This soup made from frozen or fresh fava beans is a classic dish in the Lac-Saint-Jean region, but strangely enough the fava bean is not really used in the other parts on the province of Quebec. I have to get my frozen fava beans at a Lebanase grocery store!
The recipe varies depending on the family and the vegetables on hand. It’s also very filling and satisfying when the weather turns cold with all the protein.
Making a Fava Bean Soup
If you’re making the recipe from fresh fava beans, you must first shell them. Some recipes will ask you to remove the white skin over each individual bean, but DON’T do that for soup. The inside of the beans will turn all mushy so you need the skin to hold it all together.
After this, put the following in a pressure cooker (read my pressure cooker primer if you want to learn how to use it) :
- 1 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen fava beans
- 1/4 cup of dry barley grains
- 1 cup of diced turnip
- 2/3 cup of cut green beans
- 2/3 cup of diced carrots
- 2 chicken drumsticks
- 9 cups of water
Cook for 25 minutes in the pressure cooker (from the time the pressure gauge starts moving) or about an hour in an ordinary soup pot until the fava beans are soft and mushy and the barley is well-cooked.
Remove the chicken drumsticks from the broth and remove the meat from the bones. Cut the big meat pieces in smaller bits, put them back in the soup, mix well and serve.