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I’m constantly trying to balance a few things as a home cook and the person who makes the majority of the dinners in out house. For the record, my husband does cook frequently but I’ve taken on the responsibility of meal planning for the week and cooking. Here’s what I’m trying to balance: speed, freshness, vegetarian food and meat dishes.

My husband grew up in a meat and potatoes house and though he certainly doesn’t insist that we eat that way at home, I know that if I were to serve…say…quinoa he would laugh and then go grab pizza. I once made tofu tacos. His reaction: [somber] “please don’t ever make this again.”

But I firmly believe in Pollan’s rule: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” And we also have a freezer of meat in our meat room (this is in our basement and it has our freezer as well as things like camping equipment). We purchase a portion of a cow a few times a year. I also took a pig butchering class and we have some of that meat. We also usually have salmon that my family has caught in Alaska. And I have two men in my house who like meat.

So it’s a balancing act between cooking meals that have meat and cooking vegetarian meals that don’t seem too hippie granola. And they have to be fast enough that I can make them after work. Soups are so good for this. I usually will make a vegetarian soup on Sunday night and serve it for dinner on Monday. Easy!

This week I tried the Sopa de Habas from Saveur. When I told Fancyhats what we were having he said, “Oh. Beans. Yum.” I’m telling you, it is a balancing act people. When you grow up in a meat and potatoes home, you don’t develop a taste for beans like you do if you grow up in Southern California. I could eat beans every single night. Fancyhats? Not so much. But if I don’t use beans, how am I supposed to get enough protein into the food to make a satisfying meal for two growing dudes?!? Well, one is still growing and one makes me understand the brilliance of calling a meat-based soup, “Hungry Man.”

Back to the recipe. I thought it was delicious. I changed up the recipe a bit and used a can of Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes. This is my secret ingredient for any recipe that calls for tomatoes. Fire roasted. Love that stuff. And with tomatoes nowhere near in season, I use canned. This year if we have summer, I’m going to can tomatoes and, I hope, have enough to last us a few months. Last summer we had no summer. Let’s not spend too much time dwelling on that.

Fancyhats ate it. The 6yo boy loved it. I think it would be delicious with some warm tortillas and avocado. Oh that sounds sooo good. In summary, if you like beans, this is an excellent recipe. If you’re sort of meh on beans, then this recipe won’t really do much for you.

Also, I’m concerned that dried fava beans might be hard to come by. My market, which is one of those silly organic markets, didn’t have them in the bulk food aisle, which usually says to me that a regular market wouldn’t carry them at all. I did find them in the packaged beans section, so check there first.

Bean lovers, you’re all good with this recipe.

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