Stop! Don't run away! Lima beans are good for you, and I promise this soup tastes nothing like the watery pile of pale lima beans you were served as a kid.
This is super good soup ---- I had high expectations of packing up tupperwares to share with my parents and grandma and instead ate all the leftovers myself for lunch three days in a row.
A batch fed my family of 5 and then there was enough for 3 lunches -- it makes a lot, and is filling without being overly heavy. I used Aidell's chicken and apple sausage for the meat, and this meat provided the only oil or fat, making this a very lean and packed-with-fiber meal.
1 pound of soaked lima beans, drained (for quick soak: boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then turn off heat and leave covered for 1 hour.)
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 head (about 10 cloves) garlic, peeled (ok to leave cloves whole)
1 (28-ounce) can diced or plum tomatoes with basil
1 (28-ounce) can water (fill empty tomato can with water, then dump into crockpot)
2 teaspoons paprika
1 (12-ounce) package chicken and apple sausage, diced (or about 2 cups diced ham)
salt to taste (I used about 1 teaspoon kosher salt)
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. I used the Ninja. Place the drained lima beans into your cooker, and add the onion and garlic. Dump in the tomatoes, then rinse the can into the pot. Add paprika, and stir in the sausage. Cover, and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or until the beans are fully soft.
Use a handheld immersion blender to naturally thicken the broth by blending some of the beans and tomatoes. This also helps distribute the flavor and squish up the garlic cloves. If you don't have a handheld blender, you can scoop out a cup or so of the beans and smash them with a large fork or blend in a traditional blender, then stir them back into the pot.
Salt to taste.
Serve as-is, or with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese.
Man, I loved this soup. I had the lima bean package in the back of the cabinet for a while, and figured I'd cook them with a ham hock, but never got around to doing so. I happily ate the leftovers for lunch out of a large mug, and look forward to making it again so I can share with my extended family. It's a cheap dinner, tastes great, is filling, low in fat, and as any preschooler would know, lima beans keep you from getting A Bad Case of The Stripes. :-)
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