Broad beans, also sometimes called “gourganes” or “wetland
beans” in Quebec belong to the legume family. Rich in protein, they
are a great source of fibre and are easily identified by their long
shell inside of which flat beans are found. The beans themselves
are covered in a fine film to be removed before eating.
Broad beans are sold fresh or frozen. They are also found at the grocery store as dried beans.
Just as popular as blueberries in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, where it is used to make the celebrated broad bean soup. Today, broad beans are grown mostly in the Charlevoix region.
Fresh beans will keep in the refrigerator, but no more than 2
Shuck the beans, and to remove the film, plunge them in boiling
water for 1-2 minutes. Next, place in ice water. The film should
come off very easily.
To cook fresh beans, boil for 10-20 minutes. For dry beans, depending on their size, boil for 90-120 minutes.
- To obtain 250ml (1 cup) of shucked broad beans, you will need 500 g (1lb) of whole beans in their shell.
- Italian style: mix beans with tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil in a fresh salad,
- Snack on fresh, raw beans with their envelope removed,
- Incorporate broad beans in simmered dishes like chilli,
- Prepare broad bean soup: simmer 375 ml (1 ½ cup) of raw beans, 60 ml (1/4 cup) barley, 5 ml (1tsp) salted herbs, 180 ml (3/4 cup) minced carrots and 60 ml (1/4 cup) yellow string beans, one finely chopped onion and 125 ml (1/2 cup) salt pork in three litres of chicken stock until the broad beans are tender.