Spring Soup of Favas, Sugar Snap Peas and Asparagus
In Italy, if you go out for dinner but you're not really hungry, you order pasta en brodo, "pasta in broth." What I've done here is to add some wonderful springtime vegetables to the broth—fava beans, sugar snap peas, and asparagus—all of which come into season at the same time. You could also add English peas, if you like.
Wine suggestion: Pinot Grigio, Bandol Rosé, or Sauvignon Blanc
1 pound fresh fava beans in the pod, shelled
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
1/2 pound asparagus, ends removed
9 cups chicken stock
26 ounces dried farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Bring a pot three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the fava beans and simmer for 20 seconds. Drain and let cool. Split open the skin of each bean along its edge, and slip the bean from the skin. Discard the skins.
Remove the ends and strings from the sugar snap peas. Cut the snap peas on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Reserve.
Cut the asparagus into 1-inch lengths and reserve.
In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the farfalle and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the fava beans, sugar snap peas, asparagus, and lemon juice and simmer 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately. Pass the Parmigiano at the table.