Sopa de Habas (Fava Bean Soup)
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. This recipe first appeared in our May 2011 issue, with the article Mexico Feeds Me.
Enlarge Image Credit: Todd Coleman
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
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.