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Greek Fava with two recipes: Greek Fava Soup with Pumpkin and Fava Dip




Don’t confuse Greek fava with fava beans (Vicia Faba) although “vicia” and “vetches” are classified  in the same genus.  Greek fava (lathyrus clymenum), looks like yellow split peas, but is much tastier and is produced in various parts of Greece.  The most popular one is the one produced on Santorini Island, because of the volcanic soil and the climate of the island, which doesn’t need much water to grow.

Fava, has been documented and attested after excavations by archaeologists  in Santorini.   The eruption of  the volcano of  Santorini, during the Minoan Bronze age, around the 16th century b.C, revealed remains of stored seeds, identified as Lathyrus clymenum seeds, burried under its white ashes (not lava) called aspa in Greek.

Pulses and dried legumes,  have been cultivated in Greece for millenia and are staples of the traditional Greek Diet.

Reading an article at Naturopathy in Greece, here are a few of the properties about  Legumes or pulses.

“The very low glycemic index of legumes, abundant in slowly digested starches, helps keep the blood glucose at low levels, and equally, the ensuing pancreatic insulin response. Legumes are low in fat and high in protein. They are also good sources of flavonoids, contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, and are full of cardio-protective nutrients such as arginine, Vitamin E, the B vitamins including folic acid, and minerals such as calcium and zinc.

For people with intestinal problems, we recommend dried beans, lentils and split peas, but soaked for at least 10-12 hours prior to cooking, and the water discarded since it now contains also indigestible sugars. Legumes can be eaten in small amounts by such patients. We recommend legumes 2-3 times a week combined with fresh salad, or with small amount of dairy products and cooked fresh vegetables.”

The most common dish made with fava in Greece, is  a kind of pudding served as an appetizer, with the same name:  Fava is boiled with a finely chopped onion until the water evaporates and  it becomes soft and falls apart.  When it is ready, olive oil,  salt and pepper is added and continues to be cooked for five more minutes.  It is served with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and finely chopped onion and parsley on top.

Fava pantremeni (which means married), is similar to the Cypriot lentil dish Moudjentra with the addition of fried onions.  A similar dish is also made in Cyprus with louvana (Lathyrus Ochrus) also known as Cyprus vetch.    However, in the Greek dish, fava is “married / combined” with the fried onions and two more products which  Santorini is famous for, which are capers and tomatoes are added to the onions and sauteed together.  Half of this mixture is mixed in the boiled fava and the remaining is served on top of the dish.  Instead of posting this dish, below you can find two new recipes of mine with twists on this classic recipe.

The first dish is a soup.  Although the weather is much better now, yet we don’t mind still eating some soups especially because of my husband’s gallbladder diet.

This recipe was first made during December but since soups are good for the gallbladder and since I had some roasted pumpkin in the deep freezer, I made it again a few days ago.  The only thing I changed was to add less olive oil (about 1/8th cup) and of course no chicken stock.   During the winter, we also added some pasto (smoked pork) in the soup and it was delicious.   It goes without saying that this was not added the second time, but I can assure you that still it was a very delicious soup.

This soup is vegan as it is not necessary to add the chicken stock or the smoked pork.   If you cannot find Greek fava, you can make this soup and the dip with other grain legumes such as Lathyrus sativus or the  yellow split peas (Pissum Sativum).   In Cyprus you can make it with louvana.

Note:  In Cyprus, the fresh leaves of the vetch are made into a salad, which is called louvanosalata.

Soupa Favas me Glykokolokytha (Greek Fava Soup with Pumpkin), recipe by Ivy


  • 500 grams Greek fava
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 liters of chicken stock (or water with 1 bio chicken cube), optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large potato, cut into cubes
  • 1 – 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • Salt and freshly grated black pepper
  • Extra olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper to serve
  • Pasto, cut into small pieces (optional)


Soak the pulses from the previous evening or early morning, for at least 5 to 6 hours, as per instructions on the packet. Put them in a colander and rinse well.

Put them in a pot with water to cover them and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and skim well.  Drain again.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic with a little salt and pepper until translucent.

Put the pulses in the pot, stirring well to cover everywhere with oil.  Add the potatoes, carrots and celery, bay leaves and chicken broth (or water with cube).

Bring to a boil over high heat, lower heat and simmer for about 1 – 1 ½ hours until the pulses are soft.  More water may be needed.

Meanwhile roast the pumpkin and puree in the food processor (or if it has been frozen, thaw). Put the soup in the food processor and mash. Add the pumpkin and stir.

Boil  together for 5 to 6 minutes, turn off the heat and add a little raw olive oil and stir.

Add a few pieces of pasto and serve the soup with freshly ground pepper on top.

I had some leftover soup, so the next day I drained all the liquid and used it as a base to make a Fava dip.  I always work with ingredients I have at home and feta is always in my fridge and since I had roasted red peppers, I decided to combine them based on my Scarlet Pesto with Piperies Florinis recipe.

Fava with Roasted Red Pepper, Feta and Smoked Paprika Dip, recipe by Ivy


  • 2 cups cooked fava me glykokolokytha (as above)
  • 1 piperia Florinis (red sweet roasted pepper)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juice)
  • 100 grams feta
  • Smoked paprika
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil on top


Put the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor and mix.  Add the fava, feta, roasted red pepper and smoked paprika and mix to puree.

Refrigerate before serving with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and more paprika on top.


I take this opportunity to thank all of you for your kind wishes on Facebook for my birthday today.

I also want to wish you all a Happy Easter and inform you that my blog will be on hiatus for a short time but I will catch up with your news either on Facebook or Twitter.

Recipe for soup, adapted for Gallbladder Diet

Disclaimer:   I’m not a doctor, I’m not a surgeon and I’m not a dietician.  Each person may have different symptoms, so please consult your doctor before following this diet.

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Vegan Borscht Soup

Artichoke & Celeriac Soup

Gallbladder Diet

Makaronia me Kima (spaghetti with Meat Sauce)

Milokopi (Bearded Umbrine) with Roasted Vegetables

Chicken Burgers

Pumpkin-Potato Puree

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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18 Responses

  1. Great recipes! Favas are so versatile and delicious. Both the soup and dip look really good.



  2. Soup looks so healthy and yumm. Wishing you again a wonderful day Ivy.

  3. Ben

    Legumes are just amazing ingredients! The fava soup with pumpkin looks particularly delicious. Happy Birthday my friend!

  4. Fava soup and Fava Dip? Where is the birthday Cake? I think I have to prepare one for you today!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY IVY!!!

    • Ivy

      Ha, ha no cake. I bake cake for everyone except for myself. Maybe I’ll make one during the weekend:)

  5. Merci mon amie, grâce à toi, nous découvrons de magnifiques recettes.
    A bientôt

  6. I just love what you’ve done with the fava! I could dive into both!

  7. I adore fava! I love how you made the dip with the paprika, Ivy. I have to try this for sure!

  8. I love that Greek fava bean soup..so tasty and flavourful. Fava pantremeni looks really interesting…I first thought it was cooked with eggs.
    Have a great weekend!

  9. This looks familiar. We use this Lentil in India. It’s called the Toor Dal (Dal means Lentil). These recipies are awesome. I’ll surely love to try them with the Toor Dal I have.

  10. The soup looks delicious! I love that it also has pumpkin in it. I also like you you reinvented the leftovers into a dip! Very clever. Happy Belated Birthday! Hope it was wonderful! xoxo

  11. Very interesting post, Ivy. And both the soup and the dip look very nice. I wonder if I can fing Greek fava here.

  12. i wold love top eat this fava dip !!Have a good one : here in Paris it is very sunny but cold !!pierre

  13. j’aime beaucoup en plus c’est riche en vitamines
    bonne journée

  14. Jay

    looks healthy & inviting..:)
    Tasty Appetite

  15. I’ve never seen those Greek fava, but I’ll look out for them the next time I go to my local ethnic shop – maybe I’ve always mistaken them for yellow split peas. Your recipes are very appetizing, and I’ll try them with anotherpulse if I can’t find the fava – I’m thinking split chickpeas would work…

  16. Thank you for introducing me to greek favas, the dip would be a hit in my home!! Delish!

  17. Michelle

    The last one looks like roe salad 😀 I could eat it through the monitor! Well, I sure know what I’m gonna try this week-end. Just hope to find all the ingredients…