Fava Beans Soup, with Barley


Probably I already wrote it, but I love legumes and I love this kind of soups, especially for dinner 🙂

Fava beans are very particular, they are quite different than normal beans, and you can make great things with them.

They are great fresh, but in this case I used dried fava beans. And I used pearled barley, but also pearled farro or millet are fine.

It’s a long recipe but it is absolutely worth the time, and it’s not only tasty but very healthy too 🙂 moreover it’s good also 1-2 days later too.

(I used some lardo too since I had in the fridge, which adds a good extra flavor, but feel free to use just extra virgin olive oil, it’s perfect).


INGREDIENTS (5-6 people):

  • 300 g of dried fava beans
  • 80-100 g of pearled barley (or farro or millet)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery rib
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 potato
  • vegetable stock, about 2 liters
  • 1 chili
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • thyme, sage
  • 30-40 g of lardo (optional)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 or 3 pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano rinds
  • freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano (or Pecorino if you would like)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt


  1. First of all you have to put the dried fava beans in a bowl with abundant water, 12 hours at least. You can do it during the night. They will double their weight about. Prepare also the vegetable stock if you don’t have it already.
  2. Then take a cocotte/pot and heat a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil. Add also the lardo if you would like it for extra flavor: cut the lardo into small slices or cubes, and then with a big knife start to hit it, and keep going until it becomes like a cream.
  3. Then peel the onion, celery and carrots and cut them into small pieces, and add them to the hot oil and let them simmer until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add also the chili and the herbs and bay leaves.
  4. Then add the fava beans and cover with the hot vegetable stock.
  5. Let it simmer, covered, at low heat for about 2 hours (add stock if needed). After the first 1 hour add the Parmigiano Reggiano rinds and remove the bay leaves.
  6. After this 2 hours take about 1/3 of the fava beans and make a cream of it using an immersion blender. Then mix the cream with the soup (you can also use half of the fava beans if you want it even more creamy, but for me it’s fine with about 1/3).
  7. Peel the potato and cut it into small pieces and add it to the soup together with the pearled barley. Cook for other 30 minutes, about (control when they are cooked).zuppa_fave_3
  8. Check if it’s salted enough, and add some freshly ground black pepper too.
  9. Serve it with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino, if you would like it.
  10. Enjoy with some good bread! 🙂

PS: In this case I had at home some wild garlic so I added some in the end just before serving. You could use fresh parsley too.



7 Comments Add yours

  1. Nice! I love barley in soup (:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KR says:

    For me barley and cheese one of the favourite combination 🙂 I am glad to find one more delicious recipe! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 in central/southern Italy also fresh fava beans with Pecorino cheese is a famous combination 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. KR says:

        Sounds interesting and delicious !!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Two wonderful ingredients, fava beans and barlely, together in one soup… I’m sure I’d enjoy it immensely. Especially with the chilly evening weather we’re *still* having around here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks 🙂 yes, in winter is absolutely perfect, but if I let it cool down a bit I like it also in warmer weather sometimes 🙂


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