Posted by: lornasass | October 13, 2009



Fava Bean Soup with Wild Mushrooms and a Dollop of Pesto

I know it’s fall when I start dreaming of soup.

I make all of my soups in the pressure cooker because when I want soup, I want it fast.  To put it another way, I’m not one who enjoys hovering over the stove.

No, when I’m hungry, I’m good for about 5 minutes of prep.  Then, after 10 minutes under pressure and the natural release (another 10 minutes or so), I have a delicious coarsely pureed soup.  30 minutes MAX from start to finish–that’s my style.

I use the following recipe as the base for various meals during the week and usually freeze some for a meal or two down the road.

Small, split fava beans make a nice alternative to split peas and lentils, but you can substitute the latter if you have a hard time locating split favas.

For lots of other good pressure cooker recipes, see my blog:


DSC045222 T. olive oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 t. whole cumin seeds

1 t. whole fennel seeds

8 cups water (if it’s boiling, the pressure will come up faster)

DSC045232 cups split, peeled fava beans

3/4 oz. dried wild mushrooms (or omit the mushrooms and use chicken broth instead of water)

1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

To serve, add one of more of the following:

Sliced, fried chicken or turkey sausage (spicy andouille is nice)

Frozen green peas and/or corn

Frozen leaf spinach

Chopped fresh cilantro, basil, or parsley


Tapenade or pesto

Diced avocado

Heat 1 T. oil in a 6-quart or larger pressure cooker.  Add onions, fennel, and cumin seeds, and cook over medium-high heat until onions are lightly browned.  Stir in 8 cups water and salt.

Lock lid in place and bring up to high heat over high pressure.  Reduce heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 10 minutes (lentils and split peas) or 12 minutes (split fava beans).

All pressure to come down naturally, about 10 minutes.  Stir well, adding salt to taste, additional tablespoon oil, plus other ingredients suggested above.



  1. I have grown these guys for an over-wintering ground cover (the are champion nitrogen fixers). They are also quite nice when picked green and eaten raw, maybe steamed a bit also.

    They are special among beans also for preferring cool/cold weather growing conditions.

    • How delightful to know this! I wish I had space in my Manhattan apartment to grow my own favas. I have to settle for houseplants and herbs. All the best to you and thanks for writing!

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