- Heat oil in a large pan or Dutch oven.
- Add onion, cumin and thyme and saute over moderately high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions color a bit.
- Add lima beans and continue cooking over high heat another few minutes; add garlic, celery, bell pepper,cilantro stems and chili powder.
- Cook 3minutes, then add tomatoes and water; season with salt and pepper.
- Lower heat, cover pan and simmer 15 minutes.
- When beans are tender, add corn and stir in pureed chipotle.
- Turn off heat.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add salt and pour in cornmeal in a steady stream, whisking constantly.
- Cook, stirring frequently at first, until cornmeal is cooked, about 30 minutes.
- Stir in ground chile or chili powder.
- Lightly oil a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and pour in about ⅔ of the cornmeal mixture.
- Let set about 5 minutes to firm.
- Spoon vegetables over cornmeal mixture.
- If cornmeal is too thick to pour,thin with warm water.
- Set casserole on a tray and bake until bubbling, about 25 minutes.