Christmas Lima Beans
The Christmas Lima Bean is a large, flat, heirloom-variety pole bean with a swirling maroon pattern on a white background. These markings remain visible after cooking. Its chestnut-like flavor and flaky texture make it a distinctive bean for a variety of culinary applications.
Carefully sort beans and rinse thoroughly. Place in a large pot with a lid, and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 90 minutes or until tender.
Storage & handling
Store in a dry, cool place.
Christmas lima beans.
The Christmas Lima Bean (Phaseolus limensis), also sometimes called the "chestnut lima" due to its similarity in taste to the nut, is an heirloom-variety pole bean related to the standard lima bean and the giant Peruvian lima. It is quarter-sized, flat, and white, with a swirling maroon color pattern that remains after cooking. The bean's chestnut flavor, combined with its festive coloring, led to the name Christmas lima.
Accounts of the Christmas lima bean's use in gastronomy date back to the 1840s in the American Southwest, and they became particularly popular around the turn of the 20th century. The hardy plant grows well in the hot, dry conditions of the high desert, producing large yields.
Christmas lima beans have a flaky, baked potato-like texture when cooked. They are perfect for countless variations on traditional succotash, salads, fresh vegetable-based soups, stews and casseroles.
Christmas lima beans are members of the larger family of legumes, plants used for their edible seeds and pods that boast a high nutrient density with low-maintenance production and storage. They contain high levels of protein, essential minerals and fiber while maintaining a low level of fats.
This hearty, delicious soup blends the colorful creaminess of our Christmas Lima Beans with the rich, smoky flavors of bacon and paprika. The distinctive maroon swirl pattern of Christmas lima beans, an heirloom variety bean, gives this soup a beautiful presentation.