A traditional Maltese fava bean soup for Lent

Kusksu is a popular traditional Maltese fava bean soup. Fava beans (or broad beans) are quite versatile and are in fact used in many Maltese recipes. These tasty type of beans are in season in March and April and this is one of the main reasons that Kusksu is most often cooked during Lent.

The other main reason is because this hearty soup does not contain any meat. Many Maltese people do not eat meat on certain days during Lent and particularly on Good Friday. 

fava bean soup kusksu

This soup with fava beans recipe is in fact a family favourite, particularly on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The word kusksu refers to the type of pasta that is used in this Maltese soup. Kusksu should not be confused with couscous. Kusksu is a round small pasta which is a bit bigger than the tiny traditional couscous that is used in various North African dishes. 


4 to 5 medium-sized potatoes (peeled and cut into halves)

4 medium-sized onions

6 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon tomato paste (kunserva)

600 grms (or 21.15 oz) fava beans (skinned)

100 grms (or 3.50 oz) Kusksu pasta

1 and a half litres water

Some oil

Salt and Pepper


Start off by peeling the onions and garlic. Chop them finely. Fry the onion lightly until it becomes transparent. Add the garlic and fry lightly.

Add the potatoes, fava beans and water and mix. Add the tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Boil on high heat. Simmer for about half an hour until the potatoes are cooked, stirring occasionally. When you see that the potatoes are cooked, add the kusksu pasta and continue simmering until the pasta is cooked. Stir occasionally.

Variations: You can omit the potatoes if you wish. You can also add a couple of gbejniet (cheeselets) to make the soup tastier. If you like tomatoes, you can add a couple of fresh tomatoes too. 

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