About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sometimes being able to cook brings its own set of problems. Like when someone, your partner for instance, brings home an ingredient and asks you to make something of it.

Like a pack of dried broad beans and being asked to deal with it.

Fortunately, I'd just watched the Moroccan episode of Rick Stein's Mediterranean Escapes, where he enjoyed a bowl of soup called bessara, pretty much made from dried broad beans and not a lot else.

According to Rick, Bessara is a speciality of Chefchaouen, a city in Northwest Morocco and any place with chef in the name has got to have good food, right?

The soup looked thick, unctuous and inviting in complete contrast to the dried broad beans I'd been given, which still had the skin on, which, even after a bit of a soak were the devil to remove. Ahem, peeled next time.

Even though the main body of the soup consists of just broad beans and garlic, it's the condiments that really bring it to life, in particular, the squeeze of lemon juice right at the end. Where my adaption differs from Rick's is that I've cooked the chile and cumin into the soup, whereas he prefers to sprinkle it on at the end.

(serves 6)

500g dried shelled & split broad beans, soaked overnight
6 to 10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon dried chile flakes - optional
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt & fresh ground pepper

To serve: Olive oil, paprika, lemon wedges, finely shredded coriander

Drain and rinse the broad beans and add them to a pot with 2 litres water and bring to the boil, skimming any scum that rises. Add the garlic cloves, dried chile flakes and cumin and allow to simmer away for an hour or so until the beans are starting to disintegrate. Blend the soup in batches until smooth and pass through a sieve back into the pot. Add water if the soup is too thick, but it does need to be nicely creamy. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper, reheat gently.

Ladle the soup into bowls, drizzle on some olive oil, sprinkle on some paprika and shredded coriander, Serve with lemon wedges.
  posted at 4:53 pm

At 10:55 pm, Anonymous Buy Online Food said...

Can you order broad beans online like from an organic food online shop? Or perhaps there is another name for them that I may not be aware of. I would love to try this soup recipe because it looks unique.

At 12:06 pm, Anonymous sarah @ For the Love of Food said...

What a happy coincidence of food watching and food gathering :) It's nice when you get to try something you've just watched and show how amazing you are to your partner at the same time!

At 5:48 pm, Anonymous Sean Grey Hanson said...

Just to share. I am fan of watching cooking shows and I've seen something similar from this recipe but I find it difficult to follow. Good thing to know, I found this recipe - though it's kinda different.

At 4:38 pm, Anonymous Appetise Food Photography said...

Nice and simple step by step...that's why I prefer written out recipes the TV ones

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