Succotash, a Native American dish consisting primarily of lima beans and corn, has been reinterpreted by Southern African Americans with a number of bean, vegetable, and meat combinations. Here chef and author Bryant Terry remixes the simplest version of this dish by making a tasty pureed soup. He says that while you can get away with using frozen lima beans for this dish, using fresh corn-off-the-cob is essential. Enjoy it during the summer months when corn is at its freshest.
Recipe from Bryant Terry’s book Vegan Soul Kitchen. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. © 2009.
- 2 cups fresh baby lima beans, rinsed (use frozen if fresh are unavailable)
- 10 cups cold water
- Coarse sea salt
- 4 large ears yellow corn, shucked, kernels scraped, cobs reserved
- ¼ cup plus ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- ¼ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- White pepper
- Garlicky Cornbread Croutons
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- In a medium-size saucepan, combine the beans with the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the beans are slightly tender. Add 1 teaspoon salt and simmer for 5 more minutes. Drain the cooking liquid into a bowl, set the beans aside, and add the liquid back to the saucepan.
- To make a broth, cut the corncobs into thirds, add them to the bean liquid, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the corncobs from the liquid to a compost pail.
- While the broth is simmering: In a medium-size sauté pan over medium-low heat, combine the olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the onions, and sweat for 15 minutes, until the onions are softened. Set aside ⅓ cup of corn kernels and add the rest to the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the corn is tender.
- Transfer the corn-onion mixture to the broth. Add the cooked beans. Over high heat, bring to a boil, immediately reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 more minutes, until the corn is done.
- Remove from heat, stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley, and puree in small batches in an upright blender. Strain through a medium-mesh strainer to remove tough corn skins. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- Preheat broiler. In a small bowl, toss the reserved corn kernels with ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Transfer kernels to a 9-inch pie pan or comparable receptacle. Place the corn about 3 inches from the heat and broil until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring a few times with a spoon.
- If necessary, warm up the soup, then ladle it into bowls, sprinkle roasted corn kernels and Garlicky Cornbread Croutons: 2 large leftover pieces of your favorite cornbread cut into ½-inch cubes
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a medium-size sauté pan, combine the olive oil and the garlic. Turn the heat to medium-low and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until fragrant and golden. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, gently toss together the cornbread and the garlic oil. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, shaking the pan a few times, until the croutons are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
As with other legumes, lima beans are a great source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. The beans are also purported to have several other health benefits