Butter Bean and Summer Vegetable Soup!
Just about the most perfect thing to eat on a hot summer night, or afternoon. Light, tasty, high fiber, low fat!
What you need:
1 cup dried giant lima beans - (you can use canned if that’s easier, just drain and rinse thoroughly)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 medium-size yellow onions
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-size red pepper
1 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes
6 ounces green beans
8 ounces summer squash
6 ounces spinach
6 cloves, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Fruity green olive oil.
What to do:
Rinse the beans, then put them in a pot with 7 cups of water. (unless of course you are using canned beans, then just rinse and set aside). Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for an hour or until beans are completely tender, adding water as needed to keep the beans covered. Add a teaspoon of salt when they are tender. (you do not have to add salt to the canned beans)
Meanwhile, coarsely chop the onions and sauté them in a tablespoon of olive oil, turning the heat down after the first few minutes and cooking them slowly until they are soft and beginning to color, about 25 minutes.
Char the red pepper under a broiler until the skin blisters, turning it once or twice to char it evenly. Put the pepper in a paper bag for 2 minutes to sweat, then lip off the skin. Stem and seed the pepper and cut it into ½ inch pieces.
Scald the tomatoes for 45 seconds in a pot of boiling water, drain, and rinse with cold water: then slip off their skins and cut them into chunks. Trim the green beans and cut them into 1 inch pieces. Slice or dice the summer squash, depending on the shape. Wash the spinach and chop it coarsely: if the leaves are tiny you can leave them whole.
In a large soup pot, bring 3 cups of water to a simmer and add the green beans and teaspoon of salt. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the squash, spinach, bell pepper, tomatoes, and onions. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add a tablespoon of oil and the garlic to the onion pan and sauté over medium to high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until the garlic begins to color. Add the garlic to the vegetables, along with the basil, oregano, and the lima beans with all their cooking water.
Bring the soup back to a simmer. Add lemon juice and pepper to taste.
Serve in big bowls with a swirl of olive oil on top.