Fasolada is a hearty, healthy, and easy Greek Bean Soup that makes for the perfect vegetarian dinner.
Fasolada: A Greek Festival Soup
Fasolada could be considered the national dish of Greece.
This particular bean soup has a LONG history. All the way back to ancient times.
At the annual festival honoring the Greek god Apollo, this soup was served to the festival attendees and offered to Apollo himself.
It’s a bean soup of the gods!!
Or maybe, it was the soup of the festival because it was an easy way to feed a crowd…
Greek Bean Soup: Now A Common Dish
Apollo worship declined through the ages, but the soup’s popularity didn’t.
As can be expected when you have such a simple soup with such common ingredients, eventually this “festival soup” became an every day soup.
What was once the special dish of the town, is now considered a poor man’s meal.
You won’t find it celebrated in restaurants or adapted by top Greek chefs. But, you will find it in every Greek grandmother’s kitchen repertoire.
Our Fasolada Recipe
Fasolada is an incredibly easy bean soup. Saute some veggies, add your par-cooked beans, and then let the whole thing simmer to tasty perfection.
Traditional fasolada is finished off with a good dose of olive oil.
And, we’re not kidding when we say “a good dose.”
Most recipes that we found had you add a good 1/2 cup of olive oil to the soup pot before serving.
A heavy hand with the olive oil is VERY common in many Mediterranean cuisines, and while we don’t doubt that much olive oil would make for a tasty soup, it just seemed a bit excessive for our palates.
So, instead of adding the olive oil to the soup pot, we put the olive oil on the table, and let each diner choose how much olive oil they wanted to add to their bowl.
A heavy hand with the olive oil leads to a nice and creamy soup that is rich, but still light.
An easy hand with the olive oil keep this soup on the lighter side, while still giving a little something extra to the broth.
Either way, this bean soup is delicious!
Fasolada (Greek Bean Soup)
- 1 lb white beans, dry (navy or cannellini), soaked overnight
- ½ c olive oil, divided
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 c tomatoes, diced
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- Place the beans in a large soup pot and cover with water. Bring the beans to a boil and simmer for 30 min, until just tender.
- In a Dutch oven, or large soup pot, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the carrots, celery, and onion. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until soft.
- Mix in the diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
- Add the drained, par-cooked beans.
- Cover the beans with 1 inch of water and bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer the soup for 20-25 minutes, until the beans are tender.
- Add the salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Taste the soup and add additional salt and pepper as desired. .
- Finish the soup my mixing in the remaining olive oil, or save it to be added at the table, as each diner prefers.