When I make lima beans, I like to make a really big batch. They freeze extremely well so don't worry if you overdo it. I start with 3 to 4 pounds of dried lima beans. I rinse them, put them in a pot and cover with four or 5 inches of water. Then I soak these overnight or longer. They plump up a lot by morning and most of the water will be gone.
When you're ready to cook the soaked beans, drain off the rest of the soaking water and add back fresh water. Enough to cover the beans about an inch or two.
For flavoring I add salt, pepper, one bay leaf, and a seasoning called Smoke, which is mostly smoked paprika. All of this goes into the water with the beans.
Put the pot on the stovetop on a high heat. When the water boils and foam starts to rise on the top it's time to turn down the heat to medium and cover the beans.
Let the beans simmer like this 20 to 30 minutes. Then stir the beans and turn the heat down to low. Simmer, covered, on low until the beans are very soft, But not falling apart. This will take 1 to 2.5 hours.
When your lima beans are done cooking, taste them and add more salt pepper and Smoke. They may need quite a bit, so taste as you go, but don't overdo it.
I love these beans alone or with rice and avocado. Very tasty!