Lima beans, sausage and potatoes is a warm one pot meal that makes a perfect dinner on a cool Fall day. It can be served as a thick soup or a stew. Accompany it with cornbread or corn muffins.
Lima beans and butter beans originated in the Andean and Mesoamerican regions in the Americas. Spanish explorers brought the plants and seeds to Europe and it began to be cultivated there around 1500. Both varieties were known as lima beans after the city in Peru.
The lima bean is light green and roundish while the butter bean is larger, flat and yellowish white in color. In the Southern United States the butter bean is often known as the Dixie or Henderson bean.
The beans are an excellent source of fiber, high quality protein and are low fat. Raw lima and butter beans contain a toxin which is rendered safe when the beans are cooked. Beans that contain less of the toxin are the ones used in cooking.
Lima Beans, Sausage and Potatoes
- 2 cups of dry lima beans or butter beans
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- ¼ of a smoked or Polish sausage (about 1 cup)
- 3 teaspoons of chicken bouillon
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 cups of potatoes, peeled and chopped
Put the dry beans in a Dutch oven sized pot. Sort though and toss out any bad ones. Pour in enough water to cover the beans by about an inch. Add the baking soda and chicken bouillon. Stir well. Bring the pot of beans to a boil over medium high heat. Stir and lower the heat to medium. Cover and continue to cook.
Cut the sausage in half lengthwise. Cut the sausage into thin slices. Stir the sausage into the pot of beans. Check the pot often, stir and add more water as needed.
When the beans are almost tender add 2 cups of peeled and chopped potatoes. Cover and simmer until the potatoes and beans are tender.
Serve with cornbread, corn muffins or biscuits.
A cup or more of corn, frozen or canned and drained, can be added about ½ hour before serving.
You can add a tablespoon or so of butter for flavor.
Other meats can be used. A cup of chopped cooked ham plus a bit of the ham fat. Hot dogs, canned meat (Spam) or leftover cooked pork.
Chopped onion can be added. If you do fry it with some chopped bacon and then add to the pot.
The chopped potatoes can be left out and it can be thickened with leftover mashed potatoes or instant mashed potato flakes.
Canned diced tomatoes plue the juice can be used as part of the liquid. This is good with corn, onions and bacon.