Hearty South American-Style Fava Bean Soup
1 lb shelled fava beans (see Tips) 500 g
1 lb potatoes, unpeeled (about 4 small) 500 g
2 ears corn 2
3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided 45 mL
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 tsp aji panca paste (see Tips) 20 mL
2 tsp chopped garlic 10 mL
2⁄3 cup jasmine rice 150 mL
1 bunch fresh oregano, chopped
8 oz fromage frais, cut into cubes (see Tips, left) 250 g
1⁄2 cup evaporated milk 125 mL
1. In a pot of boiling water, blanch fava beans until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Place potatoes in a pot and add cold, salted water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently until fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Drain until cool enough to handle. Cut into quarters and set aside.
3. In another large pot, bring 8 cups (2 L) salted water to a boil over high heat. Add corn and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Using tongs, transfer corn to a bowl and reserve cooking water. When cool enough to handle, cut cobs of corn in half crosswise. Set aside.
4. In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add aji panca paste and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add rice and stir to coat well.
5. Add reserved corn cooking water and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in oregano and potatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. In a bowl, whisk 4 of the eggs until blended. Gradually pour into soup while stirring constantly. Stir in cheese, corn and fava beans. Simmer, stirring, until heated through (do not let boil).
7. Just before serving, in a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium_high heat. Fry remaining 4 eggs sunny-side up.
8. Stir evaporated milk into soup and ladle into warmed bowls. Place a fried egg on top of each serving.
Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are native to North Africa. Once the beans have been removed from their inedible pods, steam or blanch them for 1 minute, then remove the outer skins before using in recipes. Two cups (500 mL) canned, frozen or soaked and cooked dried fava beans can be used in this soup.
Aji panca are mild dark red peppers with a fruity, slightly smoky flavor. The paste is available in jars at Latin food stores. If you can’t find it, use 2 tsp (10 mL) minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Fromage frais is a name for any type of soft, fresh cultured cheese. It is very perishable, so it must be used soon after it is made. You can often find it at specialty cheese shops – Neufchâtel is an example.
Excerpted from The Vegetarian Kitchen Table Cookbook by Igor Brotto and Olivier Guiriec © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
Photograph credit: © 2010 Les Éditions de l’Homme