This fava bean soup is made with fava beans, onions, tomatoes, garlic, and nopales. It's the perfect meal for a cool day! Plus, it's gluten-free and vegan-friendly. Follow these simple steps to make this classic Mexican soup!
Lent season is coming up soon so I am making a full list of recipes to have on hand. Normally, I try to stick to a lot of fish recipes as well as some veggies.
My husband in particular loves to make these codfish tacos on Fridays (he'll also sneak a few of these tuna empanadas as well). I love to eat this salted cod with a savory tomato broth- it's one of my favorites from the State of Veracruz!
During Lent, my mamá would make lots of soups to feed our whole family, especially this fava bean soup. My siblings and I weren’t too fond of this soup when we were growing up, so she would add slices of hot dog sausages so we would eat it!
Nowadays when we eat it at home, all those childhood memories come rushing back to me and put a smile on my face, because this time, I actually enjoy having this vegan soup for lunch or dinner.
Fava bean soup is not only delicious, but it also has a high content of fiber, protein, vitamin A & C, and iron!
🌎 History Behind Lent
Lent is a Christian religious observance that starts on Ash Wednesday and ends just before Easter, a period of about six weeks. During Lent, some people avoid consuming certain types of foods in order to purify their spirits (people used to fast during Lent, but the traditions have changed with time).
Usually, people abstain from eating the meat of land animals and only eat fish and other types of seafood. Consequently, fish, seafood, legumes, and vegetables take center stage at the dinner table during Lent each year!
Every region of Mexico is rich in resources and has a vast variety of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. This wealth of ingredients allows for a large number of variations to this recipe, as every cook seasons this fava bean soup according to their taste and the supplies available to them.
Some cooks make this soup with Serrano peppers, others add dried peppers, and still, others use mint instead of cilantro.
Whatever way you may prepare it, I hope you enjoy this soup, since it is a delicious part of our Mexican traditions!
Before I share my recipe, here are a few questions I've been asked about this homemade fava bean soup.
Can I make this fava bean soup without nopales?
Yes! If you can't find nopales or don't like them, you can leave them out of the recipe. The soup will still be delicious!
Can I make this stew with frozen fava beans?
Yes, you can! Just add them to the pot when you would add the fresh fava beans. You don't need to thaw them first.
Do I need to soak the fava beans before cooking?
Yes, for this recipe, you do. To soak the fava beans overnight, place them in a bowl and cover them with water. The next day, simply drain the water before cooking them.
How can I make this Mexican soup spicy?
If you want to make the soup spicy, add a Serrano pepper or two to the pot while it's cooking. Be sure to remove the pepper before serving!
Here is a list of ingredients you'll need to make this soup recipe...
- Fava beans
- White onions
- Vegetable oil
- Garlic clove
- Salt & pepper
Please note: For exact measurements of the ingredients listed above, scroll down to the recipe card located at the bottom of this post!
- Blanch the tomatoes by placing them in boiling water for about 15 seconds, and removing them with a slotted spoon. Place them under cold water or in a bowl with ice water. The skin will peel off easily with the help of a paring knife (see picture below).
- Instead of salt, some cooks add granulated chicken bouillon to season and make a creamy fava bean soup!
To make things easier for you, I am going to break down the directions to make this fava bean soup into sections.
Cook fava beans
- Add the fava beans and 5 cups of cold water to a pot and cook over medium-high heat.
- Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, and partially cover with the lid.
Tip: Fava beans will take somewhere around 40 minutes to be tender.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium-size skillet for 2 minutes over medium heat.
- Add the chopped garlic and onions and keep cooking until the onion is transparent.
- Mix in the chopped tomato and stir, cooking for another 5 minutes or until the tomato mixture starts to thicken.
Tip: Stir the tomato mixture frequently to avoid it from sticking to the skillet.
Combine everything together
- Add the tomato mixture to the fava beans before they finish cooking to let all the flavors combine.
- Stir in the drained nopales, season with salt and pepper, and keep cooking until the beans are tender or at the desired consistency.
Tip: You can use a bean masher to mash some of the beans and give the soup a creamy consistency. Mashed fava beans will thicken the soup.
Serve and enjoy!
Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
🍽 Side Dishes
Whenever I make vegan fava bean soup, I love to serve it with slices of thick french bread to dip into the soup. If I don't have french bread, I will use bolillos or saltine crackers.
You can also serve this soup as an appetizer and make some vegetarian meals for the main dish! I love to pair it with:
📚 More Authentic Mexican Recipes
If you enjoyed this recipe for fava bean soup, take a look at some of these other authentic Mexican recipes:
- Mexican Potato Soup
- Black Bean Soup With Chorizo
- Mexican Lentil Soup
- Cream Of Zucchini Soup
- Cream Of Corn Soup
I hope you make this Mexican bean soup! If this recipe was of any help to you, come back to let me know your experience. Please leave us a comment done below and tell us all about it!
Mexican Vegan Fava Bean Soup
- 1 ¼ cup dried peeled fava beans soaked overnight.*
- 5 cups of water
- 1 slice white onion to cooking the beans
- 2 plum tomatoes or 1 large tomato peeled and diced**
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
- ⅓ cup white onion finely chopped
- 1 large garlic clove finely chopped
- 1 cup nopales cooked and drained.
- Salt and pepper to taste***
- ⅓ cup cilantro chopped
- Thick French bread slices to serve optional
- cups of cold water and cook over medium-high heat. Once it starts boiling, reduces heat to a simmer, and partially cover with the lid. They will take somewhere around 40 minutes to be tender.
- While you cook the beans, prepare the “recado”: heat one tablespoon of oil in a medium-size skillet for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and onion and keep cooking until the onion is transparent. Mix in the chopped tomato and stir, cooking for another 5 minutes or until the tomato mixture starts to thicken.
- Stir the tomato mixture frequently to avoid it from sticking to the skillet.
- Add the tomato mixture to the fava beans before they finish cooking to let all the flavors combine. Stir in the drained nopales, season with salt and pepper, and keep cooking until the beans are tender or at the desired consistency. You can use a bean masher to mash some of the beans and give the soup a creamy consistency. Mashed fava beans will thicken the soup.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. I love to serve this soup with slices of French bread to dip into the soup.