Dried Broad Beans (Fava Beans) are a great substitute for fresh broad beans once their season has finished. They don’t exactly taste like the fresh version, but are pretty good in their own right and make the smoooooothest divine puree for a dip or spread. But today we are making an Autumn soup. If you think of fresh broad beans as being quintessentially Spring, the dried incarnation of them are the essence of Autumn.
The downside is that they need to be peeled before cooking. They say that dried, peeled Broad Beans are available, even split ones, but I have been unsuccessful in my search for them. Thus it is necessary to soak the dried beans for 12 – 24 hours beforehand, then slip the peels from them, and only then put them on to cook. Not every recipe you see will tell you this trick – it seems to be rather a secret. I will usually soak the beans for around 24 hours, and sit peeling them at night while I am watching TV or talking to the kids.
Dried Fava Bean Soup with Turmeric and Herbs | Dried Broad Bean Soup
this is a soup where the ingredient amounts are approximate, and it is the sort of soup you can use whatever is handy on your kitchen bench, in your cupboards or in the fridge.
300g dried fava beans (dried broad beans)
0.5 tspn turmeric
1.5 white onions, diced
0.25 or more of a small fennel bulb, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
green fennel and other soft herbs
1 dried red chilli
1 black cardamom pod
6 juniper berries
0.5 tspn coriander seeds
0.5 tspn peppercorns, black and green mixed (or black only)
0.25 cup whole red lentils (masoor lentils)
0.5 cup olive oil + extra
The day before, soak the beans in hot water for 12 – 24 hours, then drain the beans and peel them. Place the peeled beans in enough water to cover them well. Add the olive oil as well, and the turmeric.
Sauté the onion until golden, then add the fennel slices and garlic and saute for 3 or 4 more minutes until the fennel begins to soften.
Add them to the beans with the diced tomato, chilli, herbs, rosemary, bay leaf, black cardamom, coriander seeds, juniper berries and lentils.
Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, on a low setting, stirring often and checking the water levels, until the beans are beginning to disintegrate but some retain a little bite.
Thin the soup with water or stock if required. Bring back to a simmer. Season with sea salt and add some freshly chopped parsley if desired.
Serve and enjoy!
recipe notes and alternatives
The soup is even better the next day.