Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Dried Fava Bean Soup with Mint & Ancho Chillies

Dried fava bean soup with mint & ancho chilies
  • 450g hulled dry fava beans (rinsed)
  • 2 litres good vegetable stock
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 large white onion, sliced 1/2-inch / 1 cm thick
  • 680g ripe tomatoes
  • 6 medium dried ancho chillies, stemmed & seeded
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 10g loosely packed chopped coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 55g crumbled feta cheese

Thoroughly rinse the dried fava beans and place in a large pot and cover with the stock.  Simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, until very tender, about an hour.
While the beans are simmering, heat some oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the finely chopped onions, cook for 5 minutes until they become translucent and then add the minced garlic cloves and cook for a further 5 minutes, being careful not to let the garlic burn, then set aside.  Chop the tomatoes in half and place them on a baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil over them, then roast in the oven for around 30 minutes until softened.  Cool a bit, then chop the tomatoes into small pieces, saving all the juices.
Add the garlic, onion, and tomatoes to the fava beans and simmer until the beans are the consistency of a coarse puree, 15-30 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, cut the chillies into confetti-shaped flecks using scissors or a sharp knife. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the chillies and stir for a minute, then remove from the heat. Add the vinegar, 3 tablespoons of water, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside and let stand for at least 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally.
Just before serving, add enough water, if necessary, to bring the soup to the consistency of a medium-thick bean soup. Let the soup come back up to a simmer, remove from heat, then stir in the mint, coriander, and another teaspoon of salt. Taste, and add more salt if needed, but keep in mind the cheese is salty as well. Serve with a dollop of the chilli mixture, sprinkled with a bit of the cheese.
Adapted from the Slow-Simmered Fava Bean Soup with Mint and Pasilla Chile recipe in Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen.