Bessara is a very simple Middle Eastern soup, fragrant with cumin and garlic and just a touch of chilli.
It’s traditionally made from dried fava beans which are becoming easier to find – try online or large supermarkets – but you could use spilt peas instead. Both are easy to cook as they need no soaking and they are full of the sustaining goodness you would expect from pulses.
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- Cumin seeds 2 tbsp
- Onion 1 large, finely sliced
- Olive oil 2 tbsp, plus a little extra for drizzling
- Garlic 3 cloves
- Chilli flakes 1-2 tsp, to taste
- Dried fava beans 350g, use yellow split peas if you can't find them in the shop
- Vegetable stock 1.75 litres
- Coriander leaves A good handful, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Recipe by Genevieve Taylor