Serves 8

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½ cup olive oil

1 red onion, sliced

1 small fennel bulb, sliced

2 pounds dried fava beans

4 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted

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1. Put the fava beans in a large bowl and cover by at least two inches of water. Let soak overnight. Drain.

2. Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened but not browned, about 8 minutes.

3. Add the fava beans and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the fava beans are falling apart, about 1½ hours.

4. Puree soup in a blender until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with toasted fennel seeds.

- From the Baldino family

Per serving: 408 calories, 24 grams protein, 56 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams sugar, 12 grams fat, no cholesterol, 27 milligrams sodium, 24 grams dietary fiber.

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