Monday, March 16, 2015

Is it Spring Yet? Mimi's Fava Bean Soup

Peas, artichokes, asparagus, leeks and fava beans, they all signify spring (which seems like an eternity away).

They are the first little green friends that help us welcome in the new season.
Bye bye winter.

This is a gorgeous soup.

Probably gorgeous because of the garnishes, and oh so good when I use my winter chicken stock from the freezer.

How come no one warned me about shelling fava beans?
What a big pain in the butt.

Way worse than pitting cherries.
Wins for my least favorite chore.

Mimi shells fava beans effortlessly (she also has 7 kids, that equals 14 extra little hands to help her).

I met Mimi in NYC with her son Hudson at her book signing, she was the loveliest person and very approachable. The 8 year old told me that "it isn't so bad shelling beans" (he was so sweet).

Mimi makes everything look effortless, and looks beautiful doing so!

I cheated a little by buying frozen fava beans.

They were already shelled from the pod, however, the second step of removing the outer shell is not done for you, a simple task unless you are shelling 4 cups!!!! Keeping them a bit frozen helps with the process.

Mimi's recipe only uses 1/3 cup of stock, which is definitely not enough for 4 I took the liberty and used 3 cups of my chicken stock, and the soup was thick, rich and perfect and made enough for 4 bowls.

The only garnish I skipped was the mascarpone, not a big fan unless it is in a dessert.
I used creme fraiche instead.

The idea is to have all the garnishes ready in the bottoms of soup bowls, then pour the rich green soup over the little treats in the bowl.

This soup was hearty enough for a main dish and the perfect lunch or dinner.

Mimi's Fava Bean Soup (adapted from A Kitchen in France)

16 oz. of fava beans, shelled and skins removed (about 2 full cups)
1 large onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 potato, peeled and cubed
3 cups of good chicken stock
salt & pepper


slices of ciabatta or baguette
olive oil
garlic halves for rubbing the bread
bacon slices
1 shallot, minced
handful of fresh mint, chopped
creme fraiche for swirling

In a large stock pot, heat some olive oil and cook the onions for 4 minutes, until soft.
Add in the potatoes and garlic and cook another minute.

Add in the stock and fava beans and bring to a boil.
Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 mintues, until the potatoes are soft.
Season w/ salt & pepper to taste.

I use an immersion blender, but a regular blender is fine.
Puree the mixture until you have a nice, thick green soup.

Place the garnishes in a bowl and pour the hot soup over and around them.

Add in a swirl of creme fraiche and enjoy!


Proud Italian Cook said...

That is a gorgeous soup! Yes they are a pain shelling, I'll sit down and do it while I'm watching tv in the kitchen I got mine from Traders, frozen, which does save a little time and they are delicous!
I love that bright green color!

Anonymous said...

Very gorgeous bright green soup. Thanks for the tip, Marie - I'll look for frozen favas next TJ's trip. I had SUCH a disappointment with my last batch of *Jewish-Style* sweet split pea soup. The split peas never softened. I soaked them beforehand, cooked them FOREVER, and still little hard nubs. I found out on the net that this can be a problem - Who knew?