A brothy, restorative soup that you will crave, even on a warm summer night.
The tender fava bean is best treated simply. It mingles well with nearly all those other little early-summer vegetables you’ll find at the farmers market, so have fun with the possibilities. Sweet peas and hakurei turnips would be lovely here instead of carrots and zucchini. Asparagus and sliced radishes? Why not. This is for those days when you crave something wholesome and clean tasting, but deeply satisfying at the same time. Of course if you make your own chicken broth the dish becomes next-level.
Makes 4 servings
- 1 1/2 pounds fava beans in pod, shelled
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
- 2 bulby spring onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces small carrots, sliced
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 8 ounces small zucchini and/or summer squash, sliced
- 2 handfuls fresh basil leaves, torn
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Grated pecorino romano cheese, to serve
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water and set it near the stove. Snap the stem ends from the fava beans and peel away the stringy seams on either side of the pods. Pull open the pods and remove the beans inside. They have a light green, waxy outer shell that needs to be removed. To do this, drop the beans in the boiling water for about 1 minute, then drain and plunge them into the ice water for a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, tear the outer shell with your fingernail and pinch out the bright green beans inside. Discard the shells.
- Heat a soup pot over medium and add the olive oil. Cook the pancetta for a few minutes until it begins to crisp and turn golden brown, then add the onions and garlic and sweat over medium-low heat until meltingly soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the sliced carrots and cook a few minutes so they begin to soften, then pour in the broth and add the zucchini, one handful of the torn basil leaves, a couple big pinches of salt and several grinds of pepper. Simmer gently until the zucchini and carrots have a nice texture and the broth is flavorful, 10 to 15 minutes, adding the fava beans in the last few minutes of cooking.
- Stir in the second handful of torn basil and ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle with lots of pecorino and drizzle with a bit more olive oil.