Bissara Soup

Yesterday it was in the sixties, today the high is thirty degrees. Mother Nature is a bit indecisive as of late, resulting in runny noses and budding colds in our house. Soup comes to the rescue to provide nourishment and comforting warmth. Bissara soup, which comes from Morocco, is like a hug from the inside out. It's a creamy, bean based vegan soup with a hint of spice. Everyone seems to have their own version with varying spice levels and bean to broth ratios. I use cannellini beans, but fava beans are the traditional choice. I've also seen variations using lentils and split peas. The end result is always the same: a silky smooth soup with a deceptively rich flavor.

Bissara Soup
Serves 2

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 15oz cans cannellini beans
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt & pepper to taste
Lemon olive oil and additional paprika for garnish (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat, saute the garlic in olive oil. Once softened, stir in the cumin and paprika. Cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Stir in the beans and lemon juice. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Pour in the broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth.

Serve while hot. Garnish with lemon olive oil and paprika if desired.

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