11⁄2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
Scant 2 cups vegetable stock, homemade (page 42) or store-bought
Large pinch of saffron threads
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced yellow onion
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
Freshly ground white pepper
1⁄4 cup packed chopped cilantro
Drain the lima beans and rinse them well. Transfer to a medium saucepan and add the kombu and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until just tender but still firm, 25 to 45 minutes. Check the beans often to ensure that they don’t overcook, skimming off any foam and discarding any floating skins. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the salt and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander, remove the kombu, and rinse the beans under cold water.
Pour the stock into a medium bowl and crumble the saffron into it.
Warm the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the stock. Add the sweet potatoes, agave nectar, and cinnamon stick and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.