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Sopa de Habas - Mexican Fava Bean Recipe

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Serves 6 | Prep Time Soaking of the beans: 20 min - if using Instant Pot (otherwise overnight) | Cook Time 30 min - If using Instant Pot (otherwise longer)

Why I Love This Recipe

FEATURING: Tomato, onion, garlic and cilantro.

A delicious traditional Mexican soup that is full of taste. This is a modified version to a quick Instant Pot version, which takes a lot less time to soak and prep. Basically, it is still really delicious, but waaaaaaayyyyyyyyy easier and faster. We like to serve this soup with corn and/or salad (great with any kale salad too) and homemade bread such as the 10 min dough ( used to make buns). Recipe slightly adapted from:

You can also soak the beans overnight and cook the soup on the stove the traditional way - it will just take longer.

Ingredients You'll Need

1 lb (454 g) of dried large fava beans or lima beans – see NOTES below for how to soak beans
2Tb olive oil
1 large onion, finely minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium-large tomato, chopped (or 3 roma tomatoes, chopped)
Salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
6 cups vegetable broth (or water)

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
A bit of freshly cut jalapeño pepper (or dried red chili pepper flakes or a few drops of hot sauce) (optional)
Freshly ground pepper (optional)


1. Pre-soak the beans - see options below.
2. Turn on your sauté function on the Instant Pot, and add olive oil to heat (note: you can also do step 2 through 4 in a pot on the stove).
3. Add onion and garlic, and stir frequently until they begin to caramelize – about 5 minutes.
4. Add chopped tomatoes and give it a stir, seasoning with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
5. Add fava beans and broth, and turn off Sauté mode on Instant Pot. Put top on Instant Pot, and press Manual mode, and adjust the time to 20 minutes (push the “-“ button till you get there – you won’t have to hit any start buttons once you get to 20, it will automatically start pressurizing once it realizes you’re no longer changing the Cook Setting set to 4 min. I also have used the Bean/Stew setting for a much shorter period of time – push comes to shove, you can always do that, though my favorite flavour and texture was with Manual setting).
6. When the cooking time has completed, carefully do a slow release of pressure. What do I mean by that? I mean open the valve on the Instant Pot just a little bit (remember to do this from the side so you don’t burn your hand), and let out some steam. Close it after a couple of seconds. If anything other than steam comes out (foam or liquid), immediately close the valve, and wait for 10-20 seconds before trying again. Proceed in this fashion until the pressure has been released and the valve drops.
7. Check your soup’s texture: the beans should be so soft that they are easily crushed with some stirring (give it a very quick mash or whir with a handblender – just enough to get a cloudy base, but still with some intact beans).
8. Check your seasoning, and add more salt/pepper if desired. Add the fresh cilantro. Serve, add a bit more cilantro to each bowl along with a bit of jalapeño (or red chilli pepper flakes) and freshly ground pepper (optional).

Soaking overnight is easy– but for those of us that can’t always soak (or can’t remember to do so!), there are very good alternative methods!
* Option 1: Overnight soak (4—8 hours): Soak them at night – just give them a quick rinse in a colander and pour them into a big pot, covering with water. The next day, when you’re ready to cook, just drain your beans in the colander again and use to cook.
* Option 2 - Quick soak on the stove (1 hour): Rinse the beans in a colander as above, then pour them in a large pot and cover with water. Then, turn the heat up on stove, and bring beans to a boil. It doesn’t take long, especially because it’s okay to use a high heat, and then I let them boil for two minutes. Then, turn it off and cover them, and let them soak in that for an hour.
* Option 2 - Express soak with Instant Pot (20 min): Rinse your beans, throw them in the Instant Pot, cover with water (pot should be no more than halfway full), and turn it onto Manual for only 2 minutes. Once the 2 minutes are up, do a slow manual release like described above, being careful to stop the release immediately if foam comes out instead of steam.

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