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Catholic Recipe: Maccu


  • About 1/2 lb. dried chestnuts
  • 3/4 lb. dried fava beans
  • 1/2 lb. dried split peas
  • 1/4 lb. dried garbanzo beans
  • 1/3 lb. dried kidney beans
  • 1/4 lb. lentils
  • 1/3 cup fresh borage, chopped or 1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped leaves of wild fennel
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 dried tomatoes, about 2 Tablespoons, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, sliced finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Prep Time: 1 day, 5 hours

Difficulty: • •

Cost: $$$$

For Ages:11+

Origin: Italy


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Also Called: Fava Bean Soup

Fava beans are the legendary "lucky bean". Once considered fodder for cattle, these blessed dried beans are distributed at altars in memory of their role during the terrible famine. This recipe is adapted from Celebrating Italy. This recipe can be used for the Sicilian St. Joseph Table or Altar tradition.


Soak the chestnuts and all the beans, except the lentils, in water overnight. Next morning drain them and squeeze off the skins from the fava beans. Put all the beans and peas along with the lentils in 9 to 10 cups of salted water, bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Add the herbs, onion, tomatoes and celery; continue cooking another 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the beans are well cooked and the entire soup is thick and rich. Add a bit more water if you needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Recipe Source: Recipes for a Holy Family by Holy Family Academy, Manassas, VA, Morris Press, 1999