Since lima beans and corn are two of my younger daughter’s favorite vegetables, this recipe caught my eye as I browsed through a soup cookbook.
The book, simply titled, The Soup Book, has quite a few soups I’d like to give a try.1 The measurements are British as well as American, with instructions at the beginning having to do with a difference in how Brits and Americans measure a pint.
I guess I should have known that from the pubs. A pint of beer in London definitely felt larger than a pint in the US!
So, I’ve adjusted a little bit to suit what’s readily available in stores here.
This is the first time I’ve made this recipe, and I have to say it turned out pretty good. Even Charlotte likes it!
The recipe calls for one and a quarter cups of milk, but as I added half of it, I decided it was going to be thicker than I liked. So, when it came time to add the second half of the milk, I added water. (You’ll see a note about that in the list of ingredients.)
You’d never know I changed anything from the thickness and taste. Next time, I will try it without the milk altogether.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 pint (American pint, of course!) chicken stock – I usually get the boxed brand. Easier to deal with
3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, depending on the size
½ stick of butter (¼ cup)
2 onions, chopped
3 pieces of bacon, chopped
¼ cup all-purpose flour (for thickening)
2 – 14 oz cans yellow corn (kernels – make sure it’s not creamed corn!) – drained and rinsed (The rinsing helps get rid of salt added in the packing.)*
1¼ cups milk – For a less thick soup, reduce this to ½ cup of milk and ¾ cup of water
1 – 14 oz can lima beans – You can also use great northern or butter beans, but the lima beans add a nice color. – drain and rinse these as well
Salt and pepper to taste
To make the soup:
1. Start with a pan large enough to hold the chicken breasts and broth, but not so large that the broth doesn’t cover the chicken. Boil the broth first, then add the chicken. Be careful not to let the broth splash and burn you. Let the broth come back to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil the chicken until it is cooked and tender, usually 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken breasts from the broth with a slotted spoon and let them cool. Turn the heat off the broth and set it aside. You’ll need it later.
Note – If you boil the chicken ahead of time, like the night before you plan to make the soup, you have two advantages: one, the chicken is much easier to handle and cut into bite-size pieces when it’s cold, and two, you can easily skim any unwanted fat off a cold broth – the fat rises to the top and congeals. Although with skinless breasts, there’s usually not a lot of fat.
2. In a soup pot, melt the butter. Add the chopped onions and, over a medium heat, cook until they are tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the chopped bacon to the onions. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the bacon starts to brown. Ok, so this is not exactly low fat!
4. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
5. Add the chicken broth (reheated if it had been refrigerated) slowly to the onion mixture, stirring as you do. Bring the broth to a boil, stirring occasionally as it thickens. Remove from the heat.
6. Add the corn to the broth along with ½ cup of milk.
7. Turn the heat back on to medium and let the soup cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
8. While the soup cooks, cut the chicken breasts into bite size pieces.
9. Add the chicken, lima beans, and either ¾ cup of milk or ¾ cup of water. Bring the soup to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
Add salt and pepper, or let each person season to their own taste.
Ladle it out and enjoy!
This recipe serves about 6.
*You can also use fresh corn when it’s in season, cut from the cob.
1 Sheasby, Anne, ed. The Soup Book: All the Soups You Will Ever Need in a Collection of 200 Delicious Recipes for Every Season, with Chowders, Gumbos, Consommes and Broths Shown in 750 Photographs. Wigston: Anness, 2012. Print. …Ok, so the title wasn’t as simple as I said it was!