Catalan Fava Bean Stew

Catalan Fava Bean Stew


  • 2 red or brown dried chile peppers such as Pasilla or New Mexico Reds
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 medium onion, peeled & quartered
  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 country-style white bread
  • 3 parsnips , diced or carrots
  • 1 potato, peeled & diced
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fava beans, cooked (4 cups cooked favas) or 4 cups cooked lima beans
  • 1 cup corn kernels, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons sherry, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Tear the chiles in half and remove the stems and seeds. Soak the chiles in the stock for 1 hour or until soft. If using paprika, dissolve it in the stock. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the onions and tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil and roast them for 20 minutes. Add the garlic and continue roasting for 20 minutes, or until the garlic is soft and the onions are golden brown. Darkly toast the bread in a toaster. Transfer the chiles to a blender with a slotted spoon, reserving the stock. Add the onions, tomatoes, garlic, and toast and puree until smooth, adding stock as necessary to obtain a thick paste. Note: A blender works better than a food processor for this purpose. Transfer the chile mixture to a large, nonstick frying pan and cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Stir in the reserved stock, parsnips, and potatoes and half the parsley and cook, uncovered, stirring often, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender. The recipe can be prepared ahead to this stage. Stir in the fava beans, corn, sherry, and vinegar and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the beans and corn are thoroughly heated. Correct the seasoning, adding salt, sherry, or vinegar to taste. The mixture should be highly seasoned. If the stew is too thick, add a little more stock. If too thin, simmer the stew, uncovered, to evaporate the excess liquid. Transfer the stew to a bowl or platter and sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Rice or polenta would make a nice accompaniment. This stew originally was topped with almonds which I omitted. I served it over polenta and it was great!

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