Mushroom and broad bean soup is a seasonal vegetarian soup from Peru that caught our eye in Martin Morales’s Andina: The Heart of Peruvian Food. According to Martin, “[it’s] popular in the regions of Apurímac and Cusco. There, the rainy season gives birth to forest floors covered in flowers among which grow the juiciest and tastiest mushrooms. Use the widest variety of edible seasonal mushrooms you can get hold of to increase the depth of flavour and texture in this dish.”
In case you were wondering what broad beans are, you may be more familiar with their other name – fava beans. Fava beans add a beautiful pop or color to this vegetarian soup. If you can’t find fresh fava beans, you can also head to the freezer section and see if your local grocer carries frozen fava beans.
This yellow pepper soup is another favorite vegetarian soup of ours. You can order panca chilies, but if youdon’t want to make your own panca chili paste, you can also find the paste online here or here. You can also find another favorite fava bean recipe of ours inspired by our visit to Cibreo in Florence, fava beans and Grana Padano.
- 12 new potatoes, halved lengthways
- 200g broad beans or fava beans
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp panca chilli paste (2 dried panca chilies - see below)
- 8 large portobello mushrooms (about 800g) or wild equivalent
- 250ml full-fat milk
- 1 tbsp huacatay or a few leaves each of coriander, tarragon and parsley, finely chopped
- A few mint leaves, finely chopped
- 100g queso fresco or feta, crumbled
- A few micro herbs, to serve
- For the panca chilli paste, cover the dried chillies in water and soak for 2 hours. Drain, then blitz with a stick blender, add salt to taste and set aside until needed.
- Put the new potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Salt the water, then put the pan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8–10 minutes until just tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside.
- Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over a high heat. Add the broad beans and blanch for 2 minutes, then drain. If the broad beans are particularly large, you may want to peel off the bitter, outer skins (if they are small and tender, there’s no need to do this). Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan or casserole. Add the onion and sauté over a medium heat for 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and chilli paste and cook for a further 2–3 minutes until the chilli paste starts to separate. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan. Add the mushrooms with a generous pinch of salt and sauté over a medium heat for 5–6 minutes until any liquid they release has evaporated and the mushrooms are softened and glossy. You may have to do this in more than one batch – if so, use the olive oil accordingly.
- Add the potatoes and broad beans to the onion mixture, then add the milk. Put the pan or casserole back over a medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes until everything is heated through. Add the huacatay or herb mixture and the mint, then the cooked mushrooms and finally the cheese. Stir everything together and simmer for 4–5 minutes more until the cheese is slightly softened. Serve immediately in bowls sprinkled with the micro herbs.
Excerpt and photo printed with permission from Andina: The Heart of Peruvian Food by Martin Morales, photo by David Loftus, published by Quadrille November 2017.