt is too fine. If you bash up certain coarse salts with a mortar/pestle, that works nicely too.

 

My Little Expat Kitchen
December 16, 2010

I'm a bean fanatic and this soup will be featured on my dinner table very soon. Well, after the holidays if I want to be truthful. I'm on a food-that's-not-good-for-you mode right now.
I didn't know it was so easy to make your own celery salt. I will be making that as well. Thank you Heidi.
Magda

 

Lisa L
December 16, 2010

Looks gorgeous.! cant wait to make celery salt also. at first glance i thought it was fava beans. would canned beans work to cut down cooking time?

HS: Cooking the beans from scratch is really the way to go for this particular soup. Although, canned white cannellini might get a pass? If I had to make it with canned, I think I'd go with those - well rinsed.

 

Angela@spinachtiger
December 16, 2010

The timing is perfect. I recently picked up a bag of these Christmas lima's when I was in Napa last month. Now I have the perfect recipe.

 

PQBaggs
December 16, 2010

On Sunday I made a soup with Christmas Lima beans from Rancho Gordo and would have loved to have had this recipe--if only I'd known it was coming. However, I too used toppings--caramelized onions, sauted mushrooms and a lovely black raspberry vinegar. (I cooked the beans in a celery/onion broth).

 

sage
December 16, 2010

I made this last night with some already-cooked kidney beans and a regular onion as I had none other. What a great way to use up the celery that was languishing in my fridge and the very last of the force-ripened heirloom tomatoes from my garden!

I was a doubter since I'm not the biggest fan of celery or caraway, but this was really very good! Thanks for the idea!!

 

trg
December 16, 2010

Hi Heidi - I have been following your blog and making your recipes for a long time now without comment - but this one moved me to write. Last night I made this with canned cannellini beans and canned diced tomatoes - everything else was true to your recipe. I was skeptical to use so much celery, but it cooked down and caramelized nicely. Absolutely delicious. My partner does not like olives, and so left them off - but I think they pushed the dish over the top. Thanks!!

HS: So glad you liked it! And yeah, the olives really bring something special here. Alongside the fresh lemon juice....so good.

 

Anonymous
December 16, 2010

I love the simplicity of the dish, and how economical it is as well. Saving this one for sure :)

 

This looks wonderful! I am sold!! Even though I live in warm Hawaii I do crave winter like soups during the holidays! Thanks for sharing! Aloha:)

 

The Rowdy Chowgirl
December 16, 2010

The soup looks great, but what I'm asking myself right now is, "Why don't I have a neighborhood wine club?"

HS: I highly recommend it!

 

IMeg de Give
December 16, 2010

I love love your recipes - where to get Xmas Lima Beans - my v. good health food store has many many beans but didn't know about these?

 

amy
December 16, 2010

Taiwanese celery is sold with the leaves intact, and the stems are thin and hold a strong celery leaf flavor, much more than American celery.
You can buy it inexpensively at 99 Ranch, Ocean, Lion, Marina, or many other Chinese markets. Some Vietnamese and Pilipino markets might have it too; Japanese markets won't have it.

 

Anonymouse
December 16, 2010

This fall, I got a few heads of really leafy celery from the farmers market and didn't want to just throw away all those leaves, so I decided to experiment and made celery salt. I did pretty much the same thing, but I spread the leaves in cingle layer. It was pretty time-consuming, but I ended up with about a cup of salt. It smells absolutely amazing!

So, clearly, this recipe popped up in my RSS feed due to fate! I was dubious about the amount of olive oil, but it really works here. Great recipe for a cold day!

 

Katie
December 16, 2010

How serendipitous--I just got some Christmas Limas in the mail from Rancho Gordo recently, and they've been waiting patiently for just the right recipe to come along. I was planning on tweaking a Baby Lima-Spinach gratin recipe with them (from Peter Berley's Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, if you know it), but I may just have to make this stew instead!

Heidi, you're so lucky to be living in California--so much lovely produce and Rancho Gordo to boot! Their beans are unbelievably good! I get excited whenever I place an order, but of course, everyone else around just thinks I'm weird for being excited about dried beans.

 

Lisa@bakedinmaine.com
December 16, 2010


I love lima beans and I LOVE soup!

I'll be making this one very soon.....

Happy Holidays!

Lisa
xo

 

margie
December 17, 2010

What bad timing for me! I made an order to Rancho Gordo just a few weeks ago for gifts (and for myself, let's be honest), and I had the Christmas Limas in my basket for over an hour before they were pared.

I will be trying this recipe with canneloni, I think - with the week of rain that is forecast in Los Angeles, I will be making soups and stews galore.

 

Chocolate Freckles
December 17, 2010

What an interesting recipe!!! This looks awesome!

 

Priscilla
December 17, 2010

The recipe sounds good but the oil sounds excessive. I'm on Weight Watchers and getting two tablespoons of olive oil per serving is 6 points plus the points of the beans.

 

Georgia Pellegrini
December 17, 2010

When I saw this beautiful photo I thought I would not survive until I had this meal, exactly as it is pictured, crusty bread and all, and then I started to read. I now know for certain I can not live any longer without having this soup. This is food.

 

Valerie
December 18, 2010

This is stunning! I'd make it as a meal in itself, served with crusty bread, for Boxing Day. Thanks!

 

Kristi @ Veggie Converter
December 18, 2010

Sounds delicious, except for the celery (i'm allergic). I'm going to try to come up with something to substitute.

 

Christine @ Cook The Story
December 18, 2010

Wow! I can't get over how fantastic this looks. In particular, the garnishes on the side turn a nice soup into something intriguing and remarkable, making it a bit of a conversation piece when serving to company (note that just being able to explain where the recipe has come from, this fabulous website, also makes it a great conversation piece!).

 

AnneMarie
December 18, 2010

I just finished making this, and it is so good it's insane. Thanks!

 

Cooking in Mexico
December 18, 2010

The soup looks wonderful and nourishing, but what really caught my eye was the bread. Ciabatta? Did you make it? Kathleen

HS: It's a loaf of Tartine's country bread, from the Bakery - which is walking distance from my house. It's my favorite bread, hands down - I love the sesame variation in particular. I'm going to try to start baking it here at home sometime soon - if you pick up a copy of the book, you can learn to make it at home too. Stunningly beautiful book.

It's beautiful, delicious, and the best bread I've ever had by a stretch. I haven't tried to bake a loaf of my own yet, but

 

Gordy(PimpThatFood)
December 19, 2010

Comfort Cooking at it's Best! We are so in need of Bean Stew right now to keep us nice and warm this Christmas. Loved the bread in the first photo.. what type of bread is that??? reminds me on Maltese Bread.

HS: Hi Gordy, that's a few slices of Tartine country bread. See the previous comment. Like I mention, you can bake it at home if you are up for a bit of a project. The loaves the testers for the book baked were impressive.

 

Maureen
December 19, 2010

Looks like a good recipe Heidi, however your links to Moro East link to your cookbook, not theirs.

Here is their book http://tinyurl.com/2elgzdj

HS: Ah! Thanks for the heads up - I had the wrong ISBN number in there. Thanks for the catch Maureen.

 

Jannebarn
December 19, 2010

I made this and it is absoslutely YUMmers.
I didn't have Christmas Lima beans but I did have some Rancho Gordo Mother Stallard beans so I used those. I used oil-cured black olives which made for quite the taste explosion.

 

Angela@spinachtiger
December 19, 2010

I made this today using the Christmas Lima Beans. You are right. It's delicious and the olives and lemon are a perfect topping to go with the meaty beans. I've never made a soup with so much celery. I kept reading this again and again, wondering if you really meant this much, but it works and it's an eye opener. And who knew we could make our own celery salt. I will be posting this one soon, and I hope everyone rushes to make it.

 

Ashley
December 20, 2010

I was shocked when I made the celery salt and it smelled just like a v-8. I never thought I could smell the celery in a v-8, but there it was right before my nose!

I wanted to thank you. Over the weekend I was tasked with making a solstice dinner for my family of 5 plus my Dad and Step-Mom and a friend and his son. My Dad is watching the sugar, my Step-mom is gluten-free and nut-free and I can't have soy. Thanks to your recipes, I made something that everyone could enjoy, they raved about your rye shortbread cookies. Thank you Heidi, thank you so much!

HS: Thanks for the nice note Ashley, glad I could help with your family dinner. Happy holidays.

 

Betsy
December 20, 2010

I will not forget the toppings. I know how important they are. You are completely right. I like to add hot sauce to the mix as well. I can smell the stew on the stove right now. I can not wait until it is finished.

 

Renée
December 20, 2010

So nice to warm myself with a steaming bowl of this soup. I made it with flageolets. Thank you for giving me a use for the many celery leaves I dried, this past summer, from my Marquita Farms CSA box.The leaves were so prolific, large and beautiful, I didn't want to waste them.

 

Ally
December 20, 2010

This looks wonderful. I have eaten these limas all my life. Here in the south we call them speckled butter beans. I had no idea they had another name. I look forward to making this soup.

 

Kate
December 20, 2010

Yum! Great soup. Looks delicious. I can't wait to make it myself and eat it

 

Lisa
December 20, 2010

I used capers instead of olives (which were a great alternative) and white gigante beans - it actually did look like a Christmas soup because of all the red and green.

 

Caleb
December 21, 2010

Wow, it sounds just terrific! But, where can I find celery salt? Good luck with your stew everyone! I know I'll need it... Man, it's so cold out here in Wisconsin, this will surely warm me up tonight, and my cat Stewart.
Love now and forever,
Caleb Lima Bean

 

Gaby
December 21, 2010

Wow Caleb, it's great to see such an inspiring and exciting chef! I went to Wisconsin on winter break with my dog Rufus just last year, man oh man was it chilly. If I had that lima bean soup, maybe I wouldn't have felt so crummy. Well Rufus and I better go start up this delicious stew! Good luck Caleb and to all chefs! And Merry Christmas from Rufus and Gaby.
Seasons Greetings,
Rufus Scelzo
Gaby Lima Bean Creator

 

John
December 21, 2010

Wow Caleb! Your comment really inspired me to go on out to the grocery store and buy the ingredients for this stew! I'm planning on starting tonight! I work at a high school, so I really need this stew to lift all the stress off my back.

Best holiday wishes!

-John Joyce

 

Melissa S
December 21, 2010

Thanks for this lovely recipe. I am going to make it for my family on Christmas Day. My mother let me know that during her childhood Christmas Lima Beans were common. I had to hunt them down in NYC at Kalustyan's. Happy Holiday's.

Melissa S.

 

Laura
December 21, 2010

Just wanted to add my thanks for this recipe! I made this last night because I happen to have Christmas limas laying around and have wanted to make a soup with them. It turned out so lovely! I was a little nervous cooking something a little more unique looking for my brother and father, but they enjoyed it tremendously. Also, I usually toss celery leaves, or throw them into a vegetable juice but no more! Homemade celery salt is killer and totally made this soup come to life! Also, olives + lemon juice garnish = FAB. The soup went well with a homemade cornbread so even those watching gluten were completely happy. Thanks again!

HS: Glad you liked it Laura!

 

Sophia
December 21, 2010

Hello :)

I made this soup yesterday, and in my opinion it all went so perfectly. I really enjoyed discovering celery salt, and how gorgeous huge beans can be!

When I came home my family told me they tried the soup and found it to be oily. I was frustrated because they hadn't used the toppings (since they didn't know of them) and I told them (and correct me if I'm wrong) that the lemon is used counter the oil a bit. I also attempted to justify it further by explaining it's importance for the broth.

So, my question is, I would like to use this recipe again, would it be ruined if I used less olive oil? If so, how can I better explain its use? By the way...Thank you for your wonderful website and recipe journeys. You've helped turn a very kitchen wary woman a bit more brave! :)

HS: Hi Sophia, I think you're right on the money re: the lemon juice. I actually scaled back the olive oil by about 4T. from the original recipe, and that seemed to be just right for us - voluptuous w/out being too "oily". If you and your family really like the stew otherwise, scale back a bit next time, by 2T or 3T and take note. The one other thing I would say, make sure you're using good quality, good tasting extra-virgin olive oil. It's such a key component here...

 

renee (the candid cook)
December 21, 2010

heidi, this recipe was awesome. i added fava beans and cumin, and it was amazing to curl up with a mug and some crusty bread.

thanks for such a great site.

 

Magdalena
December 23, 2010

Made this last night.

I happened to have some Christmas Lima Beans on hand, apparently just waiting for this recipe!

DELICIOUS!

And making your own celery salt was soooo easy...and totally worth it.

 

Theano
December 23, 2010

I am about to make this soup... but couldn't find Christmas Limas. So I have Scarlet Runners, and Borlotti beans. Which should it be? Half and half? Maybe I'll try it.

 

LindsayC
December 23, 2010

Ohmygoodness! This was my first recipe I've tried from your sight. It had caught my eyes days ago and I couldn't escape the appeal of such an interesting recipe.
Thank you. I made a pot and didn't get to try the toppings, as I made it for tomorrow, but I'm so excited. I used regular lima beans, and rush the whole thing, but it's _incredible_ and I can't wait to try the whole experience tomorrow!
Yay!

 

Dr Joe
December 24, 2010

I made this for our family 12/23 with a quinoia/pomegranate salad. I used cannallini beans because that is what I had and my wife doesn't like lima beans. It was a hit! Very tasty. Thanks.