I got a box of beans as a gift for Christmas, and they aren’t your ordinary beans. I got the Desert Island Sampler from Rancho Gordo !  I made a Christmas Lima Bean and celery dish for dinner tonight and it was good enough to post immediately.

Christmas Lima Bean "Stew"

Christmas Lima Bean "Stew" photo courtesy of 101 Cookbooks

I modified a soup recipe from 101 Cookbooks because my husband is not a soup-for-dinner fan.  Further, he can get a little “vegged out” with all my vegan dishes and will say things like “What protein are you serving with this?” or “We’re having beans for dinner?  What else?” so I know I need to hearty it up or cook meat… which I hate to do.  So, I read the linked recipe, followed some of the format, but really did my own thing and LOVED IT.  It even got a “10” from my husband… which is no small feat for “just beans”.

Christmas Lima Celery Stew (courtesy of 101 Cookbooks)

  • 1 pound dried Christmas Lima beans, soaked at least 12 hours (I soaked 18) then cooked with 3 peeled cloves of garlic, reserving ALL bean liquor (liquid) but discarding the garlic after cooking  (NOTE: I cooked the beans one night ahead, then stored them in the liquid in the fridge until tonight the made the “stew”)
  • 10 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large heads of celery, with leaves, sliced into  1/2 inch slices
  • 3 bunches of scallions, green parts included, sliced into 1/3 inch rounds, reserve 1/3 for garnish
  • 10 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced (have you seen Goodfella’s?  Sliced so thin it melts in the pan)
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, lightly crushed
  • Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, drained, rinsed, cored and roughly chopped
  • oily black olives, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat 8 tbsp olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the celery, and stir until coated with olive oil. Cook for ten minutes, stirring often. Add 2/3 of the scallions, the garlic, caraway, and a couple big pinches of salt (about 2 tsp). Cook for another 10 – 15 minutes, or until everything softens and begins to caramelize a bit.

Add the tomatoes and another teaspoons salt and cook for another few minutes.
Add the beans along with all their liquid and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Bring to a simmer, taste, and season with more salt if needed. Let sit for a couple minutes and serve each bowl topped with a spoonful of the remaining chopped scallions, the olives and a squeeze of lemon. DO NOT MISS THE LEMON, it does take it over the top…

Serves 8 – 10.

So our meal ended as a 10.  I made a salad to go along with it but it wasn’t needed.  Pure, simple, Christmas Lima Bean love.  Thank you, Brenna, I hope you try it and like it… it’s a recipe right up your alley!

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