- 1 pound dried lima beans
- 6 cups water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 smoked ham hock or 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)
- Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
- Rinse the dried lima beans under cold water and remove any debris. Place the beans in a large pot and cover them with 6 cups of water. Let them soak overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.
- Drain and rinse the soaked lima beans. Set them aside.
- In the same large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and green bell pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- If using a smoked ham hock, add it to the pot along with the sautéed vegetables. If using bacon, cook it in a separate skillet until crispy, then add it to the pot.
- Add the drained lima beans to the pot, followed by the chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pot.
- Simmer the lima beans for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until they are tender and cooked through. Stir occasionally and add more water or broth if needed to keep the beans covered.
- Once the lima beans are tender, add the salt, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper (if using). Stir well to combine and let the flavors meld together for a few more minutes.
- Taste the lima beans and adjust the seasonings according to your preference.
- Serve the Southern-style lima beans hot as a side dish or as a main course with cornbread. If desired, drizzle some hot sauce over the beans for an extra kick.