Fasolada… The “mother of all” Greek comfort foods in a bowl. This is one bowl that the generations of Greeks grew up with on cool winter nights… A perfect winter warmer! This rustic, robust, healthy & homely white bean soup is simmered with everyday aromatics like onions, garlic, tomatoes and celery. But the real magic happens when it gets enriched with a good drizzle of olive oil in the end.
What is Fasolada?
A pot of bean soup simmering for hours is universal. Its existence is traced back to ancient times and is popular throughout the world as a healthy, yet cheap, way to feed the family. Over time what was considered “poor man’s food” has gained respect that it deserves in modern times.
Fasolada, or Fasoulada, is a Greek soup of white beans, vegetables and olive oil and can be found all over the Mediterranean and neighboring Arabic and Levantine regions, of course with different versions and names. It might be known as fagiolata in Italy, Feijoada in Portugal and Brazil, Fasole in Romania, Fabada in Spain, Kuru Fasulye in Turkey or Fasoulia in many Arabic countries.
The name Fasolada comes from the word ‘fasoli’, meaning beans. Beans and pulses play an important role in the Greek kitchen. Traditionally Greeks would eat beans at least twice a week, as they are a cheap and accessible source of non-animal protein.
Fasolada is either white in color and made zingy in the end with tons of lemon juice and some herbs, or it’s red from the addition of tomatoes in some form. It’s very popular during lent, as most of the time it’s made without any meat, though adding meat along with beans is not that uncommon.
- 300g white beans
- 1 cup Olive oil
- 1 large onions
- 2 carrots
- 1 branch celery
- 1 whole red sweet pepper
- Either 4 ripe grated tomatoes or 100g tomato puree (preferably home made)
- First we put the beans into cold water and and leave them overnight so that they can double in size by the next morning. Its an important step so that the soup isn’t to heavy on the stomach!
- Rinse off the beans in the morning and add them to a pot with 1L and a half of water. Clean and chop your vegetables into either small pieces except for the Red pepper. That goes in whole! I would suggest grating your onion too!! Add them all to the beans and simmer for at least an hour and a half before adding your salt and tomato. Then we simmer for an extra 30 min.
- When the food is done, we remove the pepper, peel the skin off, blend it to a puree and put it back inside our soup and mix well. It enhances the flavour, taste and smell!
- We add the oil at the end, turn it up for 5min high heat until it reaches boiling point. This creates the correct texture in our soup! When the food is done, we remove the pepper, peel the skin off, blend it and put it back inside our soup and mix well. It enhances the flavour!
- Your Fasolada is ready! Taste for salt and serve with freshly toasted bread and some olives.