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.