Greek bean soup is almost like a national dish in Greece, although it doesn’t seem to be so popular on this side of the world. Rather, I have seen the infamous Avgolemono soup everywhere including restaurants and even canned on supermarket shelves! I think the reason behind this is because it is one of the humble foods found on every Greek table at least once a month, sometimes once a week. Especially now during times of crisis, there might be some people living off this stuff!
And despite the homeliness of this soup, it is a very simple, nutritious, and delectable soup! With a few ingredients and little preparation, you too can enjoy this vegetarian soup in no time!
I think the key to making this soup really wonderful is using quality ingredients. Make sure your celery is green and flavorful, onions and garlic fresh, and I alaways recommend using olive oil for added nutrition and flavor benefits! Beans are a great alternative to meats throughout the week, and of course this is approved for fasting times – you can eliminate the oil if necessary. By adding more veggies you can also make it more hearty and colorful. Try it out and let me know what you think, or if your yiayia has a similar but maybe better recipe for fasolada, I would love to hear about that too! Kali Orexi, Jacquline
Greek Bean Soup “Fasolada” Recipe:2 1/2 cups (about 1 lb) dried navy beans, soaked overnight or quick boiled* 1/2 cup olive oil 1 1/2 – 2 cups white onion 1 -2 cloves garlic 1 lg. or 8 – 10 baby carrots 2 stalks green celery 6 oz. of tomato puree or sauce 3 qts. hot water with 1 tsp. “better than bouillon” 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped salt and pepper Soak beans overnight or pour boiling water over and cover for 30 minutes. You can also choose to quick boil for 15-20 minutes and then drain and rinse the beans. This is an important step in releasing some of the gas causing toxins in the beans. Pulse the onion, garlic, and carrots in the food processor until chopped or do by hand if you choose. Sliced the celery and saute everything in the olive oil over medium to medium high heat. Add the tomato puree, water, and bouillon and bring to a boil. Now, add the beans and salt and pepper, reduce to a simmer or soft boil. Let cook for 2 hours or until very tender. Periodically checking if you need anymore water. When 15 minutes remains, add the chopped parsley.Serve with a good bread, salad, and wine for a complete meal!