Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kusksu bil-ful (Broad Bean & Pasta Soup)

As everything else in Malta, dishes are differently made in each and every family. I guess it has to do something with preferences :)
Some like it hot, some like it sweet, but at the end of the day, everyone is around the table.
I was thinking of re-naming this blog "How to make dish in under 60 minutes on a budget" but it wouldn't be true to the name, as sometimes the ingredients know how to get a bit expensive, but I guess that is just the basic supply and demand circle.
So, today I had places to be, people to see and things to do and I completely forgot that at point and time I have to re-fuel in order not to get too jumpy and twitchy. It is not a pretty sight, take my word for it.
So, with less than an hour to prepare something tasty and no time to shop and unfreeze stuff, I just grabbed the first things from the vegetable drawer in the fridge and thought of Kusksu.
You see, the word kusksu is used to define small, pearl like beads of pasta and I believe it is of Middle Eastern origins.
This dish in Malta is usually connected with Good Friday and spring, since it is the time of the fresh broad beans.
OK, OK, I won't go into story telling, so here is the recipe:
To feed 4 persons, you will need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 liter of water
1 biggish red onion (about 150-200 grams) chopped
2 small zucchini cubed
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 chicken or vegetable stock cube
1 cup of garden peas
1 small tin (or 200 grams fresh/frozen) broad beans, shelled
3/4 cup pasta beads (kusksu)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
salt and pepper to taste
200 grams of ricotta, cubed
1 egg per person


Put the cubed potatoes in a pot and pour over the cold water and stock cube on medium fire. In a pan, fry the onion on the olive oil, taking care not to change the color, add the sugar, salt, pepper, mixed spice, the tomato paste, zucchini and stir well. Add 3-4 tablespoons of water, stir again and pour the mixture in the pot with potatoes.
As soon as the mixture is boiling, crack the eggs one by one and remove them as soon as they're poached (or you can leave them tad longer if you prefer hard boiled).
After removing the eggs, add the ricotta and leave it for 3-4 minutes and remove it after that.
When the potatoes are about done, stir the pasta beads and peas and leave it for another 2-3 minutes. At the very end, add the broad beans and cook for further 3-4 minutes.
Pour the soup into plates and add the reserved egg and ricotta in each plate.


  1. Jako zanimljivo, volim ovakve povrtne juhe. No, couscous nije tjestenina, već posebno obrađeno pšenično zrno i malo me zbunio naziv juhe. Sve tražim cous cous među sastojcima, a kad' tamo, nema! No, nije bitno kako se nešto zove ako je ovako fino. I sviđa mi se tvoj pristup: brzo, lako, ako može jeftino. Ja isto nastojim da svi recepti budu ispod 1h. Ima iznimaka, ali u pravilu svi su laki i brzi.

  2. Preukusna je supa i laka na stomaku.Ovo sto koristim nije kuskus.To su loptice od semoline i vode i ovde ih zovu 'kusksu'.Cula sam da bas ovu tjesteninu zovu 'Israeli couscous' i puno je veci od obicnog kuskusa.
    Izgledaju kao male loptice sa dijametrom oko 2-3mm.
    Ako ne mozete naci,mozete koristiti bilo koju tjesteninu,leptirici,makarone,po zelji.Ne pada mi na pamet kako se zove Italijanska tjestenina koja je veoma slicna,ali nacicu i podelicu kad se setim :)