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Fava Bean Soup
from Charlotte J

Favas originated in ancient Egypt but early spread throughout the Mediterranean and into China. Plain and delicate in flavor, this simple and nutritious version of the classic Egyptian soup is routinely prescribed for the sick. This recipe is from An Exaltation of Soups : The Soul-Satisfying Story of Soup, As Told in More Than 100 Recipes by Patricia Solley


  • 1 cup white skinless dried fava beans
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • Garnish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  • lemon juice

Two days ahead, place the beans in a bowl with plenty of water to cover to soak.
Change water now and again.

Drain the soaked beans and put them in a large saucepan with the garlic and water.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for at least 1 hour, until the beans are very very tender and literally disintegrating to form a soup.
Depending on the beans, you might need to cook the beans another full hour, adding additional water — don't worry, you can't overcook them.

Mash with a fork to get a nice soupy consistency, adding water as necessary to thin the soup to your liking.

Whisk in the olive oil and cumin, then season with salt and pepper.

Let simmer a few more minutes to blend the flavors.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with the minced parsley and squeezings of lemon juice.

Depending on the taste and health of your sick one, you can serve the soup with more lemon slices on the side and toasted pita bread.