I love it when the weather gets cooler and we can just have soup for dinner. We all love soup in our house but I love it the most because it is a complete one pot meal, which can stretch over two nights and even a lunch or two.
Fasolatha is one of those simple legume based soups that are wholesome, peasant food at its best. This soup is also vegan and so can be eaten during Lent. It’s good peasant food, so there’s no messing around with adding in extra flavor with labor intensive broths, this is a water based soup, the beans are first parboiled and the soup has a fresh, clean fresh tasting broth from the vegetables, beans and lashings of olive oil.
There are two types of fasolatha. Red fasolatha which has tomato paste or tomatoes added and white fasolatha which is made without tomatoes and served with lemon. I’ve made the red fasolatha here and as I had a Parmesan rind in the fridge that needed to be used I threw that in as well, while the soup cooked, that’s not traditional and it breaks the rules of Lent but it was very good.
Fasolatha- Greek White Bean Soup
- 375grams (12 ounces) white beans
- 1 large onion chopped.
- 2-3 carrots diced
- 3 stalks of celery sliced finely
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs of thyme or oregano
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of paprika (hot or sweet)
- Chopped parsley
- freshly ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- Soak white beans overnight. Drain and place in a large saucepan with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 30 to 35 minutes until just tender and drain.
- Wipe out saucepan and heat oil, saute onion, carrot and celery until translucent. Add tomato paste and paprika and saute for another minute or so. Add beans and then pour hot water over beans and vegetables to cover and make a nice soupy consistency. Add thyme, oregano and bay leaves, bring to a simmer and cook slowly for about an hour until beans and vegetables are very tender. Add more water if soup becomes too thick.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and simmer soup uncovered for about 10-15 minutes if the soup is too watery until the soup thickens. Add chopped parsley and serve with extra olive oil drizzled on top if desired.