Fasolada – Greek traditional White Bean Soup
Authentic Traditional Greek Fasolada soup recipe
If you ask any Greek “Which is the national food of Greece?” they won’t tell you Mousaka or souvlaki which you might have guessed but rather “Fasolada”. The Greeks have been cooking this soup for hundreds of years and I’m guessing for at least once or twice per month to be considered as our national food! It’s cheap to make and one pot can feed more than 8 people.
How to make your kids eat any nutritious food!
When I was young (like most kids) I did not like this delicious soup so my mother had to come up with various tricks just to get me to eat a little. After many trials and errors, she found the ultimate trick which also worked for other recipes as well. “Eat just one spoonful and if you don’t like it I will cook something else for you”.
And I did just that! I ate one spoonful each time over many years and at some point I developed a taste for it and started craving it! You can definitely say that “Fasolada” is an Acquired taste but once you acquire it… you will never want to let go!
I enjoy pairing this soup with marinated anchovies and Greek feta cheese! Bon appétit!
Important notes about this Bean soup recipe
- Do NOT salt the beans until they are cooked or nearly cooked. That is because if you add salt at the start of the cooking the beans will become tough and no matter how long you cook them you might not be able to make them soft at the end.
- More info about beans and more in general Legumes and how to cook them you can find here.
- Grated fresh ripe tomatoes are very important to develop a great taste for this soup. If you ever need to replace it with canned tomatoes you should choose whole tomatoes and cut them yourself in small pieces or choose a can with already cut tomatoes in small pieces.
- You can also cook this recipe in one pot by sautéing the onions and carrots at first then add the grated tomatoes, the celery, and after you bring to a boil add the drained beans letting them simmer. When they are nearly ready add the salt, pepper, and lemon juice and bring to a boil one last time. The problem is that you will have to cook them for a lot of time because when you add the beans to the tomato juice they will get tougher and you might be cooking them for more than 1 hour until they are ready.
Fasolada – Greek traditional White Bean Soup
- 500g beans
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- A handful of celeriac leaves or wild celery *(or celery roughly chopped)
- 2 carrots, cut into rounds
- 4-5 fresh ripe tomatoes** grated
- Juice from 1 Lemon (optional)
- 4 Tbsp of extra virgin Olive oil (divided: 3 at the start and 1 at the end).
- A pinch of Salt / pepper
- Fill a big bowl with water and soak them overnight (or 8 hours). In the morning drain them, give them one more good wash over running water and drain them again. Add them to a pot full of water, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Then reduce the heat to low and let them simmer for about 30-40 mins. Depending on the brand, their size, and the variety of the white beans some require less and others more time to cook.
- In another pot, sauté the onions with 3 Tbsp olive oil over high heat and add the carrots, the grated tomato juice, and the celery.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer for about 15-20 min.
- As soon as the beans are cooked, drain them but make sure to keep the juice they have been simmering in because we might use it.
- Combine the two pots, stir gently so they are properly mixed, and add as much water from the drained beans as you need to make your soup.
- Add Salt and pepper to taste, add the lemon juice, bring to a boil one last time and your soup is ready.
- After the soup is ready add 1Tbsp olive oil.
- When I cook white beans of the brand 3A, after I combine the tomato sauce with the boiled beans I add them to my speed cooker for 10 minutes.
- The Lemon juice sometimes I add it sometimes I skip it depending on my mood!
- The soup will thicken as it gets colder so if you think it’s a bit runny at first don’t worry because it will change later on.
- If you forget to add them to soak overnight you can do it in the morning for 1 hour in hot water. Add the beans to a pot with plenty of water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then turn off the heat and let them soak for 1 hour.
- *The Greek Celery, called “Selino” in Greek, you might see it being referred to as “Wild Celery” often confused with parsley as it resembles it a lot. Another name for it might be “Celeriac leaves” as they are more tender than celery.
- **If your tomatoes are not ripe, add 1 Tbsp tomato paste to enhance the flavor.