Use this recipe as a jumping off point for the perfect Fasolada (Greek White Bean Soup).
Beans and legumes comprise one of the cornerstones of the Greek diet. And it’s no wonder — they’ve existed in Greece since before the Bronze Age. They are a humble ingredient that provide a sustainable source of protein and satisfaction as well. That’s why you can find Fasolada — Greek White Bean Soup — throughout the country and diaspora.
Template for a perfect Fasolada
A basic slate of broth, onions, carrots, and celery lay the foundation for this versatile soup. Recipes commonly add tomatoes. I’m also adding tomato paste here for more depth of flavor and to boost acidity. But you don’t need to use it at all. Instead, some households will swirl in a little skordalia (Greece’s favorite garlicky dip), fold in feta, yogurt, or garnish with chili, green onions, lemon and/or plenty of herbs like dill or parsley.
You can also serve the soup as is, or if you want it thicker, use a blender or immersion blender to puree some or all of the beans. It all depends on the texture that you most prefer. Either way, a steaming bowl of this soup pairs perfectly with a hunk of crusty bread.
What beans should I use?
Most Greeks buy their beans dried, but in this recipe you can use either three 15-ounce cans of Cannellini or great northern beans rinsed and strained or 1 pound dried beans that you’ve soaked in water overnight. I normally have a stock of canned beans in my pantry, so often make this with canned beans. And it really takes no time at all at that point.
Types of tomatoes and tomato paste
You can also use fresh or canned tomatoes in this recipe. I often use fresh tomatoes in the summer time when they are in season. If you opt to use fresh tomatoes, use about 1 1/2 – 2 pounds and grate them on a box grater and save the skin for your compost. Supermarket tomatoes out of season aren’t your best bet. They normally lack in flavor. Canned/jarred tomatoes are best to use in this case.
As far as tomato paste, I use double concentrated tomato paste for this recipe. You could use triple concentrated, just be aware that it is stronger, so you may want to decrease the amount.
How do you prefer your Fasolada? Let me know in the comments.