- Step 1
Place the lima beans in a large bowl. Cover generously with cold water. Cover and leave to soak overnight. Discard any beans that have floated to the top. Drain, discard the water and rinse the beans.
- Step 2
Crush the whole garlic cloves with the flat blade of a knife to bruise. Place the drained beans, bruised garlic cloves and bay leaves in a large saucepan and cover generously with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat and boil rapidly, partially covered, for 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove any scum that forms on the surface. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, covered, for a further 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain and discard the bay leaves if desired.
- Step 3
Meanwhile, place the olive oil and leeks in a large saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until tender. Add the extra garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Step 4
Add the mashed tomatoes, wine and stock to the saucepan and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for 15 minutes or until reduced to a thin sauce consistency.
- Step 5
Add the fennel to the sauce, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until the fennel is tender.
- Step 6
Gently stir in the cooked lima beans, parsley and mint and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with Parmesan (if using) and accompanied by the bread.
Note: You can use four 300g cans butter beans, rinsed and drained, in place of the cooked beans if you prefer.