Fasolada White Bean Soup
Fasolada is a simple, full flavoured white bean soup that consists of only a handful of ingredients including vegetables and a good amount of extra virgin olive oil. Though simple, this homely soup is warming, healthy, humble and comforting. Most Greeks would say it the national dish of Greece and a staple in every household.
As the Orthodox community celebrates Holy Week leading up to Easter, I decided to share my mum’s recipe for her famous Fasolada. She serves it with olives and crusty bread which we love to use to soak up that creamy texture and rich flavourful soup.
I hope you give it a try. You will find many recipes add garlic and bay leaves and stock but mum always kept it simple and allowed the ingredients to shine.
· Mum’s first secret is she uses dried white beans (I like to cheat and use the canned ones sometimes). Mum soaks for these beans for 24 hours. If you plan on making this soup at 4 pm, then at 4 pm the previous day you should start to soak the beans and at least once change the water they are soaking in.
· Her second secret is using the best quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This is used during the cooking process and at the end once the fasolada has been served into the bowls. A good drizzle, swirled around the bowl is essential! Here is the link to the Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil I like to use with my Greek recipes.
Ladi Biosas from Grecian Purveyor:
· Finally, mum uses a pressure cooker to make sure the beans and vegetables are overcooked and really soft. As many do not own a pressure cooker, I am cooking her recipe in a basic stovetop pot but the end result can not change. We need to cook these beans and vegetables until they are almost starting to melt. This way the soup thickens giving it a stew-like consistency.
And now it’s time to start cooking! As always, if you make any of my recipes, I would love to hear your feedback. I am available here via email or you can catch me daily on Instagram and Facebook. Don’t forget to save it on your Pinterest board as well! I have a board named CreateCookShare that you can follow and save. Can’t wait to hear from you.
Be Well, Margaret x
Prep Time: Overnight soaking + 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
500g dried white beans
1 large brown onion, diced and chopped
4 carrots, peeled, halved and sliced
4 celery stalks, strings removed and chopped
(add the celery leaves and finely chop them)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup quality extra virgin olive oil – link for Ladi Biosas
(plus, extra upon serving)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Soak the white beans overnight (preferably for 24 hours) in plenty of water and cover them by at least 5cm of water as the beans will absorb and expand. In the morning, rinse the beans and once again add fresh water and continue to soak until needed.
2. Drain the beans, add them to a pot of water and over high heat, bring to boil. A foam will form at the top of the water but continue to boil on high for a further 10 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the carrots, celery and remaining ingredients.
3. Remove the pot from the stove and drain the beans. Place them back into the pot along with the carrots, celery, onion and extra virgin olive oil. Now pour into the pot boiling water (the water must be at boiling point), stir, cover and allow to simmer covered for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Add enough water to cover all the ingredients making sure they are submerged.
4. Every half hour checks on the fasolada and give it a good swirl.
5. Once cooked, add in the tomato paste, plenty of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Continue simmering for a further 10 minutes. The broth should thicken and the beans should be very tender. Add a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil into the pot and give it a final stir before removing it from the heat.
6. Serve with crusty bread, olives, pickles and feta cheese.