Martha Rose Shulman
Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield Serves four
I usually go through the tedious process of shelling and skinning fava beans to make this robust stew. But if fava beans aren’t available in local markets, use frozen skinned favas instead.
Featured in: Vegan Recipes For Lent.
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
2 medium onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
1 pound frozen shelled and skinned fava beans, or 2 pounds fresh favas, shelled and skinned
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon paprika
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
Freshly ground pepper
1 cup coarse bulgur
1. In a large, lidded skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic, half the parsley, half the cilantro and salt to taste. Continue to cook for another minute or two, stirring. Add the tomatoes, and cook, stirring often, for 10 to 15 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down and smell fragrant.
2. Add the fava beans, tomato paste, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne and 2 cups water, or enough to just cover the vegetables, and bring to a simmer. Simmer 30 minutes or until the favas are tender and the stew very fragrant. Stir in the remaining parsley and cilantro, grind in some pepper and taste and adjust salt.
3. While the stew is simmering, reconstitute the bulgur. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the bulgur and salt to taste, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and uncover. Place a clean dish towel over the pan, then replace the lid. Allow to sit undisturbed for 10 minutes. Alternatively, place the bulgur in a medium bowl with salt to taste, and cover with 2 cups hot or boiling water. Allow to sit for 20 to 25 minutes until most of the water is absorbed. Drain through a strainer, and squeeze out the water.
4. Spoon bulgur into wide soup bowls, and top with the fava bean stew. Drizzle on some olive oil, and serve.
Advance preparation: This can be made up to a day ahead and reheated. Wait until you reheat before adding the remaining parsley and cilantro. Leftovers will taste great for about five days.
Nutritional information per serving
342 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 58 grams carbohydrates; 17 grams dietary fiber; 259 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 14 grams protein