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Cooking the perfect Kusksu!

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If you’re at the market you’re bound to notice the bountiful crates of green broad bean pods.  That’s one of the favourite crops of the season.

The bean crop depends on the rain during the winter season.  Once the broad bean plant reaches a certain height, Gozitan farmers typically pinch the shoots of the plant. This induces more of the white blooms that are dappled with black dots. These flowers will then grow into bean pods.

Broad bean plants growing in the fields in Gozo
Broad bean plants growing in the fields in Gozo

The green tender beans can be used in salads, but there is no doubt that broad beans or ‘ful’, as it’s locally known, immediately bring to mind Kusksu.  Kusksu (not to be confused with couscous), is a type of soup that gets its name from the tiny pasta beads that are used in this potage.

All you need:

  • 500 grams fresh broad beans shelled and peeled from the second skin
  • 350 grams of Kusksu (tiny pasta beads)
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • some cloves of garlic chopped
  • 2 potatoes peeled and chopped
  • 4-6 tablespoons tomato concentrate (‘Kunserva’)
  • 6 Gozitan Cheeselets (‘Ġbejniet’)
  • Olive oil
  • Approximately 1.5 litres of water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Grated Cheese

All you have to do:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onions and garlic and let them cook until soft.
  2. Add the potatoes and beans and stir. You can now add the tomato concentrate.
  3. Season and add the water. Bring to boil and let simmer for a minute or two.
  4. Add the kusksu and keep it on a low flame for another 14 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid the pasta sticking to the pot.
  5. Drop the cheeselets carefully into the cooked soup for a couple of minutes. When stirring, be careful not to break up the cheeselets.
  6. Kusksu is best served hot with some grated cheese.
Green Beans and Kusksu Pasta Beads
Green Beans and Kusksu Pasta Beads
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