Another vegetarian / vegan dish that is very easy to prepare: Greek bean soup with vegetables, fasolada (“φασολάδα”) or also called fasoulada. Warming, nutritious and inexpensive.
You need dried white beans of medium size (the big beans “Gigantes” are not suitable).
We can buy these beans in this form, for example:
Here is a size comparison with a teaspoon to help you find the right variety:
The beans double their weight, so bear this in mind when deciding how much to cook. Rule of thumb: A packet of 500 g of dried beans, with the other ingredients, is enough for up to 8 people. However, you can also enjoy fasolada over several days; like many soups with pulses, it sometimes tastes even better the following day.
The dried beans must be soaked in cold water the day before, or at least early in the morning. The minimum time is 8 hours, but 12 hours or more is better. Then drain the water and rinse the beans thoroughly.
You also need chopped onion and garlic cloves as well as carrots and celery cut into coarse pieces. Other ingredients are bay leaf, thyme or rosemary and a whole, unpeeled apple.
How many veggies and how many herbs you want to add is a matter of taste and can be varied. We have listed today’s composition of ingredients, which we are very happy with.
Now for the cooking:
Sauté the onion, carrots and celery in a little olive oil over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then add the garlic and sweat it all for another 10 minutes.
Then we create some space in the middle of the pot bottom and roast tomato paste there for about 3 minutes. We now also season with a little chilli flakes. These are sometimes offered in Greece to season the finished soup, but for us the taste is then too overpowering. If you don’t want any spiciness, just leave out the chilli.
Now pour in vegetable stock. Rosemary (or thyme, as in our case today) and bay leaves are also added. Finally, a whole, unpeeled apple is put into the broth.
The apple not only adds a sweet and sour flavour component, the pectin contained mainly in the peel and seeds makes the broth a little more viscous, which later makes for a subtle difference in the meal.
For those who want to add another flavour:
Never throw away the rind of Parmigiano, it can be stored in the fridge for many months, we always keep a supply there. Put a piece of rind in the soup. This adds a subtle flavour and plenty of umami.
Now let the soup simmer gently for at least one hour. More likely it will take 1.5 hours for the beans to soften, but this varies with the natural product.
Then remove the apple, herbs and their stems and the Parmesan rind, if you have added any, from the soup, which is now seasoned with salt and pepper.
We like to serve with a few drops of very good olive oil and a little fresh dill.
Besides bread, a little feta, olives and also anchovies are suitable side dishes.
And may the taste be with you.
Ingredients ( for 4 people):
250 g dried white beans, medium size
3 – 4 carrots
3 – 4 stalks of celery
1 medium onion
4 – 5 cloves of garlic
Some very good olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
Optional: some chilli flakes to taste
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary or 4 sprigs thyme
Optional: Parmigiano rind
1.2 litres vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Optional: some dill to serve
Suitable side dishes: