Serves

1 cup dried giant lima beans

1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste

2 medium-size yellow onions 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium-size red bell pepper V/2 pounds ripe tomatoes 6 ounces green beans

8 ounces summer squash 6 ounces spinach

6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 'A cup chopped fresh basil 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves or

1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice Freshly ground black pepper Fruity green olive oil

1 Rinse the beans, then put them in a pot with 7 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for an hour or until beans are completely tender, adding water as needed to keep the beans covered. Add a teaspoon of salt when they are tender. Reserve beans and their cooking water.

2 Meanwhile, coarsely chop the onions and saute them in a tablespoon of olive oil, turning the heat down after the first few minutes and cooking them slowly until they arc soft and beginning to color, about 25 minutes.

3 Char the red pepper under a broiler until the skin blisters, turning it once or twice to char it evenly. Put the pepper in a paper bag for 2 minutes to sweat, then slip off the skin. Stem and seed the pepper and cut it into '/i-inch pieces.

4 Scald the tomatoes for 45 seconds in a pot of boiling water, drain, and rinse with cold water; then slip off their skins and cut them into chunks. Trim the green beans and cut them into i-inch pieces. Slice or dice the summer squash, depending on the shape. Wash the spinach and chop it coarsely; if the leaves are tiny you can leave them whole.

5 In a large soup pot, bring 3 cups of water to a simmer and add the green beans and a teaspoon of salt. Cook for

5 minutes, then add the squash, spinach, bell pepper, tomatoes, and onions. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

6 Add a tablespoon of oil and the garlic to the onion pan and sauté over medium-high heat for 2 or 3 minutes, until the garlic begins to color. Add the garlic to the vegetables, along with the basil, oregano, and the lima beans with all their cooking water.

7 Bring the soup back to a simmer. Add lemon juice and pepper to taste. Serve in big bowls with a swirl of olive oil on top.

continued on page 40

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