I’m almost positive that the first time I tried fava beans was here in México City as the filling of a blue corn tlacoyo (a football shaped masa patty that can have various fillings and topped with salsa, cheese, onion and cilantro) about 3 years ago. I remember enjoying its slightly sweet aftertaste and soft grainy texture combined with the saltiness of the masa and salsa.
Originally from the Middle East, fava beans are long green pods with large oval shaped seeds inside. The seeds are what are generally used for culinary purposes and are found in Mexican markets both the in their fresh and dried forms. They are frequently sold in fresh salads in markets and stands and are also used in soups, fillings for tlacoyos, patties (tortitas) and as a snack food, toasted with chile, lime and salt. Aside from their nutritional value, there are also recognized as an aphrodisiac.
I really like this recipe because of it’s simplicity. It doesn’t require expensive or special ingredients, but rather its deliciousness is due to the combination of a few really flavorful ingredients.
Fava Bean Soup
- 1 lb of dried fava beans
- 2 tomatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic
- ½ onion
- Olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground cumin
- Chopped onion
- Slices of avocado
(You can definitely play around with the garnishes, for example you can use parsley instead of cilantro, or sprinkle cheese or chopped radishes on the soup)
Rinse off the fava beans and bring to a boil in about 2 ½ liters of water for approximately 2 hours (its normal that the beans fall apart). While the beans are cooking roast the tomatoes, onions and garlic on a comal until blackened. (If you don’t have a comal you can roast them in a broiler or in a pan). Blend the mixture of vegetables. Heat olive oil in a pot, add the mixture, and let cook for about 5 minutes. Add the cooked fava beans and add salt and pepper. If you want the soup to be thinner add chicken broth or water, I personally like the soup thicker. Serve with chopped cilantro and onion and with avocado slices.