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Fava Beans Soup
Minestra con le Fave

Main Course >> Fava Beans Soup

3 oz (100 gr) pancetta (substitute with slat pork or un-smoked bacon)
1 onion
1 celery stick
1 carrot
1 garlic clove
1 sping of Italian parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 oz (100gr) ripe tomato, finely chopped
3/4 lb (300 gr) shelled fresh small fava beans
2 quarts (2 liters) chocken broth
1/2 lb (200 gr) short dry italian pasta (small ditali, tubetti or similar)
2 oz (60 gr) pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated

Chop very finely together the pancetta, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and parsley.  In a saucepan place the olive oil. Add the chopped vegetable mix and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the chopped tomato and stir for one or two minutes to combine.

Add the fresh shelled fava beans.

Add the broth and bring the soup to a boil.

Add the pasta.

Cover the pot and cook following the manufacturer’s instructions, checking from time to time, until pasta is “al dente” firm but not overcooked.

When the soup is ready, add the cheese. Serve hot or lukewarm, with more cheese on top if desired.

Fava Beans Soup is a very rustic dish of peasant origin. It needs to be done with fresh shelled fava beans. Fava beans have a very short season in the spring. The opportunities to make this wonderful tasting soup therefore are reduced to a few weeks, as Fava is normally found only at the Farmers Markets and for a very short time. Chose small fresh beans with unblemished bright green skin which are tender and sweet.