Chicken Soup with Lima Beans
Whether one has over-indulged over the holidays or not, Chicken Soup with Lima Beans is perfect for the New Year. The soup is light and lemony, but definitely rich enough to satisfy. It’s chock-full of vegetables and protein, plus it is lower in carbs and higher in fiber than traditional chicken noodle soup.
The secret to its greatness is creamy-buttery large white lima beans from Rancho Gordo that cook up beautifully smooth and tender. They taste more like fresh vegetables than other beans.
Bean Lover’s Gift Box
I’m looking forward to sharing many more bean recipes this year on Taste With The Eyes! My gift box included Black Eyed Peas (recipe here), Christmas Limas, White Limas, Yellow Eye, Pozole, and Classic Cassoulet Beans plus a wonderful book, French Beans by Georgeanne Brennan.
Chicken Soup with Lima Beans Recipe
Garlic-Scented Lima Beans
Sort through one pound of dried large lima beans. Soak beans in water for 4 hours then drain. Place beans in a pot and add fresh cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add 5 smashed garlic cloves. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer, cook uncovered, for one hour or more. Skim the scum as necessary. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed. Cook al dente (soft but not mushy), taste a few beans for doneness. Drain and set aside.
Note: Cooking the lima beans in the soup precludes a crystal-clear finished soup. Here, I cook the beans separately, and add garlic for another layer of flavor.
- one high-quality whole soup chicken cut-up, plus one additional whole breast, rinsed
- one large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 4 celery ribs, sliced
- 1 parsnip, peeled and sliced
- one handful fresh parsley, stem-on
- 1/2 t. whole peppercorns
- 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
Place chicken in a pot of filtered cold water, bring to a boil, skim the surface, then adjust heat to low. Add the onion, celery, parsnip, parsley and peppercorns. Continue to skim the surface periodically to remove scum. After one hour remove one whole chicken breast (or two half breasts) and set aside. Continue to cook for another hour adding in the carrots at the thirty minute mark.
Turn off heat and let cool slightly. Strain through a colander. With tongs, remove carrot slices and set aside. Discard the remaining solids or save for another use.
A chicken breast is removed half-way through cooking the broth and reserved to add to the finished soup. This way, the meat retains its texture and all the flavor is not leached out. Shred the chicken by hand into bite-sized pieces.
Return clear soup to a clean pot, add salt to taste. Bring the soup to a boil. Then turn down the heat and add the shredded chicken, carrot, and cooked lima beans to heat through. Finally, add finely chopped dill and thinly sliced scallion.
Ladle soup into bowls. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with lemon wedges.
Here’s to a Happy Healthy New Year!