Fava Bean Stew with Garlic, Thyme, and Bay Leaves

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


This is a country dish that is commonly served as an accompaniment to meze—a traditional assortment of small plates—at Kamares Taverna, in the southern town of Lofou. It is often eaten with freshly baked bread, which is used to sop up the aromatic broth. Be sure to choose dried fava beans that have their seed coat still intact; if hulled and split, they'll disintegrate when cooked.


  • 1 lb. dried fava beans
  • 14 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more, to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Slices of country-style bread, for serving


Step 1

Put the fava beans into a large bowl, cover with water by 3", and let soak in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

Step 2

Drain fava beans; set aside. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaves, and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Step 3

Add the fava beans and broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the broth has thickened slightly, about 2 1⁄2 hours.

Step 4

Season the fava bean stew with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon juice. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle more olive oil over the top. Serve with the bread.

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