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Haba Bean Soup

By Chef John Ash

Haba beans are peeled dried fava beans. This recipe is not only delicious as a soup but also as a sauce to pool around almost anything, from sautéed greens to grilled or pan seared fish or chicken. Perfect with Les Pierres Chardonnay.

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    Serves 2

    Total Time 5 hours

    Prep Time 4 hours

    Difficulty Level Medium


    6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    2 c (2 small) finely chopped onions

    2 tbsp finely chopped garlic

    1 c chopped celery or fennel

    1 tbsp ground cumin

    1 tsp crushed fennel seed

    1/4 tsp red chile flakes

    2 c dried haba beans, rinsed and soaked for 4 hours and drained

    5-6 c tasty chicken or vegetable stock


    Freshly ground pepper

    1-2 tbsp dried sumac powder or fresh lemon juice

    Freshly grated aged goat cheese such as crottin or parmesan (optional)


    1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a deep soup pot and add the onions, garlic and celery and sauté over moderate heat until crisp tender. Add the cumin, fennel seed and chile flakes and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes until spices become fragrant.

    2. Add the soaked habas and stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until beans are very tender and falling apart. Cool slightly and puree mixture with an immersion or regular blender. If using the latter be careful since hot liquids expand mightily.

    3. Fill blender jar only half full, use lowest speed and cover top with a clean towel rather than the lid to allow for expansion. Season to your taste with salt and pepper.

    4. To serve: Sprinkle sumac on top of soup or alternately stir in a teaspoon or two of fresh lemon juice into each serving. Drizzle remaining olive oil around and finish with a grating of cheese, if using.

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