Reprinted from Blue Apron
Fava beans are one of the oldest crops known to man, with evidence of cultivation dating back to 6,000 B.C. Many Italians believe that these beans saved the population of Sicily from starvation in the Middle Ages when all other crops failed. Superstition says that if you keep a dried, roasted fava bean in your pantry there will always be food in your kitchen. We prefer them fresh!
Makes 2 servings
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a small pot of water to boiling on high. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Small dice the celery. Pick the parsley leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Peel and small dice the carrot and onion. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith, mice the peel to get 2 teaspoons of lemon zest. Cut the lemon into quarters and remove the seeds. Snap off and discard the woody ends of the asparagus; cut the asparagus on an angle into 1-inch pieces. Shell the fava beans.
In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the garlic, carrot, celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened.
Stir the vegetable broth, lemon zest, tomatoes and 3 cups of water into the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil on high then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 4 to 6 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume.
While the soup simmers, add the fava beans to the small pot of boiling water and cook 1 minute. Drain thoroughly and place the blanched beans into a bowl of ice water (or rinse the under cold water for 30 seconds to 1 minute) to stop the cooking process. Using your fingertips, break off the tip of each fava bean and squeeze the bean out of the outer skin; discard the skins. Set the prepared beans aside.
Add the ditalini pasta to the soup and cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Add the asparagus, half of the Parmesan and half of the parsley (roughly chopping before adding if you’d like). Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green and the cheese is thoroughly incorporated. Remove from heat. Stir in the juice of 2 lemon wedges.
Divide the soup between 2 bowls and top each with the peeled fava beans. Garnish with the remaining parsley, Parmesan cheese and lemon wedges. Enjoy!