Greek Fava Soup With Cilantro & Truffle Oil
I take special pride in creating Greek recipes from basic ingredients and doctoring them up into something a little more fanciful. In that light, Greek fava, aka yellow split peas, is about as basic and ancient an ingredient one can find in the Eastern Mediterranean and a key component of the Mediterranean Diet. Gussied up with a drizzling of truffle oil and aromatic emerald-green cilantro leaves, this food of sustenance morphs into a princely dish for festive tables.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil plus 6 to 10 tablespoons more for adding to the soup as you puree it and for drizzling
- 1 large leek trimmed, chopped, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon Greek garlic paste or 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups Santorini or other fava (dried yellow split peas)
- 6 to 8 cups Bone broth or vegetable stock or broth or water
- 1 heaping teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon porcini powder (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 – 6 thyme sprigs
- Salt to taste
- 2 – 3 tablespoons fresh strained lemon juice or good red wine vinegar, as desired
- A few drops of truffle oil
- Fresh coarsely chopped cilantro for garnish
In a soup pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add the leek. Cook, stirring, until wilted and soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic paste or minced garlic.
Add the yellow split peas, turmeric, and porcini powder. Stir to combine and toss in the oil. Pour in the broth, stock or water. Add the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and bring to a simmer. Skim the foam off the top as it gathers. Lower the heat and simmer the fava for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until the soup is thick and creamy. Season to taste with salt.
Remove from heat and remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Using an immersion blender or in the bowl of a food processor fixed with the blade attachment, puree the soup, adding lemon juice and remaining 6 to 10 tablespoons of olive oil (reserve some for drizzling). The soup should be velvety and olive oil is what will help you achieve that creamy texture.
Serve the soup hot in individual bowls, garnished with fresh cilantro and drizzled with both olive and truffle oils.