Friday, January 10, 2014

Foodie Friday: Soup That Needs a Better-Sounding Name

So, some recipes are born out of necessity. One can only assume that this one was.

And the derivations which I made to it can only be described this way as well.

Well, to be honest, they were also because I am also cheap. Cheap. Cheap.

To prepare this recipe will require a great deal of trust and faith in me. I assure you: this was good soup…in spite of the name and the list of ingredients which do not sound like they would go together at all.

I’m selling it now, aren’t I?

The PBA had a science experiment a few weeks ago (a few months ago now, actually) which required dried lima beans. We eat a lot of beans at our house (cheap protein and fiber, you know) but lima beans are not ones which make the short list.

In fact, I don’t believe I had ever in all my 27 (ok, 40) years had ever purchased lima beans, let alone prepared them and served them to my family.

And, as I said, I needed dried ones (the PBA planted them in Plaster of Paris…long story but the beans did break through the plaster and sprout and grow and all that good stuff…no need for you to do this experiment either. It was interesting, but there’s no need; I’ve ruined the surprise.)

But if you choose to make this soup, you could set a few beans aside and try it.

But I digress.

For the experiment, I needed a few dried lima beans. Sure I could have put a call out on Facebook for a request such as this and probably would have gotten a response.

It may not have been the response I was seeking, as smart-alek comments are the rule-of-the-day on Facebook.

So in an effort to save face, I simply went to the store and bought a whole bag.

It cost approximately $1.50 (but probably less than this…it’s been a while so don’t hold me to that price. It’s not “The Price is Right” here….it’s “The Price is an Approximation Given For Reference Only”…)

Because you can’t go to the grocery store (SuperTarget, for instance, only because it was the closest one…clearly not for the low prices, because when have you ever heard me mention doing my grocery shopping at the SuperTarget?) and buy 10 dried lima beans; you have to buy the whole bag. They tend to frown on people opening up the bag and only buying what they need.

Experience talking.

Anyway…I bought the whole bag even though I only needed about 10.

And God only knows I was probably not going to prepare lima beans for the family. I don’t know exactly why but they have a negative connotation in my mind.

I know…I should not discriminate against the lima bean, when I am so accepting of other beans.

I bet there’s some deep-rooted psycho-analysis probing which needs to be done.

But not right now…I have a recipe to share with you.

So…because I am not really a foodie but only pretend to be one in my blog on Fridays, I had to Google (my old friend) recipes which use lima beans.

I could have also used my trusty friend CM, but I try to save her for emergencies such as frozen water balloons.

I must admit that there aren’t that many recipes which INCLUDE the beans…as opposed to the beans being the major component in the recipe.

And since I didn’t want to serve “just” lima beans, I forged ahead. It was a daunting task, but I was up to the challenge. No way was I going to throw away some perfectly good lima beans which I had probably gotten my money’s worth (from an education perspective at least) and could have let them go by the wayside.

But my frugality got in the way.


What I finally found was a recipe for a soup/stew/whatever you want to call it which also included cabbage.
Before you vomit in your mouth, I must assure you that it was good. Even the family agreed.

But one thing about this recipe, because I had already spent so much on the lima beans (no not really…note the sarcasm, please) I didn’t want to invest too much more in case, on the off-chance, that this was really crappy.

And I know that you’re thinking, “How could it NOT be crappy?!?! That sounds absolutely VILE.”

Anyway…I won’t let you haters bring me down. I stand by my assertion about this soup.

I wasn’t about the pay full price for cabbage. Yes, cabbage, which costs about $1/pound. That was too much for me. So I waited; I knew it would come around.

Because when is cabbage on sale? At the end of December…when people are supposed to eat cabbage on New Year’s Day for “good luck in the new year”.

So I sat on that recipe (and the lima beans) for two months.

Don’t judge.

And I finally bought my cabbage for 29 cents/pound. The head I bought was about 3 pounds. You do the math.

Cheap. Cheap. Cheap.

And I thought I had everything I needed for my soup. But I was somewhat mistaken. So I knew I had to improvise…which isn’t the best for a non-Foodie.

The result, however, was nothing short of a miracle. On the first night it was served (this is a foreshadowing right there), Mr. Always Random ate two bowls of it.

And the PBA each ate the whole bowl I gave each of them. (As an aside, that does not always happen when we have soup. And we eat a lot of soup around here.)

Two nights later, we had leftovers from our visit to Santorini’s, but the 10yo didn’t have a main dish (he’d eaten all of his “Pita Pizza” at the restaurant)…so I gave him the option of chili or leftover lima bean & cabbage soup…and he chose the lima beans and cabbage.

WOW…did NOT see that coming.

And then we all had the lima bean soup the next night, in which the bowls were again licked clean (ok, not really but might have been, had I allowed it).

And then on the next day, Mr. Always Random had a nice big bowl of it for lunch.

NOTE: in case you’re not getting the hint, it kind of makes a lot…so it’s good for cheap and easy feeding of the family.

Now that I have been allowed to ramble on, I give you the recipe (half my concoction and half someone else’s) which needs a better name than Lima Bean and Cabbage Soup...feel free to leave suggestions in the comments.

  • 1 bag of dried lima beans (soaked overnight)
  • 8 cups of chicken stock (I actually had the real-deal, as I cooked a couple whole chickens in my crockpot and actually made the stock afterwards…look at me go!)
  • 5 cups shredded cabbage (mine was not shredded enough and the bigger pieces were not so great from a textural standpoint…so make sure you SHRED the cabbage)
  • 1 large jar of salsa (or 2 small jars)
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced

  • In a large pot, combine the lima beans, chicken stock and cabbage; if there’s not enough liquid to cover the beans and cabbage, add water (or additional stock if you have it) as needed.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low.
  • Cover with a lid, but leave it cracked to allow steam to escape.
  • Simmer for 2 hours.
  • Then add the salsa and sausage.
  • Replace lid and simmer another 15-20 minutes.



  1. OK, yes, it sounds gross. I was going to say vile, but I think it's just a step back from vile. I have no problem with the cabbage, salsa, and sausage...I like all of those things. Together? It sounds weird, but I'd be willing to try. But lima beans? Yeah, you lost me at lima beans. I'm wondering if it would work with some other kind of dried beans?

    1. I know, I know...and yes, I would bet other beans would work fine. Why don't you try it and let me know how it comes out? ;)

    2. I think I'll have to...we're huge soup fans around here! I'll probably make a little smaller batch though. :)

    3. Yes, you probably do not need a full batch...

  2. Hmm...I could think of some very creative names for your soup, but I'm pretty sure you don't want me posting them here! :D You're right, though - it really does need a better name than that.

    I can absolutely handle nearly all of the ingredients...but lima beans? I've tried. I have really tried to conquer my hatred of lima beans. But lima beans are indeed the worst. beans. ever. Nobody likes them. They don't even like themselves.

    1. I know...lima beans are horrible, but in this soup they were really good. Maybe try another kind of bean? Are you opposed to beans overall or just lima beans? I don't judge...

  3. It sounds...interesting. 5 cups of cabbage? That's a lot of cabbage, there. But when I make vegetable soup, I do put cabbage in it. I shred it and then chop it because, you know, texture. And my kids love it in the soup, even my picky-picky son. And he likes lima beans so I won't rule this out. Yet.

    1. Yes, this makes one heck of a large pot of soup. And yes, lots of cabbage. And yes, shred it b/c of texture...I totally get that.

      Wow...he's picky-picky and he likes cabbage and lima beans. That doesn't sound so picky to me!

      If you do make it, please let me know your thoughts! I mean, it's no Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark, but if you eat this soup, you can more easily justify the bark. See?...