This was one of my father's favorite dishes, a staple of Depression-era cooking when fresh meat was scarce and soup stretched everything. Simmered until thick, with chunks of ham - even lima-bean-haters enjoy this hearty soup.

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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place beans in a large pot; cover with 2 inches water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 to 2 hours. Drain and rinse. Transfer beans to another container.

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  • Combine ham bone and 8 cups water in a large saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until remaining meat falls off the bone, about 2 hours. Remove and discard bone. Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to a bowl.

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook and stir until onion is translucent, 7 to 10 minutes. Add cooked ham bone meat, lima beans, and diced ham. Reduce heat and simmer, adding additional water as needed, until soup is thickened to desired consistency, about 90 minutes.

  • Stir carrots, salt, pepper, and parsley into the soup. Let simmer until carrots are soft, about 30 minutes more.

Cook's Notes:

You can also soak the beans overnight.

If you don't have a ham bone, you can also use 1/2 pound bacon or salt pork. Add the bacon or pork to the pan over medium heat, and let cook for a few minutes. Add onions and celery and stir-fry for 7 to 10 minutes, until onions are translucent and bacon is cooked.

Nutrition Facts

296 calories; 7.5 g total fat; 16 mg cholesterol; 710 mg sodium. 40.5 g carbohydrates; 17.9 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (11)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2018
Step 2 says, Combine ham bone and 8 cups water in a large saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until remaining meat falls off the bone, about 2 hours. Remove and discard bone. Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to a bowl. So what are you supposed to do with the stock. the instructions doesn't say. Are you supposed to retain it and use it in the soup??? Read More
(10)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/22/2018
Too time consuming! Not bad tastin! Read More
(1)
12 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2018
Step 2 says, Combine ham bone and 8 cups water in a large saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until remaining meat falls off the bone, about 2 hours. Remove and discard bone. Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to a bowl. So what are you supposed to do with the stock. the instructions doesn't say. Are you supposed to retain it and use it in the soup??? Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2018
Step 2 says, Combine ham bone and 8 cups water in a large saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until remaining meat falls off the bone, about 2 hours. Remove and discard bone. Use a slotted spoon to transfer meat to a bowl. So what are you supposed to do with the stock. the instructions doesn't say. Are you supposed to retain it and use it in the soup??? Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
06/18/2019
To Tim ~ And those who have had the occasional hard bean problem with the quick soak method. You mentioned that the beans needed the over night soak because the quick boil and simmer method did't get the beans soft enough and some of them were still a bit hard. I have had this problem as well before and I realized that I needed to only bring them to a rapid boil for 1 min making sure there is enough water for the beans to absorb and then some for the soak, you CAN'T add more latter ~ Then remove from heat and cover with a tight lid to soak for 2 hrs There should be plenty of water to drain after the soak . When you get to the part where you want to simmer be sure the liquid is bubbling slowly not boiling and then just check for tenderness every 1/2 hr until done. and that's it ! Believe me I have had the hard bean issue and cooked them for what seemed like forever and they did not soften so I know how frustrating it can be. I hope my advice helps you and never have to deal with the occasional hard bean ever again ~ Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/23/2018
I've also added some bacon drippings to this recipe very hearty and satisfying on a winter day. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
12/14/2018
It was wonderful and tasted like how my mom used to make it (can't find that recipe). It was a big hit with my wife and kids. Couldn't find a butcher who had a ham bone - so I used ham hocks and retained the water as the base for the soup and I used the center meat in addition to packaged diced ham. I also added a couple of cooked & crumbled pieces of bacon. The onions and celery were obliterated in the process (in a good way). The lima beans really need an overnight soaking. The boil & simmer method was okay but some of the beans were a bit hard. But it was still awesome. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
03/08/2019
I used turkey ham instead of regular ham used garlic salt instead of regular salt. Very filling and easy if you are a Weight Watchers it is very low point value. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 3 stars
03/22/2018
Too time consuming! Not bad tastin! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/01/2019
Just out early so delicious Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
04/01/2019
Good hardy soup my dad loved it as well! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/20/2019
Wonderful soup. I have made with dried limas when I have the time. When pressed for time canned butter beans are also excellent. Ham is wonderful. I have also made with bacon which I cook completely and then freeze so it is available. You can just chop up frozen pre-cooked bacon and throw it right into the soup pot. Since celery carrots and onions last a long time in the fridge/pantry this is a go to recipe when the grocery supplies are dwindling. Sometimes I add celery seed thyme leaves and/or bay leaves. I always add a teaspoon of sugar and a tiny splash of cider vinegar. I usually use half chicken broth and half water. Read More