Potato And Fava Bean Soup

It's harvest time in Edmonton, and that means fresh, delicious food from our gardens at virtually no cost to the environment. Last night I made some soup, with 90% of the ingredients coming from my garden or the farmer's market. If I had a bigger/better garden, it could have been a 100-foot diet soup.

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 medium sized potatoes, cubed
  • a small handful of fresh dill
  • some marjoram
  • onions, diced
  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 or 3 cups of shelled, peeled Fava Beans
  • milk (optional)
  • butter (optional)
  • green onions or chives (optional)

I pulled out my trusty soup pot, which happens to be the world's most energy-efficient, and fried the onions for about five minutes:

Then I chopped up some dill from my garden:

And added the water, cubed potatoes, dill and marjoram into the pot:

Since I was using my thermal cooker, I brought the water to a boil, then turned off the burner, put the cooker on its insulated stand, and left it for an hour. Since it's insulated, it keeps on cooking, so the potatoes were nice and soft, and the flavours nicely fused after the hour. With a standard pot, you would keep it boiling for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes were soft.

Next, I went out to my garden (okay, I actually did this beforehand):

And picked a whole bunch of Fava Beans:

The beans are in big green pods, and need to be shelled. Once they're shelled, you blanch (boil) them for 3 minutes, and peel them:

Shelled Fava Beans that have just been blanched for 3 minutes, then cooled with water

Bright Green Peeled Fava Beans (peels in the sink)

Once the soup was cooked, I added some milk and butter, and blended it up using a hand held blender:

The colours didn't come out so well on this shot - hand blending saves dishes compared to ladelling the soup into a blender.

The, I added the Fava Beans and the salt and pepper, and garnished with green onions. With the beans, dill and green onions coming from my garden, and the white onions and potatoes coming from the farmer's market, this is a very earth-friendly dish. It tasted wonderful, as well.

Fava Beans

I think that fava beans, or broad beans, have a bright future as a staple food in Edmonton. Unlike most kitchen garden foods, they provide what could be an important source of protein. Plus, being legumes, they fix nitrogen in the soil, so they require little or no fertilizer.

Since the seeds are huge, the plant is super easy to grow. Practically no matter what, the seedling will make it to the surface. They rarely need to be watered, and it's really easy to harvest seeds for the next season by just leaving a few pods on a plant to dry out.

Plant in the spring, and harvest when the pods get big, in late July or early August. There is a second wave of pods a couple of weeks later. Happy growing! I hope you like to eat them as much as I do, too.

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You really should have your own restaurant. This looks fantastically good.

"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come." (Chinese Proverb)

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