Gourmet Galley: Forget witches’ brew; try chili, soup for Halloween night _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Easy Baby Lima Bean (or Butter Bean) and Ham Soup with Cornbread Muffins

ADVOCATE-TESTED RECIPE

Easy Baby Lima Bean (or Butter Bean) and Ham Soup with Cornbread Muffins

Serves 4-5. Recipe is by Corinne Cook. The cornbread muffins can be made ahead of time and reheated right before serving. This cornbread batter makes about 40 mini-muffins.

Soup:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or olive oil

½ pound lean ham, cut into cubes

½ cup chopped onion

¼ bell pepper, chopped

1 (12-ounce) package frozen baby lima beans or butter beans

2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced

1 (32-ounce) carton chicken broth (or 4 cups)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cornbread Jalapeno Muffins:

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup cream style corn

¼ cup finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeño slices

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Soup:

1. In large saucepan, add oil and sauté ham cubes, onion and bell pepper until vegetables are soft.

2. Add frozen beans and carrots. Stir and pour in chicken broth. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 40 minutes, then taste for seasoning.

3. Add salt and pepper as needed. Cook additional 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Cornbread Muffins:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Generously grease or spray mini-muffin tins with nonstick cooking spray.

3. Combine cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in mixing bowl. Whisk to blend dry ingredients together.

4. Add buttermilk and lightly beaten eggs. Fold in corn, onion, jalapeños and oil. Stir to blend.

5. Fill greased or sprayed mini-muffin tins 2/3 full.

6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops spring back when touched. Try not to over bake.