FAVA BEAN, HERB, AND WAX BEAN SOUP WITH FRIED PITA BREAD

3 c. vegetable stock or light chicken stock
1 c. shelled fava beans, about 1-1/4 pounds pods
5 slender leeks, thinly sliced
1 small onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
12 wax, or other fresh beans, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
2 Tbs. slivered mint leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pita bread
2 Tbs. olive oil

Heat the stock. Add the fava beans, if they’re small, along with the leeks, onion, garlic, and wax beans. (If the fava beans are large, blanch them separately for 1 minute, then peel, and add them to the soup with the zucchini.) Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes. Add the zucchini, simmer for 10 minutes more, and then stir in the herbs. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Turn off the heat and allow the soup to rest so that the herbs can infuse the broth. Meanwhile, cut or tear the pita bread into small pieces and fry in the olive oil over medium-high heat until crisp and golden. Serve the soup with several pieces of bread floating in each bowl. Serves 2 to 4.

(from Local Flavors, by Deborah Madison)

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