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Fresh Fava Soup

Posts: 51
Location: SW Ohio, 6b, heavy clay prone to hardpan
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Just for clarity, most garden beans are varieties of Phaseolus vilgaris which contain phytohaemagglutinin, fava beans (Vicia faba) also contain this toxic lectin, at lower concentrations.
Ten minutes at 212f deactivates the toxin, but 30 minutes is recommended to bring the internal temperature up to 212f reliably. Typical gastrointestinal distress, (diarrhea, vomiting) are the usual result of inadequately cooking foods containing phytohaemagglutinin.
Slow cooking can actually be worse than eating raw beans, by making more of the toxin available. So boil those beans, or use canned beans.

Now that that's been said, we grow a lot of fava beans, and I've come up with several mouth-watering recipes that seem to please the palates of even those who dislike beans. This is one of those recipes that is superb on a cold wintry day, but I've also eaten it cold with a dollop of home made yogurt mixed in. I call it:

Green Goop Soup (The kids love that name, so it stuck)

A word of warning, I never measure anything...if the spices seem too much or too little, just adjust as you prefer. This is just a baseline to get you on the right track.

This recipe appears very much like a split pea soup (just a brighter green) but is far more flavorful and heartier.
It is more labor intensive due to the "skin" on the beans, but it is so worth it.

Use fresh green fava beans (or pre-blanched and frozen, which is how we store a lot of them) Broad beans are best due to their larger size (fewer beans to skin), but any variety of fava works.

Blanch the fava beans for 2-3 minutes, let cool, and skin them. Fava beans have a thick skin (not the pod, there is a skin on each bean) that must be removed for this recipe, they "pop" out of the skin easily after blanching. Many already know this, but it bears mentioning for those new to favas.
You will want about 3 cups of skinned beans, so start with about 4 cups of fresh green fava beans.

3 cups blanched and skinned fresh green fava beans. (dried beans just don't work well for this)
3-4 large leeks, chopped (or 2 large onions if you don't have leeks)
4 celery stalks, diced
4 carrots, chopped
1-2 potatoes, chopped
1 quart chicken or ham stock. (or vegetable stock if you are vegetarian)
A ham bone or 1/2lb diced bacon (If you prefer a dish without meat, just don't add it. The soup is great as a vegetarian meal, you just may need to add a bit more salt at the end)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried tyme
roasted, hulled sunflower seed

Place the fava beans and stock in a large pot, add more stock to cover the beans if necessary.
Bring to a boil for ten minutes then cover and reduce to a simmer for one hour
Remove 1/2 of the beans, mash them and return them to the stock. (can use a food processor if you like)

Add carrots, celery, leeks, potatoes and ham/bacon
Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered, stirring regularly to avoid burning. Cover once broth is desired consistency and continue stirring until vegetables are softened.
Add spices, reduce heat, cover and let flavors incorporate for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.

Salt to taste and liberally sprinkle sunflower seed over individual bowls just prior to serving.

This goes very well with thick sliced hearty multigrain bread or a strong home made sourdough.

Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
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This sounds really good, will need to get into my bean stash and give it a try. Totally agree on skin those beans, else you end up with tough and unless you're making bean-milk and straining the pulp off, you don't want that in your dish.

One other note, to legume lovers- if you are used to eating beans, eat them very regularly, you won't get the 'revenge of the beans'. Your system does adapt. I had to go vegan so my diet is legume-heavy and once you adjust it's great. This is just another way to enjoy your legumes. My spouse is still omnivorous so plan on making one batch as written and one veggie.

Another note, when you're cooking beans and want to add tomatoes, it seems that that ends out the cooking of the beans and it will take forever for the beans to get tender. Add tomatoes after you've hit tender and finish up your dish. I'm probably going to try adding some roasted and frozen tomato chunks to mine... will let you know how the great experiment goes.

Thanks for the recipe!
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