This delicious recipe is from the “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook” by Ann and Jane Esselstyn. It serves 8-10.  I usually make it with sweet potatoes but you can substitute butternut squash for a change when it’s in season.  It has a good sweetness to it.


  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 leek white and green parts chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, cut on an angle and into rounds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 8 cups vegetable broth—I like the Pacific low sodium
  • 16 oz dried large lima beans soaked overnight
  • 2 large sweet potatoes or 1 large butternut squash
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves torn into bite-size pieces and cooked
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup fresh parsley chopped

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large soup pot, cook the onions over high heart until they start to wilt and caramelize.  Add the leek, celery, carrots, and bay leaf, and continue to cook, stirring for about 5 minutes, until all the vegetables have softened.  Add a little water or broth, if necessary, to keep them from sticking.

Add the garlic, sage, and thyme, and stir for another minute.

Add the broth and lima beans, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender.  They should be soft but still have a little crunch in the center.  Don’t overcook them( but if you do, the soup is still good).

While the soup is cooking, place the sweet potatoes on the lined baking sheet and poke them a few times with a fork to avoid little explosions. Bake for 1 hour: then remove from the oven, cut in half, and scoop the cooked potato flesh into the food processor.

Remove about 2 cups of mostly liquid from the pot with the beans and add it to the sweet potatoes.  Process until smooth: then pour the pureed sweet potatoes into the soup and stir to combine.  Add the black and white pepper, and cook until heated through.  Remove the bay leaf and add balsamic vinegar and parsley.

To serve, place some cooked kale in each bowl, and fill with the soup.  You can also add the kale to the soup, but the kale loses its wonderful color if you don’t eat it right away.