Lima Bean and Carrot Soup (Gigantes)
- Yield: 12 servings
- -- 2 cups large dried lima beans
- -- 3 quarts unsalted water
- -- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- -- 2 medium onions, chopped
- -- 6 large carrots, peeled and chopped into ¼-inch rounds
- -- 6 stalks celery, washed, tops removed, and chopped roughly the same size as the carrots
- -- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- -- 2 ½ heaping tablespoons tomato paste
- -- 1 quart (4 cups) vegetable stock
- -- Juice of 2 lemons
- -- 1 quart boiling water
- -- Sea salt
- -- Pepper
Soak the lima beans for a minimum of 4 hours and rinse. Set aside. Place a large pan of unsalted water (approximately 3 quarts) over high heat and boil. When the water is boiling, add the beans and boil for 20 minutes.
While the beans are boiling, make the soup base in a large stockpot. Start by heating the olive oil mover medium heat and adding the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the minced garlic and the tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes. Then add the vegetable stock and lemon juice and raise the heat, bringing the soup to a boil.
In a teapot boil approximately 1 quart of water.
Strain the beans and add them to the stockpot. Pour the boiling water from the teapot until the beans are just covered.
Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer for 2 hours. Remove the lid and simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes.
During the final 30 minutes, some of the water will evaporate and the soup will become thicker. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Reheating it before serving will thicken the soup even more. GIgantes is delicious when served with extra lemon wedges, black pepper, crusty bread and salad. The dish freezes well.
From Greek Revival: Cooking for Life, www.greekrevivalcookbook.com