This is a thick, dense soup and, like so many Italian soups, it’s a satisfying meal in itself.
If using fava beans be sure to choose very young beans. More mature fava beans develop a tough skin that needs to be removed before cooking. This is not typically necessary with lima or other types of broad beans, use your judgment.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 red onion peeled and diced
- 2 cup shelled fresh peas
- 2 medium potatoes peeled and chopped into ½‑inch dice
- 1 bunch fresh tarragon leaves only
- 2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 cup shelled fresh fava beans, or other ‘broad bean’ such as lima or butter beans (you may also use a mixture of these beans)
- 1 pinch each kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 3 tablespoon chopped mint leaves (for garnish)
Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and potatoes and cook, stirring often until potatoes soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Add tarragon, stirring to combine. Pour in stock and let the mixture come to a simmer; if the mixture begins to boil, lower the heat. After about 15 minutes stir in half the broad beans; immediately remove Dutch oven from heat.
Bring a separate small pot of water to a boil. Add the remaining broad beans and cook covered, for about one minute. Quickly drain the beans and run cool water over them to stop the cooking; set aside.
Add a couple of big ladle fulls of the peas, potato and stock mixture to the bowl of a food processor set with the blade attachment. Pulse the machine a few times, then let the machine run until a smooth consistency is achieved. Scrape this mixture back into the Dutch oven containing the rest of the peas, potato and stock mixture. Add the reserved cooked whole broad beans to the Dutch oven as well. Season with salt and pepper. The soup may be made several hours ahead to this point. Keep covered at room temperature.
When ready to serve, gently reheat the soup. Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with chopped fresh mint. The soup should be thick with a combination of whole beans and rough puree.