Here. I just wrote this for someone who PM'd me about cooking fava beans. I'll probably come back and edit it soon.
Cooking dried beans
I mostly cook giant lima beans, not fava. They are way cheaper. The ones I get from Whole foods are called Giant Peruvian Limas. And I get something else unknown from Mexican markets. There are many types. They are eaten a lot in the Mediterranean too.
I cook them the way I cook all dried legumes.
Soak them. If you have something with whey like my homemade yogurt, you could add a little when they soak. That helps start breaking them down according to the Weston Price people. And I think anything else acidic will do as well. Drain the soaking liquid and rinse a few times. You might even drain and rinse once or twice during the soaking process to rinse away the phytates and lectins and whatever other protective toxin the seeds have.
I then add water to cover along with a lot of onions and garlic. For the most flavor, you can saute the onions and carrots or other hard veggies you might want to add. Add a little salt when you saute the onions. Then add the beans and water, cover and simmer until done. Add a little more salt after it reaches boiling point. A rapid boil will make beans more likely to split apart so if you want them to look nice and be whole, don't keep them to a simmer. not to mention make it less likely to boil over and make a mess you'll have to clean.
Sauteeing increases flavor and it's a really good thing to do with other soups especially if you aren't adding meat. You can brown the onions a bit then add some water to scrape up the bits. You don't want to brown garlic though. You can even add water and boil for a bit until it reduces some to concentrate flavor which is good if you are water not stock, which I usually do.
For spices (during cooking), I usually add Italian type herbs to the lima beans. Curry and/or tumeric to lentils. I also sometimes add a little bit of Italian sausage to make a soup like the potato sausage and kale soup they have at Olive Garden. I used to make it with white kidney beans, but I've started using the limas in place of them. Don't use much sausage (1 or 2 links) because it has a lot of flavor.
When they are nearly done, you can add tomatoes, which are good with either. And when done, add greens like kale, spinach or collards. I usually add frozen which I keep on hand in the freezer to add to all kinds of soups and curry recipes. But I never see frozen kale anywhere. Beans are limited by methionine, a sulfur amino acid, and greens like kale and spinach are high in methionine. Not so much with the collards.
Also, if you want to use soup stock, make it yourself to keep in the freezer. Boil up your veggie scraps with garlic, onion and salt to make veggie stock to keep in freezer. You can freeze in ice cube trays or muffin pans so you can have small amounts to use just what you want.
I used to cook a lot of black and red kidney beans since they are some of the most nutritious--not so limited in methionine and high in phytonutrients with their colorful skins--but in my lectin research I read that kidney beans were one of the worst for lectins while broad beans had a much lower content. I also read somewhere that fava beans were high in some protective (to the seed, not us) toxin.
Oh, in case you don't know. The dried beans will double or triple in size so one cup dried makes 2-3 cups cooked. I usually cook 1 1/2 or 2 cups dried. Then use some of the beans in a soup and just eat some beans as a side dish. And freeze some for another day.
Edited by alternativista, 08 June 2010 - 04:51 PM.