carla lalli music's magic beans from marlow and sons recipe
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 12 to 16 ounces butter (lima) beans, dry
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic
  • one lemon
  • ½ cup of good quality mayonnaise or aioli
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • a handful of roasted vegetables (squash, carrots, whatever you choose - I used koginut squash)
  • thyme, fresh (a must), and other fresh herbs (oregano, basil, parsley, cilantro, culantro, chives) - for serving
  • Dry spices: ½ teaspoon coriander, ¼ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon chili powder (for heat), dry thyme/oregano
  • a few handfuls of arugula to add just before serving
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs or a handful of homemade croutons to serve with each bowl
  • olive oil for cooking
  • a glug of great quality olive oil for each bowl when serving. A peppery one is nice here.
  • a tablespoon or so of red wine vinegar for each bowl served
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Rinse the dry butter beans and place into medium pot. Fill a pot with cool water to cover beans. Allow to sit overnight. Soak about 8 hours, no more than 12. (You can do the "quick cook" method here and cook all on the same day -- The only issue with this is that the beans fall apart some. Not as pretty but still delicious.)
  2. Drain overnight water and refill pot with fresh water.
  3. Bring to boil then simmer, covering the beans with some olive oil (or favorite rendered fat). Throw in some fresh thyme on the stem and garlic confit (or pan cook roughly chopped garlic until softened). Cook beans for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. I kept testing them to make sure I knew when they were perfectly done.
  4. Add salt when almost done cooking. Add coriander and other dry spices. The beans should be firm but soft to the bite. Set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, PREP THE COMPONENTS:
  6. ROAST LEMON: Cut lemon in half on its equator. Heat a skillet to hot with a little olive oil and place lemons face down. Sear until brown. Remove from heat.
  7. MAKE THE MAYO: Finely zest some of the above roasted lemon into the mayo and stir well. Set aside in fridge.
  8. CHOP FRESH HERBS: Chop whichever herbs you choose to add to the bowls to serve. You'll need about 1 teaspoon of thyme or oregano and a few leaves of basil or cilantro (or similar).
  9. TOMATO LOVE: In a small pan with a little oil, cook the chopped onion until translucent. Add tomato paste and cook about 2 minutes. Set aside. (Carla's recipe connection used an overripe tomato. I used paste for a richer flavor.)
  10. ROAST VEGETABLES: Cut up your vegetables to bite-sized pieces. Roast to soften and brown. For koginut squash, I cut in half, roasted face down in a Pyrex glass pan at 400 deg F for 30-40 min until fork-tender, cooled, and scooped out the roasted goodness. You have free reign on preferences here!
  11. TOAST BREADCRUMBS: Heat up same pan you seared the lemons on, add some olive oil or butter and toast breadcrumbs until crispy. If you want to make croutons, look at my no-knead bread recipe; croutons are the backup plan if all the bread doesn't get eaten before staling.
  12. ASSEMBLY: Squeeze seared lemons into cooked beans and throw the rinds into pot. Add the arugula. Test the broth's salt level and add more if needed. Spoon beans into serving bowls, adding fresh herbs and roasted vegetables. Stir gently then add a small dollop of lemon mayo and vinegar to each bowl. Give each bowl a glug of fine quality olive oil. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs/croutons and chives just before serving. Magic, indeed!
Recipe by story of a kitchen at