When you ask people what they associate with Morocco, I’m sure you will hear things like camels, desert, sun and heat. Though the climate is mild, it can be cold, too. There are days when you have only 8-10°C/46.4-50°F. In combination with rain and wind, and an apartment without heater it feels pretty cold. In the mountain areas there can be even snow. What you need on such days is warming food. Today, I will show you how to make bissara, a Moroccan fava bean soup. This soup is traditionally eaten as a breakfast on cold days but it is also served as a small lunch or a side dish in combination with fried or grilled fish around the year. It is an effort-less recipe perfect for cosy lazy days. Combine it for example with my chermoula stuffed eggplant fritters!
for the soup:
- 125g dried peeled fava beans
- 50g green split peas
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoons cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- about 750 ml of water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- olive oil to drizzle the soup
- cumin powder to sprinkle the soup
- chili to serve / optional (use chili-flakes or a whole fried chili)
1. At first, put all the ingredients for the soup into a pot. Of course, you should peel the garlic cloves, but you don’t need to chop them.
2. Then, bring the soup to boil. Cook the bissara on medium heat for about 40 minutes until the fava beans and the split peas are soft. Stir from time to time and add more water when the soup starts getting dry.
3. Finally, blend the soup with a hand blender. The soup should be liquid and not creamy, as it thickens strongly. Taste the soup before serving.
4. Now you have two options for serving the soup:
- Regular option: pour the very hot soup into a soup bowl
- Fancy option: pour some of the soup into an unglazed tajine and heat it until it bubbles and splashes. Serve it in the hot tajine.
No matter which option you choose, finally drizzle the bissara with olive oil and sprinkle it with cumin powder. If you like it spicy, sprinkle also some chili flakes on top or serve it with a whole fried chili.