For a combination of six ingredients, eight if you count water and salt, this soup has amazing flavor. I wanted a hearty, wintery, bean soup, and I was willing to expend the energy to soak the beans, chop vegetables, and stir for hours while it simmered. Then, I found this recipe, and almost none of that was required. Did you know you don’t even have to soak baby lima beans before cooking them? I didn’t. They’re big enough, even though they’re babies, that I would have assumed they should be soaked overnight like other dried beans. In less than an hour of simmering, they were cooked through and tender. As they cooked in plain water, a head of garlic bobbed along with them and added flavor. Sauteed onion and chipotles were added once the beans were cooked, and other than squeezing in some lime juice, that was all the effort that was needed. This soup is found in Super Natural Cooking, and it was part of a nice, light meal with a citrus and celery salad.
As I mentioned, the baby limas were not soaked. They were simply washed and then placed in a pot with water. The top was cut off a bulb of garlic and it was added to the water. This was left to simmer for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, I finely chopped an onion and a few chipotles from a can, and those were sauteed in clarified butter. The beans really don’t demand any special attention while they cook, but you should check them for doneness just before 40 minutes have elapsed to be sure they don’t get to a point of mushiness. When they were just cooked through, the sauteed onion and chipotles, some adobo sauce from the can of chipotles, and salt were added. After a few more minutes of simmering, the soup was ready.
The soup was so easy to prepare that I actually went ahead and made the suggested garnish as well. Crunchy topopos were made from a multi-grain tortilla which was thinly sliced, the strips were tossed with some vegetable oil, and they were baked for a few minutes. They were a nice textural contrast on top of the spicy, brothy soup. The butter sauteed onions added richness while the chipotles’ smokiness and spice worked some kind of magic. This tasted far more complex than it actually was, and I might not have believed how simple the recipe was had I not prepared it myself.