Lima Bean and Ham Stew

  • 1-1/2 cups dry lima beans
  • 1 quart tap water (4 cups)
  • 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cups leftover chopped ham
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a 4 quart saucepot combine the dry lima beans and tap water. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat. Turn the burner off, and cover the pot. Allow the beans to sit for an hour or two to reconstitute or plump up. If preferred, you could soak the beans in the water overnight.

Either way, after soaking the beans, add the tomatoes and onion. Simmer this mixture for about an hour, or until the beans begin to tenderize some. Add the chopped leftover ham, the bouillon cubes and pepper. Cook the beans some more, until they are all the way tender. Bite into one or two of them to make sure. Be careful though, the beans will be hot and you don’t want to burn your lips. When the beans are tender enough for you, then combine the cold milk and cornstarch in a measuring cup. Stir it with a fork until the cornstarch is dissolved. Add this to the soup mixture. Now bring it all to a boil, and simmer it for a minute or two to thicken up nicely. Serve hot with biscuits and a spinach salad.

I like this recipe for using up leftover ham. I have also made it with canned luncheon meat (SPAM), but it isn’t quite as good. Still some folks like it that way, and it’s a nice way to use up SPAM if you have a lot of it hovering in the pantry, longing to be et’ (eaten).

How about another yummy bean and lentil recipe? Try this Lentil Chili next. It’s a great frugal and meatless meal.

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