Fava Bean Soup

Odette Cocula a native of the village of Frayssinet, near Cahors in the Lot, sometimes prepares this hearty springtime soup for his neighbors.

Fava Bean Soup
This hearty spring soup comes from a small village near Cahors, in France. It's deliciously fresh but thick enough to satisfy on a brisk spring day.
Yield: serves 8

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp. duck fat
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 leeks, white part only, split lengthwise, washed, and sliced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste or 1 ripe plum tomato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 10 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups fresh fava beans, shelled, blanched and peeled, or 3 cups frozen fava beans, blanched, and peeled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices country bread

Instructions

  1. Melt duck fat in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, 2 cloves of the garlic, and the leeks; saute until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add potatoes and chicken stock and simmer for 1 hour. Use a potato masher to slightly crush vegetables. Add fava beans and cook for 5 minutes, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Rub bread on both sides with remaining garlic clove, then toast on both sides in a preheated broiler. Put a piece of toasted bread in each of 8 soup bowls, then ladle soup and vegetables over bread.