Fava (broad) bean and pasta soup


This fresh crunchy fava (broad) bean and pasta soup is a dish we just whipped up on returning home from our local farmers' market and it makes a nice n' nutrituous alternative to minestrone.

pasta and bean soup fava broad

I really like this pasta soup as it's packed full of hearty fresh veggie goodness. My wife Laura however was not 100% convinced... "it's missing something" she reckoned.

The solution? I asked my Pastastic Facebook friends to help out (do join us by the way!) and they came through with flying colors. You'll find their excellent recipe tweaks at the end of this page, so be sure to check those out before you get started.

Here's how you make it...

Serves 2

100g/3.5oz small pasta shapes (pennette, macaroni etc. - ideally wholemeal)

1kg/35oz fresh fava beans (320g/1oz when unshelled) or one 400g/14oz can of these

1 small handful of freshly rinsed parsley leaves

400g/14oz can of plum tomatoes (we'll use half)

Extra virgin olive oil

Garlic clove

STEP 1 - If using fresh fava beans... open the bean stalks with your fingers and pop out the beans.

bean and pasta soup

Tip: If the skin of a bean is nice and soft (usually the case), it's good to use. If however it's a little hard, which can happen with larger beans, use a fingernail to delicately break open the outer skin, and peel this off, like peeling an onion. the next layer should be soft n' fresh... lovely! (Note - this will take a short while.)

- Peel the garlic clove and chop off its ends.

STEP 2 - Cover the base of a cooking pan with oil and warm on medium heat hob.

- When hot (not spitting), drop in the garlic clove and the parsley.

- Give this a couple of mins, until the garlic starts to brown.

- Throw away the clove (or leave it if you love it), then remove pan from the heat and add the toms.

- Pop back on the heat.

- After 2-3 mins more, break the softened toms with a spoon and stir well.

bean and pasta soup

STEP 3 - Throw in the beans and add approximately three empty tomato cans more of hot water.

- Add a good pinch of salt and increase the heat until everything simmers.

- Simmer for 5-7 mins, stirring occasionally.

bean and pasta soup

STEP 4 - Finally, add the pasta and cook for an additional few mins (as pasta packet suggests).

- Aim for a nice creamy consistency.


To serve: grate over a little parmesan cheese and serve with crusty bread.

Facebook Fan recipe tweaks:

I usually put some pancetta (bacon chunks) in with the base of my veggie soups - and crush rather than blend at the end - but that does take them out of the wholly veggie category! - Lakshmi

I'd put some prosciutto or pancetta on oil first, this would definitely give a lot of taste to the beans... - Maya

Add a little lemon juice - Dorothy

I'd prepare a "soffrito" with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and a couple of chopped onions (better if the onions are fresh). Let these colour a little and then add the fava. I love them cooked this way, as the onions add a great taste to the fava beans - Ana (all-about-italian-food.com)

How good for you are fava beans? Find out at this excellent Livestrong page.

Enjoyed this bean and pasta soup? Then you might also like…

Pasta fagioli (featuring creamy white cannellini beans)

• Hearty lentil pasta

• This 'big broth' minestrone soup recipe

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