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Ful Nabed Soup

A thick and creamy Egyptian bean soup with no cream
(inspired by a recipe in Claudia Roden, A Book of Mideastern Food)


  • 2 cans of Cannolini beans (or 1.5 cups of fully cooked beans). Any other kind of bean works too; the most authentic is taamia.
  • one lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Optional: one clove garlic, or one chopped hot pepper, or one teaspoon cumin or paprika, or parmesan cheese


  • Drain beans and rinse.
  • Place beans in food processor with an equal amount of water and puree until entirely smooth.
  • Put bean puree in small saucepan, grind in a generous amount of pepper.
  • Simmer gently for a while. If it gets too thick, add more water. If it is too thin, simmer longer. Taste to see if it needs some salt (depends on the brand of beans -- most are very salty)
  • When you are ready to eat, divide the puree into four bowls. Swirl on top of each bowl (but do not mix in):
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
    • If simple perfection isn't enough, try adding no more than one of the optional ingredients: a little pressed garlic, 1/4 teaspoon cumin or paprika, a little chopped chili pepper or some parmesan cheese.

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