Sunday, May 31, 2009

Moroccan Bessara

Bessara is a popular fava bean soup from Morocco delicately flavored with cumin and usually finished of with Argan oil. It is a fairly easy soup to put together as it uses some basic ingredients.Though there may be some very slight variations in its ingredients from other recipes because some cooks may substitute it with whatever is on hand like dried green peas for the fava beans and extra-virgin olive oil for the argan oil.Argan oil is made from the nuts of the argan tree which is indigenous to Morocco.This oil is not easy to find here in markets but if by chance you see it , it is a worthwhile investment as it gives the soup a more complex, nutty flavor.

4 Servings


4 1/2 c water

9 oz dried fava beans or green peas,soaked overnight, drained and rinsed

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4-1/2 crumbled dried red chili (optional)

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or argan oil

sea salt and black pepper

  1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan, add the beans, garlic, and salt.Reduce the heat and simmer till the beans are soft, maybe 45 minutes.
  2. Transfer to a blender and blend with the remaining ingredients.Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  3. Serve with a drizzle of oil.
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