Rockville resident Stella Ymar lived in Morocco until she was 15 and learned to make this typical Moroccan Passover soup from her mother. If you can't find fresh fava beans (available at many supermarkets and Iranian markets), substitute frozen baby lima beans. Add more or less liquid, depending on how thick you like soup; you can substitute chicken stock for some of the water.
Servings: 12 - 16 first-course
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 to 1 pound short ribs cut as flanken*
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 large tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 4 to 6 cups water
- 4 medium potatoes (any kind), peeled and diced
- 3 pounds shell-on fava beans (about 12 ounces shelled) or 16 ounces frozen lima beans
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch stemmed cilantro, with few sprigs reserved for garnish
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the meat and brown for 3 to 5 minutes, then turn and brown for 3 to 5 minutes on the second side. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
Reduce the heat to low and add the onion and tomato to the saucepan. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Add the water (to cover), potatoes, beans and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low or low and return the meat to the pan. Cover and cook for about 1 hour or until the meat is tender.
Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside. When it has cooled, trim any excess fat and cut meat into bite-size pieces. Discard the bones.
In a food processor or blender, combine the cooked vegetables with the cilantro. Puree in batches until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste. Return the mixture to the saucepan and add the cooked meat. Heat through over low heat and adjust seasoning to taste. (The consistency should be like a cream soup or pea soup.)
Divide the soup among individual bowls and garnish with reserved cilantro. Serve hot.
Adapted from Rockville cook Stella Ymar.
Tested by Howard Schneider.
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