A Recipe for Bessara (Broad Bean & Garlic Soup)

Broad beans, also known as fava beans, are gaining a newfound popularity in mainstream American cooking, but they’ve been around for ages.  The Arabic word for this dish is bessara, but the Amazigh (Berber) peoples call it talsha.  We just call it good!

Did You Know . . .

. . . that fava beans are one of the oldest crops known to man? Their recorded cultivation extends into prehistoric times.
Ingredients
  • 1 3/4 pints water
  • 1 lb fresh broad beans, shelled and skinned OR 9 ounces dried broad beans, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Lemon wedge for squeezing
Procedure
  1. Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan, then add the beans, garlic, and salt.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  If using dried broad beans, triple the cooking time.
  2. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend with the olive oil and spices. Adjust the salt, if necessary.
  3. Pour into four bowls, and serve each with a drizzle of olive oil and a light squeeze of lemon juice.
Preparation Time: Varies, depending on broad beans used
Servings: 4
Source: Medina Kitchen, by Fiona Dunlop
Submitted to Caravan Cuisine by: Amanda Jones

Broad beans, also known as fava beans, are gaining a newfound popularity in mainstream American cooking, but they’ve been around for ages.  The Arabic word for this dish is bessara, but the Amazigh (Berber) peoples call it talsha.  We just call it good!

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This entry was posted to Caravan Cuisine on Thursday, June 9th, 2011 at 8:00 am and is filed under Soups and Sides.

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