When I was a child, I was a very, very, very… very picky eater. I hated mushrooms so much I told the poor ladies at my elementary school cafeteria that I was allergic to them and if there were ANY mushrooms in the daily special, I would probably die. Instantly. Don’t even get me started on Brussels sprout. I mean, who wants to eat anything that smells like farts. I eventually grew out of it, but I have to admit that I’m still not a big fan of beans. It’s nothing against them, but it’s just that the texture of most varieties gives me the sensation of eating mud wrapped in wet paper. Yuk.

However, I do have a small crush on fava beans. They keep a slight crunch and even though they have this nice earthy flavour, they also taste sweet and grassy. Trust me, they’re good! On top of that, they are called the funniest name in french, “gourgane.” Doesn’t it sound like gargoyle? Anyway, this soup is based off a very old french Canadian recipe, “soupe au gourganes.” This fava bean soup is real easy to prepare and will make your belly happy during the cold months of this lingering winter. 

There’s a lot more cozy recipes coming up in the next few weeks. Make sure you follow me on Instagram or Facebook to get notified!



1/4 cup butter
1 leek, washed, cut in two lengthwise and then in slices of 1 cm
1 garlic clove, minced
1 potato, washed, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
2 parsnips, washed, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes
1 litre chicken broth, preferably from your butcher
1 litre water
2 cup dried skinless fava beans (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup pearled barley
a few generous pinches of salt
freshly cracked black pepper
200 g pancetta, cut in 1 cm cubes 


Melt the butter over medium heat in a big pot and add the leek. Cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Throw in the potato, parsnips, chicken broth, water, fava beans and pearled barley. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt, to taste. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer. Cook covered for 45-60 minutes, until the barley and fava beans are tender, but still have a bite. Sear the pancetta in a separate pan for a few minutes over medium-high heat, until golden brown. Serve the soup with freshly ground black pepper and a spoonful of pancetta. Oh, and obviously some delicious bread slathered with butter. 

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  1. I was such a picky eater when I was a kid and now will eat almost anything! It gives me hope for my picky tiny humans. This soup looks so lovely, cozy and just perfect. I hope you’re enjoying exploring Toronto – it’s been my home for 18 years and I adore it!

  2. Of all the beans to like….fava beans! I never would have guessed! (But with leeks and parsnips, it sounds like it could be perfect for this cold winter weather)

  3. I love fava beans too (and I also have a soft-spot for anything with a funny name – I recently discovered the Scottish dish called Rumbledethumps and it honestly made my week). Now, if only they weren’t such a royal pain to work with from fresh. I also love a simple, bean-y soup, and this sounds absolutely amazing. I’m always so pleased when I’m reminded of the hearty and delicious diversity of French Canadian food too. So thanks for… well, all kinds of things related to this post! Cheers!


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Hi! I’m Steph. Originally from Montréal, I moved to Toronto in 2015. I spend my days working at the most quaint Swedish coffee shop making cinnamon buns and adding cardamom to everything I bake. In this blog, I want to share with you recipes that remind me of home, travel stories filled with new food discoveries and the restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries I love to visit most in my new city.