This chilly time of year definitely calls for some warm, delicious soup, and it doesn't get more delicious than this recipe for sweet potato lima bean soup! During the winter months we make this soup every couple weeks. It’s just the right amount of sweet and savory, and it’s quite hearty. It’s a big batch of delicious happiness! Enjoy!
1 lb dried large lima beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 leek (white and pale green parts only), finely chopped
1 large red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
4 fresh thyme sprigs (use leaves only)
2 bay leaves
10 cups vegetable stock
2 sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Chopped parsley, for garnish
Oyster crackers, for garnish
Lay out dried lima beans in a sheet pan or on a clean counter and check for any small foreign objects.
Place dried lima beans in a large bowl and cover with 1-2 inches of water. Let sit overnight, or at least eight hours. Drain & rise. (I personally soak the beans in the morning, then they’re ready to go by the time I get home from work!)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add celery, carrot, onion & leek and sauce about one minute.
Add the garlic, sage, thyme leaves, & two bay leaves & cook for about one minute more.
Add the lima beans & stock and bring to a boil. Skim any foam that appears off the top.
Cover the pot with the lid ajar & simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
While the soup is simmering, rinse two sweet potatoes & prick all over with a fork. Roast in the oven for one hour.
When the sweet potatoes come out of the oven, peel the skin and scoop out the inside into a blender. Add three tablespoons good maple syrup. Remove the bay leaves from the soup and add & 1/3 of the soup to the blender. Blend until smooth.
Reintroduce the blended soup into the soup in your pot and stir until smooth. Add dash of cayenne pepper. Taste for salt & pepper and add if necessary.
Serve topped with a dash of fresh or dried parsley & oyster crackers on the side.