Fava Bean Stew

This fava bean stew is a wonderful vegetarian bean stew. We orginally found a recipe for a fava bean stew from Cyprus in an issue of Saveur last year, and we both loved it.

It takes 2-1/2 hours to cook so you do have to plan ahead. The original recipe called soaking dried beans overnight but the first time I made this, Belle had seen the recipe one morning while she was looking through Saveur, and she wanted to try it that night. So I opted for canned beans and it was delicious. I should try this one day with the dried beans just for comparison.

The canned fava beans I bought this time were huge – about an inch long each! This wasn’t what we used last time. Then I remembered that faba beans is another name for this species of beans. I picked up 2 cans of faba beans and used these instead of fava beans.

Belle’s note: The first time Ward made this, I couldn’t believe it was meatless! It’s incredibly savory and delicious, and very filling – make sure you have some nice fresh Italian or French bread on hand to tear into chunks and sop up the sauce. Like all stews, it’s even better the next day.

Koukkiá Koúnnes (Fava Bean Stew with Garlic, Thyme and Bay Leaves)
Adapted from Saveur Magazine

2-19oz cans fava (or faba) beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and quartered
small handful of thyme sprigs, tied together with kitchen twine
3 fresh bay leaves
2 medium onions, chopped coarsely
5 cups organic vegetable stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp fresh organic lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
Country style bread, sliced or roughly torn

  1. Heat oil in a large pot (4 qt) over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Cook until soft and browned (about 15 minutes).Onion, garlic, thyme and bay
  3. Add the fava beans and the stock. Bring to a boil and reduce to medium-low. Partially cover and cook until the beans are tender and stew is thickened (about 2-1/2 hours).
  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  5. Pour into serving bowl and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, and serve with crusty bread.
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