Cook once eat twice with this richly spiced fava bean soup with string beans and tomato that makes enough to feed an army!
spiced fava bean soup with string beans and tomato

I always forget just how high maintenance fresh favas are until I get them in my fridge and, not only do they demand some VIP shelf space, but they want to be shelled.


It’s like, you give them an inch and they try to steal your entire afternoon.

Those rascals.


So, why keep buying them, spring after spring?

Fava bean high.

It’s the only logical explanation.

Just like new moms have endorphins to help them forget labor pain and athletes have runner’s highs that convince them to sign up for more half marathons mere hours after they’ve wheezed their way through the last one, the sight of fava beans elicits some sort of visceral response that keeps me coming back year after year.

They’re just such an auspicious little legume, heralding the start of all that is right in this world. Like ice cream season and figs and fresh local strawberries.

So how can one be anything but euphoric when one spots them at the market? And then how can one not bring an oversized bag full of them home?

And then promptly turn it into soup because while the season on the calendar says spring, the cold and rain outside would beg to differ.

This soup in particular is a tomato-based, veggie-stuffed soup that is spiced rather than being spicy, so it warms you up from the inside out. After just one delicious bite you’ll realize that all that double shelling you had to go through to get it? Totally worth it.

Spiced Fava Bean Soup with String Beans and Tomato
Cook once eat twice with this richly spiced fava bean soup with string beans and tomato! It makes enough to feed an army!
Yield: 6 servings
  • 1 lb fresh fava beans
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 14.5 oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lb string beans, trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ lb gluten-free pasta
  • ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup chopped unsalted roasted pistachios
  1. Remove the fava beans from their pods. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add fava beans and boil for 1 minute. Drain and then rinse with cold water. Peel second skin off of fava beans. Set beans aside.
  2. Put onions and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic to the pot, season with salt and black pepper and cook over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add in the cumin and coriander and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown. Add the tomatoes and cook until the mixture is jammy, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Add in the string beans and fava beans. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add in the pasta and cook until tender. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  5. Serve topped with yogurt and pistachios.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl

For more fava bean recipes, check out these:

Warm Fava Shallot Barley Salad

Sauteed Radishes with Fava Beans from Gourmande in the Kitchen

Mashed Fava Bean and Smoked Salmon Flatbread from Taste Love and Nourish

Creamy Fava-Dill Soup from An Edible Mosaic

Fava, Radish and Shaved Fennel Salad from The Lemon Bowl


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41 Responses to Spiced Fava Bean Soup with String Beans and Tomato

  1. Love your intro to this recipe 🙂 I haven’t cooked fava beans before but this high you speak of sounds pretty great, haha, so maybe I should give them a try!

  2. I’ve never tried (or even seen in person!) fava beans, but if they’re worth the effort of shelling TWICE, they must be amazing. I’ll have to keep my eye out for them this year!

  3. Fava beans are one of my favorite beans! This looks delicious.

  4. bellini says:

    I have only ever bought frozen lava beans where all the work is done for you. I can imagine though that there is nothing quite so euphoric as fresh.

  5. Kathryn says:

    This dish is just bursting with spring goodness!

  6. Oh oh!! Yes, please, I’ll take a bowl please!

  7. Gee I have get some fava beans now, and need to make this, since NY is still blistering cold these past few days, thanks Joanne for the recipe!

  8. I do not have enough fava bean recipes in my life considering how much I love them. This soup would be worth all the effort and then some — looks SO good!

  9. I think this would feed an army of one since I would have a really hard time sharing this yumminess :). This looks so great, Joanne. So excited about this explosions of flavors!

  10. Julia says:

    Confession: I’ve never bought a fava bean in my life and need to do so pronto. I love ALL things bean/legume-y, so I’m ready to hit this soup hard. Love all the fresh variety of veggies you’ve got going on in that bowl o’ bliss!

  11. Pam says:

    I have a secret… I’ve never bought or eaten fava beans before. This soup looks hearty, filling, and tasty!

  12. LOVE fava beans! This stew looks healthy and delicious, Joanne.

  13. I found some frozen fava beans at TJ’s a few weeks ago, score!

  14. Oops, didn’t mean to post just that^
    I love the spices & ingredients in this. Pinned!

  15. Tara says:

    Yuuum, fava beans are the best! I like eating soup when it’s hot out- and ice cream when it’s cold. 🙂 Something must be wrong w/ my internal temperature, ha.

  16. cheri says:

    Fava beans are a lot of work, but with a great outcome. This has got to be good, love the combination of ingredients.

  17. I’ve never bought fresh fava beans, but I just might have to so I can experience the fava bean high! The soup looks fantastic, so hearty and comforting!

  18. Kate says:

    I admit, Fava Beans are way too high maintenance for me.

  19. Susan says:

    I am in the group of never having tried them so I need to find out what the fuss is all about! If I can find them, that is.

  20. Juliana says:

    I have never cooked with fava beans…I had only roasted fava beans…this soup looks delicious, hearty and full of flavor. Great meal Joanne!
    Hope you are having a lovely week 😀

  21. Megan says:

    Looks amazing! I really wanted fresh favas to put in my farro but I can’t find them yet. I’ve never tried prepping them, but I’ve heard it’s time-consuming. Definitely worth it to me though! They just taste so good!

  22. Caroline says:

    This looks so incredible…I want to reach into my screen and eat it right now! I love fava beans! Pinning right now!

  23. gloria says:

    Love fava beans and this look beautiful!

  24. P says:

    The taste must be worth all of the labor :)!

  25. I have never bought fresh fava beans, but it definitely looks worth the effort of shelling 🙂

  26. Mary says:

    Oh Joanne! this soup looks so good – so full of goodness:)

  27. I am pretty sure fava beans are called something else here, but I’m doubting my memory in recalling what it is. Do you guys have broad beans too? If not, I think your fava beans are our broad beans. Clearly I don’t eat our equivalent enough or I’d have better recall!

  28. Hotly Spiced says:

    How dreadful is your Spring! There’s only 30 days until the start of summer. Perhaps you’re just going to skip Spring and go from winter to summer. Fava beans? We call these broad beans and yes, they do take up a lot of fridge space, especially if you buy them in their pods. And yes, they’re time consuming especially if you’re going to pod them all. But aren’t they lovely and they are such a pretty shade of green. I haven’t had them in soup but I do love them in pasta xx

  29. This looks delicious. Perfect for cool spring day.

  30. Lynna says:

    Whatttttt, how come I have never heard of fava beans????

    And I need to get on that runner`s high thing again. It’s the only thing that motivates me to fun! Haha~

  31. Eva says:

    This looks delicious !

  32. Deena kakaya says:

    I did chuckle at your anology of oxytocin pumped new mums, in relation to the high you experience with fava beans! I need some more of that high, I’m getting onto it 😉 x

  33. Johanna GGG says:

    I confess I was comforted when I saw the soup had pasta – I am not a huge fan of fava beans – too fiddly – nor string beans – too fiddly – but it they have pasta well that is easy peasy so the soup seems more doable.

  34. I love how many colours, textures and flavours are in this bowl.

  35. Shannon says:

    yeah… still not convinced its worth shelling twice 😉 but i’ll eat it if you feed it to me!!

  36. Mmm fava beans are so delicious, I would eat this in a second 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  37. I have to say I’m lazy when it comes to peeling fava beans. Somewhere I saw you can puree unpeeled. Would love a bowl of this Joanne!

  38. Reeni says:

    HOLY soup! That is a boatload of healthy delicious! Good comfort for all this rain and your cold too.

  39. tigerfish says:

    What a “beany” dish! I like fresh fava beans but I seldom buy/cook them cos of the prep.

  40. I don’t use fresh favas nearly enough. They’re totally worth the work, though! 🙂

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