1 to 1-1/2 cups dried baby lima beans
1 medium potato (average fist-sized), diced (peeling is optional)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion
3 to 4 medium cloves garlic, crushed or minced
3 stalks celery, minced
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups corn (fresh or a 1-pound bag frozen, defrosted)
2 to 3 cups cooked baby lima beans
4 cups milk (can be low-fat)
A generous amount of fresh black pepper
Finely minced parsley and/or chives (optional)
Soak 1 to 1-1/2 cups dried baby lima beans in water for at least 4 hours. Cook in plenty of simmering — not rapidly boiling — water for 35 to 40 minutes, or until perfectly tender. Try not to overcook the beans, or the soup will become gluey and lose its textural charm.
Cook the diced potato in boiling water until just tender. Drain well
and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, celery, salt and herbs. Saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion and celery are tender.
Stir in the corn and saute for about 10 minutes more. Add the cooked beans.
Optional: Puree some of the saute in a food processor or blender.
Return to the kettle. (This will make a thicker soup.)
Add potato and milk. Season to taste with black pepper; correct salt.
Serve very hot, topped with minced fresh herbs, if available.
Six servings, possibly more.