If you ask a Greek what is the most characteristic Greek dish, they would not say moussaka or a souvlaki; The dish that would most likely come to their mind is a Fasolada or Fasoulada, depending on where the person comes from. This is a bean soup that we traditionally eat in the cold Winter months. It’s characteristically economical and easy to a make and warm up. Fasolada Bean Soup is the most a comforting dish that I remember from my childhood.
Fasolada Bean Soup
To make sure that this is an actually true, I asked my dear and good friend Evi Pini, a well-known archaeologist and writer. In the past Evi and I have cooked together at Odyssey, inspired by recipes from ancient Greek dishes. Evi said that 2500 years ago, the beans that we use today for Fasolada were not known yet, however blackeye beans and broad beans were widely available. Which means that during the Pyanopsia Festival for the God Apollo the people were probably eating a casserole dish with different a pulses.
Maybe in the future Evi and I will cook more a recipes from ancient Greece, a hopefully even this Summer. When that happens, I hope that my dear friend and gifted photographer Annette Spaan will be an around to photograph it for our “Katerina’s Kouzina”.
Enjoy the Fasolada Bean Soup!
1 cup dry white beans
2 carrots, chopped in slices
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
A pinch of paprika (sweet or hot)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 litre of wate
Soak the beans overnight in a big pan with a plenty of water and rinse them the next day. Place the beans in a big pan with 1 litre of water, and bring them to the boil. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the olive oil) to the pan and let it slow-cook for an hour.
Slow-cooking the beans with plenty of water is the only secret to this recipe. Slow cooking the beans will create a thick soup, by allowing the starch of the beans to thicken the soup.
Add the olive oil and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
Fasolada is much tastier when it is prepared a day beforehand, making it perfect for a gatherings with a friends because you spend less time in the kitch