1 cup whole dried fava beans - (½ lb)
Water as needed
1 bay leaf (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, minced
2 pounds lamb shoulder chops, cut in 1" cubes
8 Spanish saffron threads, crushed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 pounds tomatoes (approximately 10 to 12), peeled and seeded
30 sprigs parsley
15 sprigs cilantro
1 cup lentils
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Salt, to taste
1/2 cup vermicelli, crushed
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving
Rinse and pick over fava beans, then soak overnight in water to cover. To quick-soak: Place beans in large soup pot and add 10 cups hot water and 1 bay leaf. Bring water to a rolling boil for 3 minutes. Turn off heat and soak beans for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The older the beans, the longer they will take to cook. Squeeze each fava bean between your thumb and forefinger to remove skin. Set beans aside.
Soak lentils for 1 hour in cold water and drain.
In large soup pot over medium-high heat, heat oil and fry onions and meat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add saffron, turmeric, ginger and 8 cups water. Cover and bring to rolling boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, add fava beans and cook, covered, until beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on age of beans.