And we’re off

To France. We plan to stop in Pisa for Cecina and then Genova to eat Le Trofie al Pesto Genovese with Matteo before hitting the Cote d’Azur on Thursday, in time for my best friends wedding. Meanwhile I’d like to leave you with this. Now it’s hardly a recipe, it’s more of an idea, an introduction really, to an ingredient that seems to be rivalling a long-standing chickpea supremacy in our kitchen: Fave secche (dried broad beans).

They need soaking back to life and then cooking, like chickpeas, gently at a happy simmer for an hour or so until they are soft and tender. Once the fave are cooked they have a distinctive flavour, nutty, creamy, rather like cannellini beans crossed with chestnuts but with a slight – but pleasing – bitter edge. You can use them to make a humus-like pureè which goes beautifully with a pile of bittersweet cicoria or as we’ve taken to doing this summer, the simplest soup. We do this by passing both the fave and their cooking water through the food mill, seasoning this pale creamy puree generously with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper, and serving it with garlic croutons and lots of raw extra virgin olive oil. Simple and just delicious.

Back at the end of next week.

14 Comments

Filed under Beans and pulses, food, recipes, soup

14 responses to “And we’re off

  1. Yum. I love this soup. I’m going to try your extra minimalist version, but I think you should try topping yours with freshly toasted cumin seeds next time (http://www.thedinnerfiles.com/2009/02/15/fava-bean-soup/) just to see how you like it.

    Bon voyage!

  2. You must let me know if you find a fabulous restaurant for Le Trofie al Pesto Genovese in Genova. As it turns out, there will be a trip to Italy (Liguria).

  3. I’ve only eaten dried broad beans in Santorini where they make them into a purée – it was delicious so the soup is very appealing. Have an amazing trip! Gx

    • Boryana

      As learnt during my recent trip to Santorini, “fave” stands for split peas over there, but it means broad beans in Italy… :) some more linguistic / culinary confusion!

  4. Have a wonderful trip and wedding.

  5. Great send-off, Rach! I know that you all will have a marvelous trip and celebration. salut/cheers/mazeltov

  6. johanna

    Let us know if you eat anything wonderful and French!

  7. We love this dish in Greece. We call it “fava” and we puree it. It is one of my favorite dishes! We eat it with big chunks of onion on the side, Kalamata olives and fillets of sardines or mackerel. It’s time I made a batch. Thanks for reminding me. Have a good time in France.
    Magda

  8. I love the orange dutch oven in your first picture. I need a new dutch oven! Have a great trip!

  9. Lindie

    As it happens, there has been several shows on the Food Network recently featuring fava beans. I must try them. It’s coming up to the “soup season”. Have a wonderful trip.

  10. Gosh. This sounds so delicious. I like expat’s idea of a side of Kalamata olives. Delish!

  11. this sounds very much like perfection.

  12. Lavi

    just did it with cicerchia, yummy, still i’m wondering if cicerchia and fave secche are the same thing… planning of gettin hummus out of it too, keep you posted

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