Today we’re making a traditional Moroccan Fava Bean Soup that takes simple ingredients and creates this naturally vegan and gluten free soup.
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Bissara: a popular Moroccan soup
Bissara, as it’s called in Morocco, is a plant based soup made with dried fava beans, spices and olive oil. The result is a buttery broth that’s super satisfying with another light drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of paprika and a slice of freshly baked bread.
This affordable bean grows easily here in the Pacific Northwest summers (and in regions of Morocco) and packs plenty of flavor and nutrients.
While I tend to make this in our kitchen during the winter months, in Morocco it's not uncommon to be served a bowl on the hottest summer day.
During many of my families summer trips back to Morocco we would make pitstops during on long hot road trips. My father would order us bowls without question and after drinking our soup we always felt puzzlingly cool.
All that is to say that while I tend to enjoy this soup in the Winter, you can make it any time of the year.
1 bowl, 2 steps
This fava bean soup earns major brownie points for being hassle free in both clean up and steps.
As long as you've got an immersion blender, you shouldn't have many dishes beyond your soup pot. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can blend the soup in batches in your stand blender.
Once you've picked out which pot you're going to use, it's as easy as bringing all the ingredients to a boil for 45 minutes, then pureeing.
You'll notice that as this soup cools it will thicken significantly. This is normal. Just add a splash of water and mix well before heating it up.
The leftovers are delicious and should last up to 7 days in an airtight container in your fridge.
Naturally gluten free & vegan
It's not every day that you find a recipe that is effortlessly vegan and gluten free. That said, I have found many Moroccan recipes that are top 8 free (free of the top 8 most common allergens), which is pretty exciting.
The ingredients for this soup are ridiculously simple. Once you find the fava beans (more on that below) the rest are pantry staples.
Here's what you'll need:
- dried split fava beans
- 1 chili pepper
- olive oil
And that's it!
If you like to get fancy with your soup toppings (like me) here are some of my favorites for Bissara:
- torn toasted bread
- lots of paprika and cumin
- flakey salt
- baby sage leafs
- a drizzle of olive oil
Fava beans: where to find them
Growing up in Olympia, Washington, there weren't a ton of Arab markets to shop at. Who am I kidding? There were no Arab markets to shop at.
That meant driving an hour plus up to Seattle (to a shop called Pacific Food Importers) to find dried fava beans for this soup. And you better believe my dad was making that trip only a few times a year, and stocking up on enough beans to last months.
Nowadays, you can probably find fava beans at most fancy grocery stores. But my favorite spot to find them here in Portland?
The local Arab market down the street has 2 pound bags for $4. You really can't beat that. If they're not available anywhere close to you, you can find them online here.
This recipe does not contain the following allergens (read more about this on my disclosure page):
Click on the Allergen Icons above to find more allergy friendly recipes in each category.