Last updated on April 8th, 2019
I recently read recipe development instructions that stated: “should not include ingredients that are too obscure or aren’t available for the average cook, such as cumin.” Cumin! In a pinch, I’m pretty sure I’ve picked up cumin at 7-11 or the drugstore at midnight (sometimes you need tacos, guys). Living in California with a meyer lemon tree in my yard has probably slanted my perception of what counts as obscure, but surely cumin is common, right?
Earlier that same day, I plucked weeds from my backyard to garnish this fava bean soup.
Back when we were rolling crackers the size of our heads, Phi told me in a very convincing way that the dainty white flowers in my yard were edible and picked a few for me to try first – “Truuuuust me.” Heck, the deer have been enjoying the flowers all spring, so they’re probably safe, right? I didn’t hallucinate (darn), and with that (along with some serious internet research on foraging weeds because I’m definitely not as easy-breezy as I pretend), my soup got decked out with
weeds wild onion flower pretties.
While they taste faintly like chives, they’re really just for looks guys. Soup jewelry. They won’t make or break the flavor not one bit, but if you’ve also got wild onion flowers taking over your backyard, then by all means, dress up your soup.
I knew the oxalis sour grass was safe to gnaw on and have considered turning it into pesto, but wondered if I need also include an open invitation to come pick my weeds for your dinner in the recipe notes (anyone else have this yellow flowered clover taking over their yard?). So that’s on hold for now.
Today’s soup comes inspired from a similar starter my mom and I split at Rivoli last Thursday while celebrating finally submitting a full first draft of my dissertation to my advisor (!!). With two of my favorite spring crops – fava beans and english peas – this soup tastes like springtime in a bowl.
There’s something therapeutic about shelling fava beans. First you pull the seeds from their cushioned velvety pod, and after a quick blanch, pop the bright green bean out of its papery skin. When cooked up and puréed, fava beans mimic a creamy butter sauce in flavor and texture, but are also dense in nutrients. Vegetable witchcraft.
Swirled with a bright lemon crème fraîche and drizzled with an herby thyme-infused olive oil, this soup is creamy, rich, and refreshing all in one bowl. This warm bowl of springtime legumes and fresh herbs bridges the gap between winter and spring as the sun peeks out to melt the snow for the rest of the country.
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Fava Bean Soup
Thyme Olive Oil
Lemon Crème Fraîche