Fava Bean and Ham Soup


I can’t even believe it.  It’s starting to feel like autumn.  The mornings are cool and the days are getting noticeably shorter.  As I look out my kitchen window, I see that the leaves on many of the trees are starting to turn yellow and some are even beginning the fall drop.  My garden is starting to wind down and the tomatoes are slower to ripen.  With the official start of fall in a few days, the first fall frost is likely to happen later this month or early October.  Once the frost hits, my summer garden is pretty much done for the season.  After that, no more fresh picked organic tomatoes, basil, beans, cucumbers or summer squash.  Bummer…  I will have to wait until next year for the convenience of fresh picked veggies or spend big bucks at the local co-op to get my organic fresh  vegetable fix.


A bucketful of some of the last of the cherry tomato crop…  If you never have had home grown cherry tomatoes you are missing out big time.  Home grown cherry tomatoes taste so different than the ones you may find at your local store.  They are thinner skinned, juicier, sweeter and pack some hard core flavor.  One of my favorite things to do while watering my garden in the evening is to stand next to one of the cherry tomato plants and pop handfuls of these little red gems in my mouth.  They are so delicious!

While looking for some dried Lima beans at the grocery store yesterday, I ran across a bag of Bob’s Red Mill fava beans.  I’ve never cooked with fava beans before.  Fava beans looked like large Lima beans so I thought that I would give them a try.  Fortunately, the fava beans were shelled so I did not have to deal with the tedious task of shelling them myself.  All I did was to rinse them well and to pick through them to make sure that there was no debris mixed in with the beans.  I then soaked the fava beans in cold water for about 4 – 5 hours to soften them up.

My Fava Bean and Ham Soup is made with roasted tomatoes, bell pepper, celery, carrot and onion and then simmered in a good quality chicken stock with herbs and spices.  It’s a wonderfully hearty and flavorful soup that’s perfect for a cool fall day.  Enjoy!  Tessa


  • 1 cup dried fava beans (shelled, picked over and soaked at least 4 hours)
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 cup roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1/2 pound ham (chopped)
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish with fresh chopped parsley

Place a large sized heavy bottomed pot or a dutch oven with a tight fitting lid on the stove.  Turn heat to medium high and add canola oil, onions, bell pepper, celery and roasted tomatoes.  Cook, stirring constantly until onions are translucent.  Add remaining ingredients, cover, and turn stove down to simmer.  Cook for 2 – 3 hours until the fava beans are tender or to your liking, stirring occasionally.  Remove bay leaf.  Taste and correct your seasonings.  Makes about 4 – 6 servings.

32 thoughts on “Fava Bean and Ham Soup

  1. skoraq cooks

    Here, in Poland autumn is also slowly arriving, uninvited. At least not invited by me. And it’s so sad that your garden will be forced to rest during winter. By the way have you considered planting superhealthy kale and brussel sprouts. I have heard that these vegetables survive through harsh winter and snow, but I’m not a gardener myself so you should definitely verify this information with reliable source of gardening knowledge. And your soup must be really delicious. Fava beans are very popular here and I love them, although usually we can buy unpeeled version so cooking fava beans involves always a bit of meditation in motion ;-)

    1. Tessa

      Hey Joanna! I am having such a tough time accepting that autumn is nearly here. I’ve worked so much over the summer that I missed the majority of it. Next summer will be here before I know it!

      1. skoraq cooks

        I’m having a tough time every autumn and winter and impatiently waiting for spring and summer to come so I know exactly what you mean. Let’s hope that, as you write, summer will be here soon :-) Have a nice day Tessa :-)

  2. sippitysup

    I do enjoy shelling favas. It’s fun to see them tucked into that quilted pouch. Gorgeous soup. But I shall have to wait. September is always the hottest month of the year in So. Cal. GREG

    1. Tessa

      Thank you Greg! Good to see you back. I know what you mean about the weather, I remember the Septembers in SoCal… This is a January soup for you :).

  3. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl

    Fresh home grown cherry tomatoes are the absolute best, they are so sweet, I love just picking them off the plant and eating them right away!

    Absolutely love this soup as i love bean and ham soup, going to give this a try!

  4. mjskit

    What a beautiful bowl of cherry tomatoes and the perfect soup to use them it. I’ve never cooked with fava beans either so I’m thrilled to have this recipe. I’ve always wanted to try them and this looks so good. Thanks!

  5. emilyrskitchen

    I have to admit, I have NEVER tried a fava bean. So I am not sure what they taste like, but this looks delicious. And those tomatoes are GORGEOUS! This is my first visit to your blog. Nice to meet you!

    1. Tessa

      Thank you Raymund! They did taste fresh and delicious! However, because I had so many, I ended up roasting most of them and putting them in my freezer.

  6. Sissi

    The soup looks fabulous, but your cherry tomatoes are here the real star. I wish I had space to grow my own tomatoes too. I once had a small plant, but the tiny harvest was very frustrating: the best tomatoes in the world but… maybe five only.

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