yogurt & fava bean soup

May 2, 2014 § 116 Comments


I began my seasonal hunt for fava beans when I came across this hot yogurt and fava bean soup recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi.   The first sighting of fava beans is always a sign warmer weather is upon us.   And indeed it is.  We have had 80°F temperatures for the past two days.   Seattle does not have extreme weather.  We don’t have sweltering heat in the summer or freezing temperatures in the winter.  I have heard our fine city referred to as a best kept secret because of the mild temperatures and tolerable seasons.   And with that, and a little rain (ok, a lot) comes an abundance of farm fresh foods.DSCN2445

I have this personal tradition of preparing a spring soup every year at the start of spring.  This is my way to welcome in the season and all its glory.  This year I decided on a heavily ladened herb soup.  The fava beans in this soup are pureed with the yogurt and long-grain rice until smooth and creamy, which really is a wonderful base.  However, a base sometimes needs something on top and after adding fresh herbs, hazelnuts, spring garlic and asparagus tips the soup becomes unforgettable.

I hope I’m not too late for Fiesta Friday #14.  I could really use a party today.  And with Saucy and Johnny hosting, no way was I going to miss this one.  It’s still gin o’clock right?  Ok, where is the blackberry gin fizz?

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 2 cups of shelled fava beans (from about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of unshelled fava beans)
  • 1/4 cup long-grain rice
  • 1- 3/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed into paste
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock
  • fresh herbs for garnish, such as, tarragon, dill, chives, chive flowers, mint, cilantro, roughly chopped
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • toasted and chopped nuts for garnish, I used hazelnuts
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling over finished soup
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

M e t h o d

For the fava beans: 
Prepare an ice water bath.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Drop in the shelled fava beans and cook for a minute or two.  Drain.  Immediately transfer the beans to the ice water bath.  Remove the skins by gently pushing your fingers against the sides of the bean (the favas should easily slide out).  Place into a bowl.  Set aside.

Heat the vegetable stock in a large soup pot.  Add the rice, bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Add half of the fava beans.  Season with salt and pepper, and using a hand blender, blend until completely smooth.

In a separate heat-proof bowl, whisk together the yogurt, crushed garlic, and egg.   Add a ladleful of the hot soup and whisk together.  Continue adding the hot soup slowly, until you’ve mixed about half of the soup into the egg mixture, do this slowly so the yogurt doesn’t split due to differences in temperature.  Pour the tempered yogurt back into the pot with the remaining soup.

Place the soup on medium heat until warmed through.  Make sure it doesn’t boil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the soup into four shallow bowls.  Evenly scatter the remaining fava beans on top.  Garnish with fresh herbs, lemon zest, sprinkling of chopped nuts, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon.


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§ 116 Responses to yogurt & fava bean soup

  • oh fantastic- We’ve got our first farmer’s market this weekend. I’ll keep my eye out for favas. Unfortunately, mine all rotted in the garden.
    Good reminder to pull out my Ottolenghi books too.
    Have a lovely weekend!

    • Hi Wendy. Haven’t seen you in a while! I have been a bit impatient waiting for the fava’s. The poor produce guy at the food co-op would see me and say…”not yet!” Finally, there they were in all their fava bean glory. So much work to prepare but so lovely. Hope you’ve had this gorgeous weather over on Orcas too! Here comes the rain again….

      • Oh we have. And we are going gangbusters in the garden and new chicks and prepping now for new goats in June! So real time life has just been kinda full. I love catching up on all your awesome recipes. You do have a gift.

      • Thank you. Love to hear about you and your incredibly beautiful land and garden. I just bought some wonderful goat cheese and learned a very valuable bit of information. You are most likely in the know…but right now is the best time to buy soft goat cheese because the goats just had their kids and their milk is prime. I found a fabulous chévre from a farm out of Bow, Washington and they only produce this cheese for a very short time once a year. I’m excited to serve it. They gave me a sample at the market of this cheese on a rainforest crisp and a drizzle of the most wonderful bourbon barrel aged maple syrup. Sigh. You’ll be making cheese right? :)

      • Was is Gothberg farms? And maybe Noble’s maple syrup? I’m carrying the bourbon barrel syrup. Decadent. I will be making a lot of cheese. We love it. But it will be a year before we have our own milk.

      • Yes! Gothberg farms. I don’t think it was Noble’s though…I’ll have to check again, I can’t remember. The bottles were magnificent.

  • You were lucky to find fresh fava beans. They are so difficult to locate.Your recipe looks delicious.

    • I felt lucky because I had been anticipating them for a few weeks now. Found myself driving around to different markets looking for them. Happy to find them and lucky too.

  • Blackberry gin o’clock is done, sorry, Seana! Lol, just kidding! Second round coming right up, just to welcome you. All I need is that blackberry gin and Prudy’s popcorn, and some of your soup and I’ll be as happy as a clam. How happy is a clam, really, do you know? :-)

    • Well, I don’t know about clams, but those oyster’s in Alice in Wonderland are a fun little lot aren’t they? Whew! What a week. All I could do to get this soup on and show up for the party! You scared me when you said the blackberry gin was gone…I was about to call Lindy! And how about that maple bacon popcorn? BTW, where’s Johnny?

  • birgerbird says:

    YES YES YES!!!!! Love this recipe!!!!!!!!!!!! So glad you made it. You did a great job of also making it look good . . . I made it and my photographs turned out kinda icky. Mmmmmm!

    • You made it too? It’s fabulous isn’t it. This soup really left us speechless. I kinda like a speechless dinner sometimes. Eat. No words. Eat. So disappointing when the photographs don’t turn out. Especially when the meal is so good and you want to share it with the world!

      • birgerbird says:

        Yes I did, but I cried when I pureed those favas . . . something that takes that much work . . . will not go in my blender again! Plus I like the texture of a barely cooked fava. There’s another hot yogurt soup with barley of his that I’ve made too and it’s outrageous . . . I’m not surprised because we use cream to enrich hot soups, right, so why should yogurt be so different. Honestly I can’t get enough of his recipes!

      • Yeah, I know what you mean. Although the recipe called for 1/2 of the fava’s to be pureed I was very skeptical about putting that many in. I compromised and put 1/3 in and left the rest whole. I enjoyed the slow process of getting those fava’s ready. Something I wouldn’t do too often. Love his recipe’s too.

  • Ngan R. says:

    Never too late to come to a Fiesta! This soup looks like perfection on a Spring day. I’ve been waiting for favas to make this too! I love Ottolenghi. We are cooking a big feast from Jerusalem this weekend for family. I’m going to see if I can work this soup in! Made the mint and peas pasta last night and my husband told me it had to be made again and soon! Thanks for all the inspiration!

    • You inspire me more Ngan! Fava’s are soooo much work aren’t they? So worth it though. I really want to hear about your feast. I can not get enough of these recipes right now. Have you made conchiglie with yogurt peas and chile? I have the recipe on my bog too. It’s luscious! I was wondering the other day….how do you pronouce your name. Does it rhyme with “sung”? My name is always in question too… Seana. It’s pronounced Shawna.

      • Ngan R. says:

        Wow! I would not have guessed that pronunciation. Ngan is pronounced “non” or “naan” like the bread. It’s the English pronunciation, since English speakers cannot pronounce the long “Ng” sound of Vietnamese. So yes, in Vietnamese it does rhyme with sung (“nung”)! I respond to both, especially virtually. :) I have not made the conchiglie yet, but am excited to make it this summer. I have so many of his recipes I want to try. Will post about the feasting when it’s all said and done. Have a great evening, Seana! (Did you hear my spot on pronunciation?)

      • No…what spot? I had a friend Nguyen years ago, so I had a feeling you do not pronounce your name N-Gan! :)

  • cheri says:

    Have Ottolenghi’s book with this recipe and yours looks especially wonderful. Looks like a great party!

  • Fantastic! Always wanted to try this, you’ve given me the push I need!

  • Patty Nguyen says:

    Your soup looks great, Seana! Those fresh fava beans…can’t beat good produce, right? :)

  • thebrookcook says:

    Yum! Looks Soooooo good! I am too old (lazy? entitled?) to peel favas though… I need that done for me! I need to try this recipe too! :)

  • Nancy says:

    Looks delicious, Seana! From the sounds of all the comments, I have 2 choices: run out and buy this cookbook or you need to get busy and cook your way through and get busy, real busy, posting!
    The base of the soup, the purée, sounds fabulous! It really is a beautiful soup, too!

    • hahahah. Well, hopefully you won’t have to wait long! The book really is gorgeous. Something to behold. I really like the challenge of “trying” to reproduce his masterpieces. This one is a stretch. The fava’s require time and patience…Have a good weekend!

  • polianthus says:

    love Ottolenghi, lovely pictures, and love favas too, in Italy they are eaten raw from the pod with a mild goats cheese as a finale to a meal. Very tasty indeed, had some great ones last week.

    • I do enjoy them raw, however, I did not try them with mild goats cheese. Certainly sounds incredible. Aren’t they absolutely wonderful! I love how they are double wrapped! Love Ottolenghi…too.

  • This made me laugh. Especially the last bit. It’s half-past gin now – you better get a move on!!
    Love your yogourt and fava bean soup. I have a confession. I’ve never had fava beans. And despite all the comments about how much work – now I can’t wait to try them. Wonderful post as always. Now drink up!

    • Ha. It’s never too late, right? Your drink is very enticing…brought me to the party, that’s for sure. Occasionally I do like to take my time and if it means blanching almonds and tomatoes and peeling them I’m in. But seriously…these fava beans really were a bit more work than Im use to. For some reason it made me appreciate the soup more. This is soul food Lindy. And spell check is impossible when it comes to fava beans! It’s very persistent and wants the word to read lava beans!

      • Don’t you LOVE spell check? Makes me laugh every time I do a blog post. The wordpress spell checker is particularly funny. I’m still remembering when it wanted to call tomatillos – armadillos.
        As for the lava beans – I’m really a very hasty cook. I’ll have to find time to make this and do it properly and then I’ll have a better idea of what you’re talking about. I do believe you though. And I will try…

      • hahaha. Funny. Hope your evening is going well…

  • Fantastic dish Cottage!

  • Liz says:

    What a wonderful tradition to welcome spring with a soup! This ones a winner. And I’ll have one of those gin fizzes you’re pouring ;-)

    • Awww…those giz fizzes. Whew! I had to laugh at your reply to a different post though. Something to do with a being few cocktails in,leaving a comment and worried you may have said something you shouldn’t have! :)

  • Excellent soup! Fava beans are always delicious with or without pods. I love them with couscous too :)

  • I love your tradition of welcoming in the new season Seana with such beautiful produce! That mix of flavours sound wonderful.

  • Oh yes, I’ll have a bowl please! This looks so delicious… A “close your eyes and savor every bite” kind of soup.

    My boss is heading to Seattle on a business trip in another week, and I’m begging her to let me go! There is still plenty of time for me to pack and make arrangements! Haha!

    As always my beautiful and wonderful friend, everything is perfect xoxo I love your posts.. So calm, so sophisticated. <3

    • Really? Wouldn’t that be a kick! We would have a blast. Loved your post on popcorn. Sometimes we have popcorn for dinner. Can’t wait to try your ideas. And, as always your comments are too kind. :) And you are the best!

  • Your soup looks so good and healthy! :)

  • I’ve never cooked with favs beans – but this sounds delicious!

    • Fava beans really are delicious. This was my first time cooking with them and although they are a bit of work it really is worth it, I just have to put a little extra time aside to be in the kitchen, which I don’t mind at all… :)

  • hellotofit says:

    This looks amazing! I’ll have to keep my eye out for fresh fava beans…

  • bakesinslippers says:

    looks amazing!

  • Deena Kakaya says:

    Goodness how ironic, I made this same recipe this week but used carrot too. I like the texture of your yogurt and the picture looks very pretty

  • Gorgeous soup, I love your recipes. They are so simple but full of flavor. Great way to use fava, I love them and haven’t had in such a long time, It reminds me of a Persian dish I had.

  • That looks damn fine my friend. I’ll whack it on my “to try” list with a tonne of other stuff!! I’ll get there eventually! Nice work!

  • saucygander says:

    Serendipity! I found some good quality frozen fava beans for a risotto, the rest can go into this soup. I had forgotten about this recipe, thank you for the reminder. The addition of nuts, lemon and more fava would add wonderful flavours and textures!
    Glad you can join this week’s Fiesta, there’s plenty of blackberry gin fizz here, I’m also making Pimms cups, and Johnny has turned up with profiteroles and gossip – this from a man who says he doesn’t gossip!!

    • Pimms cups! I have never had one. Need to remedy that for sure. Do you put cucumbers in your Pimms cup? Sounds so refreshing. And I have been looking for frozen fava beans, to no avail. Must keep looking! You’re a great host Saucy…

  • What a beautiful soup! I’ve never gotten into the flavor of fava beans (unless they’re in falafel form), but I could see this being good with chickpeas or edamame, too.

    I find herby yogurt soups so alluring, but I have yet to try making one… I should really remedy that soon. Your recipe sounds delicious and that top photo is lovely.

    • Hey! Thanks Allison. Every single Ottolenghi recipe I have tried has been incredible. Never fails. And I’m wondering why I would ever use cream in a soup when yogurt is such a great alternative in so many ways. Thank you regarding the photograph! Coming from you I take that as great compliment.

      • Oh, I agree! Both about the perfection of all Ottolenghi recipes and about always using yogurt instead of cream in soups! A while back I started making soups creamy using tempered yogurt, since I never have cream in the house anyway… I’ve just never tried making a soup as yogurt-centered as this one, but I’m SURE I would love it.

  • This looks so bright and fresh!! I’m going to have to hunt down some lava beans!! thanks.

    • I have heard they can be found in the frozen section but I have yet to find them. I’m going to keep searching though. It would be so nice to have some in the freezer at all times. I love them. Thank you for stopping by Rhonda!

  • WoW. Love all the flavours going on here.

  • Karen says:

    You are right when you said your soup is unforgettable…it sounds wonderful.

  • Good technique for tempering the yogurt. I often get too impatient get a curdled mess on my hands.

    • Admittedly this has happened to me as well. This time I really took my time and approached it very slowly. Success! Isn’t this a fabulous soup. Slightly sour and the herbs were a showstopper. Ottolenghi is brilliant.

  • milkandbun says:

    I’ve seen several recipes with fava beans, but still haven’t try them :) Your soup is so springy and mouthwatering!
    Do you suggest to buy a book by Ottolenghi? I’ve seen some of his recipes, they sound really interesting..

    • Hi Mila! I highly recommend buying an Ottolenghi book. I really feel since I have been cooking his recipes I have gain so much knowledge about spices and technique. My family has loved everything I have made so far and his recipes never fail. I am a huge fan! Maybe if you just search his recipes online and try a few first to see if you enjoy the flavors and foods, then buy “Jerusalem” or “Plenty” if you enjoy. Let me know if you cook one of his dishes and how you like it. :)

  • Serena says:

    I love the beautiful way you have presented this delicious soup! Yummy!!

  • ohlidia says:

    That looks like such a healthy and fresh soup Seana. Gorgeous!

  • Oh! I am back from a short 3-day vacay, and come back to see this beautiful soup. I have never seen fava beans in my neck o’ the woods. Would edamame be a good substitute? Our farmer’s market doesn’t start here until June, unfortunately, but that’s the cost of living in the high desert.

    • I wondered the same question…if edamame would be just as good. I think they would work. Or fresh peas too! I used to live in a high desert so I know exactly what you mean. Great climate though! If you make the soup using edamame please let me know how it turns out! :)

      • I think I would use peas, because then I could get my family to eat it. I see a reader below used peas with good results. If I do make this I’ll certainly link back to you so you’d know!

  • chefjulianna says:

    Mmmm, your soup looks super delicious! I have the cookbook as well and have often looked at the recipe and thought about making it! I am going to keep my eyes out for fava beans, which I think will be here soon. Thanks so much for bringing this to FF! :D

  • Love Ottolenghi & have a ton of stickers in the books and am cooking through them (every dish a winner so far!). Gosh, this is surely next. Seana, I like your idea of leaving some beans whole. Big hug from Germany, N.

    • I love to see page flags sticking out of cookbooks! I have so many too. Hope you do make it as your next Ottolenghi recipe. It’s true, every dish a winner. Thanks for the hug! :)

  • Well, I tried making this soup, but changed so many things that it was really a different soup. But I did get the tempering yogurt idea from you. It turned out great! New technique to add to my soup repertoire.
    I used peas instead of favas, added onions and bay leaf to the pot while simmering, and left out the egg.

    • Great to hear. I like how you changed it up. That’s the beauty of this soup, seems like there is so much room for change. The tempering yogurt is a good technique to have, for sure! Thank you for letting me know. I may try it with fresh peas too. :)

  • This looks amazing! I love the fusion of flavours!

    • Thank you. You are right. There are so many flavor fusions going on in this soup. The herbs all having such distinct flavors and aromas, and the slightly sour yogurt base and nutty hazelnuts….delicious.

  • Now I’m hitting the hub of the F&F party – the kitchen! Isn’t that where they say the party really is?

    This soup I shall make. Partly as I’m loving an organic long grain rice I can buy locally. It’s deliciously nutty, so with sesame seeds and hazelnuts this would be really good. If I could find fresh broad beans. Actually, I just might buy dried fava beans and try it with those, as I’ll be at the International store tomorrow snooping around! That’s as exciting as my life gets.

    • Yes, the kitchen…it’s the center of the party for sure! Have to say snooping around an International market would be exciting for me as well. What’s your thought on using yogurt in the base? It was something new for me, but enjoyable all the same. And the beans….argh! Double podding was time consuming enough, then I decided on blanching the hazelnuts!

      • Ah, I gave up on blanching hazelnuts last year. Instead, get them on a baking tray, switch the oven on to preheat to 180C or 356F and by the time the oven heats the hazelnuts are not only incredibly easy to shell (most of them, anyway) they’re also nicely toasted. Or should be. You really have to keep an eye on them just in case. If you can smell them get ’em outta there!

        I’m toying with the idea of adding a green fresno chilli (they’re on special offer and very nice) to the yoghurt base. As I like those flavours together. I don’t think I’ve used yoghurt within a soup before. But I’ve always loved sour cream. They’re kinda similar. And you’re right to temper the yoghurt as otherwise it splits horribly. Even after blitzing the soup (or in my case it was a sauce).

  • Mary Frances says:

    Such a gorgeous and hearty looking soup! I love it!

  • ladyredspecs says:

    I’ve missed your last few posts. I must have accidently made contact with the follow button on my touch screen, which then unfollows…if you follow what I mean!! I think fava beans must be double podded. For me it’s the difference between enjoyment and distaste.

    • Interesting because this seems to be happening to me as well. I wonder if it’s a little wordpress glitz. I have been having to “re-follow” blogs quite a bit lately. Well, glad you came back! :) Hmmm. Good to hear your opinion about fava’s needing to be double podded. I think I may agree with you, that second layer around the bean seemed really thick.

  • Wow this soup sounds so interesting! i’ve never tried yogurt in soup but always wanted to…looks like i’m saving this recipe!

  • Oh wow! What a interesting and original soup! beautiful photos, they make me feel like eat it now!

  • ChgoJohn says:

    Our farmer markets return this weekend and I cannot wait! This soup you’ve prepared sounds wonderful. Spring hasn’t yet fully committed to this area and soup is still vey much welcome. One like this, with so much “spring” in the pot, would be perfect. Thanks for sharing.

    • I love soup in the spring time. Our weather is so up and down. One day it’s 70 degrees and sunny and the next it’s 50 and raining (like today). I especially like to pile the fresh herbs and chive buds on top. :)

  • Valerie says:

    What a delightful tradition! Chefie was telling me that apparently Hulu now has a series featuring Hannibal Lecter (from Silence of the Lambs) cooking. I can’t see the words “fava beans” without going back to that movie but your recipe is anything but frightful!

    • Hahaha. Have to laugh at that. I did see that movie years ago, but, thank goodness I don’t have a connection between fava’s and Hannibal! Ewww. And can you imagine a cooking series of this sort?

  • Sophie33 says:

    I love fava beans a lot too,…this soup is very refreshing, nourishing & fantastic even, my friend: delectable too!!!


  • […] yogurt & fava bean soup from Seana@COTTAGE GROVE HOUSE. In Saucy’s words, “Maybe it’s the fava beans, which seem like the hoity toity cousin to peas (and how dreamy is the idea of fava beans pureed with rice, as a base for soup?); maybe it’s the idea of a spring time yoghurt soup – warm, tangy yet rich, loaded with spring herbs, lemon zest and hazelnuts. Although this soup is a springtime celebration for Seana, it has also been calling my name all week as a late autumn warmer…” I have only one thing to add. I have fava beans in my fridge right now. All courtesy of this soup. […]

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