One of the most popular traditional Greek dishes is bean soup, known as Fasolada. It comes from the word “fasoli” meaning “bean”. It is a hearty and flavorful soup with white beans, olive oil, and vegetables. Our version includes vegetable broth instead of water to add deeper flavor and nutrients. Additionally, it is a perfect dish to prepare and serve during the period of Great Lent since the beans provide high amounts of protein and fiber.
Fasolada is super tasty yet so simple, which is why we love it in our house!
HOW TO MAKE FASOLADA
- Soak the beans in a bowl overnight in water . Then cook them for 30 min, until tender.
- Dice the celery, carrots and onion and chop fresh parsley. Set aside.
- Drain the beans, and set aside. Sauté the vegetables in olive oil until soft. Then add the tomato paste, and sauté for another 2 min.
- Add the beans back in, with the veggie broth, chopped parsley, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Add olive oil to the soup and stir well. Simmer for 10 minutes until it has thickened.
DO I HAVE TO SOAK THE BEANS BEFORE COOKING THE FASOLADA?
Soaking the beans before cooking them is recommended to remove some of the sugars responsible for beans’ infamous digestive issues. It also helps reduce cooking time.
HOW DO I SOAK DRY BEANS?
Dry beans should be placed in a large container and covered with water. For every 2 cups of beans, add 10 cups of cold water.
HOW LONG SHOULD THE BEANS SOAK BEFORE COOKING THE FASOLADA?
Dry beans should soak for at least 4 hours and up to 12 hours. You can soak them overnight or soak them in the morning so they are ready for you to cook in the late afternoon!
WHY SHOULD I WAIT TO ADD SALT TO THE BEANS AFTER THEY HAVE BEEN COOKING FOR A WHILE
Adding salt too soon can make the skins tough and lengthen the cooking time. I recommend adding the salt halfway to three quarters of the way through cooking. This will provide enough time for the beans to absorb and add to the flavor of your Fasolada!
Fasolada Greek White Bean Soup Recipe
FASOLADA GREEK WHITE BEAN SOUP
- 1 pound dry white navy beans
- 3 large carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 medium size red onion chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 48 oz vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Soak the beans (minimum 4 hours, up to 12 hours) in a large soup pot and cover with water plus about two more inches above the surface.
- When ready to prepare Fasolada, drain the beans in a colander and rinse.
- Place the beans back in the large soup pot and cover with water plus about two more inches. Bring the beans to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 min, until tender.
- While the beans are cooking, dice the celery, carrots and onion and chop fresh parsley. Set aside.
- After the beans have simmered for 30 minutes, once again, drain the beans in a colander and set aside.
- In the same large soup pot, heat 4 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the celery, carrots, and onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, until soft.
- Add the tomato paste and incorporate into the vegetable mixture. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Add the drained beans.
- Cover the bean and vegetable mixture with vegetable broth plus 1-2 inches more above the surface. Add chopped parsley, bay leaves, salt and fresh ground pepper; stir well.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
- Add ¼ cup of olive oil to the soup and stir well. Simmer an additional 10 minutes while occasionally stirring as the soup thickens.
- Taste the soup and add additional salt and pepper as needed.