Greek Fava soup
It’s time for a velvety, delicious Greek Fava for your meze plate! This simple and honest recipe for Yellow split peas, it’s my favorite because, in its simplicity, it is very delicious.
My philosophy in cooking is to buy and properly handle excellent produce by cooking it as simple as possible highlighting its special taste.
Yellow split peas is one of those products that I categorize as an acquired taste. When I first tried it at a young age I didn’t like it but over the years it started to become one of my favorite culinary delights.
Fava (Yellow split peas) and its different varieties
There are 2 types of split peas the yellow (also known as Dal or Dahl ) and the green. The yellow split peas is made from the legume Lathouri and the green split peas is made from the peas inside the pod.
Two of the best Fava varieties in my country one is from Santorini island and the other one from Schinousa island. Having tasted both I can confidently say that Fava from Schinousa is the tastiest yellow split peas I have ever tried so far in my life. I totally recommend it because it is something special and you should give it a try at least once in your lifetime.
Schinoussa or Schinousa is a small island near Koufonisia and below the island of Naxos on the map which is part of the small Cyclades.
I tried the exceptional Schinoussa variety of fava for the first time at the “Cycladic Gastronomy festival Nikolaos Tselementes” which took place on the Greek island Sifnos in September 2019 and lasted 3 days.
I liked it so much that I bought a bag of it within 5 minutes from the moment I tasted it even though the price was a bit high! It was really worth it because Schinoussa fava is the best variety of yellow split peas I have tasted so far.
The photos from the festival are taken with my mobile phone and do not have a very good resolution but apart from the beautiful atmosphere I wanted to show you the traditional costumes of the Cycladic islands.
Argyro Barbarigou together with Zeta Douka were the hosts and spokespersons of the festival that ended beautifully with traditional Greek songs.
What can we accompany fava with?
Fava soup can accompany anything that can be considered a meze, tapas, and many more.
To name a few: Fish (small or big or squids or calamari but also anchovies), sausages, and pork anyway you cook it, are some products that can be easily combined with fava soup. It also goes very well with salads and legume salads.
2 secrets for a smooth fava soup
- The first secret for a velvety fava is to cook it well. If it is not cooked very well, whatever method you try to make it smooth will not work and it will always have small lumps inside.
- The second secret is that you need to blend it or use your food processor or the hand blender while it is still hot but not boiling. And this stage is very important for a velvety fava.
If you are having guests for dinner and you would like an even smoother texture then you can pass it through a sieve, but I think if it is to be served at a family home meal you do not need it and I have not passed it through a sieve in the photos you see in this recipe.
You should also keep in mind that the fava thickens a lot as time passes and while it may look watery at first when you put it in the food processor of hand blender it will thicken even more when it gets cold.
Greek Fava soup
- 500g Yellow split peas
- 5 cups Water (1500ml or 1400g)
- 5 Tbsp Olive oil (extra virgin)
- 2 Onions (big) cut into quarters
- 2 lemons their juice
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Rinse the yellow split peas well in a bowl of water until the water is clear.
- Add 5 cups of water to a pot, add the yellow split peas and bring to a boil
- Then skim the foam that they will produce on top and add the onions, and simmer on medium to low heat for about 40 minutes, stirring 1 or 2 times at most.
- Fava is ready when it is easily broken with a spoon.
- With a Hand Blender: Add the lemon juice and olive oil to the pot and blend it while it is still hot.
- With a food processor: Then add 2 large soup spoons full of fava, with the cooked onions included, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a little black pepper and blend it while it is still hot and the soup is ready.
- It is served usually cold with chopped spring onions or dry onions on top, some extra olive oil or Kalamata olives if you desire, and a slice of lemon on the side.
- The fava should be watery when we blend it or pass it through a food processor. Its texture should be like porridge; a little thicker than pancakes mixture. If it is too dry it will come out clogged even if we blend it.
- When fava boils it produces a lot of foam on top and we must be stand by to skim it because it can very easily spill on top of our kitchen counter.
- If you would like to cook a smaller quantity than 1 package of fava (500g) then you should follow the ratio of 1 to 3. For example 100 g Yellow split peas with 300 ml of water or 280g (1 cup of water is about 280g).
- Different brands of Yellow split peas may have some small differences (besides the difference in taste) in the amount of water they can accept + – 100 to 150 ml more or less. Once you find the brand you like, little by little you will be able to put exactly the water you need to cook it to the point.