Fasolada - Greek white bean soup is delicious and comforting. Easy to make it has everything you need to cozy up with when the weather gets chillier.
A traditional way to "celebrate" the beginning of winter in Greece is to make a big pot of fasolada - white bean soup. This Greek soup comes from very humble beginnings and has the promise of a glorious future 🙂
Once considered the "poor" man's food this white bean soup is a classic Greek staple that generations of Greeks grew up with and still enjoy today. All you need really is a piece (or two) of good bread to pair it with. Additionally you can add anchovies, nice greek olives and greek feta to your meal.
This humble fasolada is delicious, filling, comforting and everything you need to warm up when the weather gets chillier.
- Dry white beans
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Chicken broth
- Tomato paste
- Dry oregano
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Soaking the white beans
This white bean soup recipe is very easy. You basically throw everything in a large pot and wait for it to be cooked. The only delay is the soaking of the beans.
The white beans have to be soaked for ten hours. Soaking them before cooking is recommended to resolve digestive issues, and it also reduces cooking times.
Add the beans in a large pot. Fill the pot with plenty of water to cover the beans and more. Add a pinch of salt. Stir and let the beans soak for 10 hours or overnight.
When you are ready, rinse them really well, put them back into the pot with enough water to cover them and boil for 20 min. Drain beans and set aside.
In medium heat add 2-3 tbsp olive oil in the pot. Add the onion. Sauté for 2-3 min, until onions are translucent. Add the garlic.( Image 1)
Stir and add the carrots, celery, and tomato paste. Stir again well. Season with salt and pepper and the dry oregano. Sauté for 2-3 min mixing everything well to allow flavors to develop. ( Image 2)
Add the beans and the tomatoes. Stir and add the chicken stock, parsley and enough water to cover the beans plus an extra inch. ( Image 3)
Stir well and let them simmer for 2 hours or until beans are soft. Add more water or stock if you need too. ( Image 4)
Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Tips & substitutions
- I like to make fasolada the day before I want to enjoy it. I soak the beans in plenty of water early in the morning and in 10 hours they are ready to be cooked. The soup simmers all evening while we have have dinner, watch our favorites on HBO or play board games. The broth develops, thickens lightly and turns really delicious. It is worth the wait.
- The fresher the dry beans the least time of cooking they need. If your bag of dry white beans has been sitting in your pantry for a while, be prepared for longer cooking. Nothing wrong with that, just be aware.
- You can substitute the broth with 2 bouillon cubes (and plenty of water). Please use the ones without palm oil, or with sustainable palm oil like Bou.
- This instant pot gigantes beans & roasted tomatoes recipe is such a warming and hearty dish.
- A chicken stew with lemony cannellini beans makes a rustic simple meal.
- Roasted beans in tomato sauce – gigantes plaki is another classic Greek dish you may enjoy.
Check all the pantry items a Greek kitchen wouldn’t go without.
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- 2 lb dry white beans
- 1 onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves diced
- 3 carrots cut in ¼ inch pieces
- 2 stalks celery cut in ¼ inch pieces
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 28 oz tomatoes diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup parsley roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp dry oregano
- sea salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 tbsp parsley roughly chopped optional
- 1 tbsp chili pepper flakes optional
- Add the beans in a large pot. Fill the pot with plenty of water to cover the beans and more. Add a pinch of salt. Stir and let the beans soak for 10 hours or overnight.When you are ready to cook, rinse them really well, put them back into the pot with enough water to cover them and cook in high heat for 20 min. Drain beans and set aside.
- In medium heat add 2-3 tbsp olive oil in the pot. Add the onions. Sauté for 2-3 min, until onions are translucent. Add the garlic. Stir and add carrots, celery, and tomato paste. Stir again well. Season with salt and pepper and the dry oregano. Sauté for 2-3 min mixing everything well to allow flavors to develop.
- Add the beans and the tomatoes. Stir and add the chicken stock and parsley. Add enough water to cover the beans plus an extra inch. Stir well and cook for 60 min or until beans are soft. Add more water or stock if you need too. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- Serve in bowls with a sprinkle of chili pepper flakes and a piece of warm bread for dipping.
- You can complete your meal by adding anchovies, some olives and good Greek feta.