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Fantastic Fava Bean Soup

Italian Soup

When it’s cold outside this will warm your insides!


  • 8 oz dry fava beans
  • 9 oz swiss chard or kale
  • 1 ½ oz pancetta or guanciale – diced
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 slices stale crusty bread
  • salt & pepper – to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves – peeled, left whole


  1. Sort through the fava beans, eliminating any hard ones and place in a bowl large enough to hold them covered with water and soak overnight.
  2. Add the 2 garlic cloves to the water with a pinch of salt. Rinse once or twice before morning.
  3. When ready to make the soup, peel and slice the onion very thin.
  4. Dice the pancetta or guanciale.
  5. Heat a little olive oil in a soup pot, add the pancetta or guanciale and brown slowly over a medium heat.
  6. Add the onions and sauté until they are getting slightly soft and translucent, being very careful to not let the onions burn.
  7. Add the fava beans with enough of the soaking water to cover by a few inches and cook on medium heat for about an hour.
  8. When the beans are ready, they should be slightly mushy.
  9. Taste and adjust the seasonings, remembering that the pancetta or guanciale is salty.
  10. Rinse and shake dry the swiss chard or kale and cut or tear into strips or smaller pieces.
  11. Add to the pot with the fava beans and add a few sprinklings of freshly ground black pepper. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  12. Sprinkle the stale bread with some extra virgin olive oil and place on the bottom of two soup bowls.
  13. Ladle the hot soup over the bread, sprinkle with a little extra virgin olive and freshly grated cheese and serve hot.

Note: I like to remove a cup of beans and some broth and spin in the processor until smooth. Add back to the pot and stir to combine with a few sprinkles of hot pepper flakes for a little heat.

Buon Mangiata!


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