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Catholic Recipe: Sopa de Habas (Fava Bean Soup)


  • 2 cups shelled, dried fava beans
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed saffron threads
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • Details

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty:
  • Cost: $$$$
  • For Ages: n/a
  • Origin: Mexico

The secret to this soup is a flavorful aromatic base of tomatoes, garlic, and onions—called a recado—that is pureed and fried before the beans go into the pot.


Bring fava beans and 4 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered and stirring, until tender, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the recado: Combine tomato, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor and puree; set aside.

Heat oil in another 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add recado and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.

Add the fava beans along with their cooking liquid, saffron, and cumi. Cook the beans, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld and beans are very tender and break up in the soup, about 10 minutes.

Recipe Source: Saveur
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