It’s ridiculously freezing outside, with temps in the teens and lower. When I ran outside for a second to get something, I remembered the steamy warmth that soup brings. A quick visit to the pantry and I spied some fava beans and some summer canned tomatoes and this soup was born. With the addition of spinach, potatoes, onion and garlic, it’s a hearty soup that pairs well with some crusty bread or a salad.
NOTE ON DRIED FAVA BEANS: Fava beans are high in dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, copper and manganese, and a good source of folate. That said, they can be annoying if you purchase the dried unskinned beans (that means the beans have the tough seed coating that needs to be removed). If you have this type of fava, you can either soak them overnight and skin them, or, bring to a boil and let them sit for an hour or so and skin them. It’s tedious but necessary. You can also buy them already skinned, which is highly recommended. Either way, they are delicious, but if you can avoid the extra work, go for it.
1 ½ cups Dried Fava Beans, skinned (SEE NOTE) and soaked for about 2 hours
1 pint Canned Diced Tomatoes
1 medium Onion, Chopped
2 small Potatoes, Large Diced (We like purple for color but any are fine)
2 cups Chopped Spinach (frozen is ok)
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Salt (or to taste)
1 tsp Black Pepper (or to taste)
2 tbsp. chopped Fresh Parsley (can use 1 tsp dried if fresh not available)
1 tbsp. chopped Fresh Thyme (can omit if unavailable)
4-5 cups Water (use soaking liquid and/or frozen bean cooking liquid saved from other recipes)
Step One: In a soup pot, heat oil and gently sauté onions and garlic on medium heat until soft.
Step Two: Add dried spices and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Step Three: Add chopped tomato and cook on medium-high about 5 more minutes.
Step Four: Add all remaining ingredients except spinach. Simmer for about 40 minutes until fava beans begin to fall apart. You can also pressure cook on high for 6 minutes, which speeds this recipe up a lot.
Step Five: When fava beans begin to disintegrate, add spinach and cook 10 more minutes so the spinach is cooked through but not overcooked.
Step Six: Adjust seasonings, adding more chili powder, parsley, etc. as desired.
Makes about 8 hearty servings and freezes well. Enjoy while contemplating warmer times.