Fasolada (Greek Navy Bean Soup)

October 4, 2010 · 16 comments

in greek,healthy,soups and stews,vegetarian

The second it drops below 75 degrees (okay, maybe 80…), I’m instantly itching to make soup.  Fall is my favorite season not just because of the perfect weather and the sweaters, but because of the food, too: soups and stews, apple recipes, pumpkin anything.  Yes yes yes.

Making soups is fairly easy as it is, but this soup is especially easy.  In fact, it might be the easiest soup you’ll ever make.  There is no sautéing, no pureeing, no roux, no nada. You literally throw everything into a pot and let ‘er rip. The result is an incredibly healthy (not even any fat!), hearty, vegetarian main dish soup that is extremely popular on Greek tables.  Dried beans are used here, so it does take a little bit of time for those to soak & cook, but considering you don’t actually have to do anything while these things are going on, it’s a pretty good deal. And believe me, when you taste it, it doesn’t seem that easy.  The flavors all meld wonderfully together and create a delicious and satisfying meal.

This makes a lot of soup.  We had leftovers for a couple days, and I also ended up freezing about 1/3 of the batch.

Fasolada

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1 lb. dried haricot/navy beans
12 cups water (possibly more)
1.5 cups crushed tomatoes
3-4 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. oregano
pinch of red pepper flakes
ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley
3 carrots, sliced
3 celery ribs, sliced
1-2 onions (depending on size), chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
salt

Rinse and pick over the beans.  Place them in a pot or bowl and cover them with water by about three inches.  Soak overnight.  Drain.

Add enough water to the pot to cover the beans by a few inches.  Bring to a boil, and cook for 5-10 minutes.  Again, drain the beans.

Pour the 12 cups of water into the pot.  Add all of the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the salt. Return the beans to the pot and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for an hour and a half.  Remove the lid and continue to cook another 30 minutes or until the beans are tender and the soup has thickened (add more water, if necessary).  Season to taste with salt (you will need a decent amount, considering the large pot of soup & amount of water).

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Banana Wonder October 4, 2010 at 9:59 am

Nice one elly! Your broth looks incredibly rich. I will definitely be making a batch of these babies soon.

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nina October 4, 2010 at 12:38 pm

I have to agree, fall and winter are my fav seasons too!! Will for sure try your broths soon, the days are not too hot yet!!

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Jenn AKA The Leftover Queen October 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Sounds delicious! I love bean soups!

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Ivy October 5, 2010 at 5:25 am

I love fassolada and can’t wait for the weather to get cold in order to make it. Today I am making fassolia salata.

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Peter October 5, 2010 at 7:51 am

Elly, Fassolada season is here too! I never tire of this rustic, very Greek dish. I go grab the bread…there in a bit. ;)

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Maria October 5, 2010 at 8:45 am

Fassolada is definitely a staple in this house … that I think every household should adopt! Yours looks delicious. I’ve never tried freezing it … does it keep well?

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elly October 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Yes, it freezes great! I find bean soups to freeze especially well.

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my little expat kitchen October 6, 2010 at 5:31 am

I love fasolada! It is the season for it for sure!
Magda

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Brianna & Dustin October 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm

I agree. As soon as the weather changes, I tend to jump straight into fall foods. I’ve never had this soup before, but it looks really flavorful. And I appreciate that it uses dried beans because that’s what I always have in my pantry!

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Kelsey October 14, 2010 at 10:25 am

Oooh! This looks awesome!

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Steve November 2, 2010 at 6:55 pm

Mom use to make this alot, but with all greek moms she will not give up the secret. I`ve tried to make it with the help of some cook books, and they came close but nothin like moms, yours sounds great…. Given it a try tonght.

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Careca January 27, 2012 at 9:55 pm

I grew up in Montréal enjoying this soup in the winter. As as an adult, I prepare it all the time when there is snow on the ground.

For an added twist, I started adding the prosciutto ends that they offer at the Italian markets. Peel the fat off it first, then cut the meat into cubes to put in the soup. It is the sweetest part of the prosciutto and adds great flavour to the dish without adding all the calories. When I serve the bowl, I add a tablespoon of olive oil. With a loaf of Portuguese or Italian bread on the side, it is a delicious meal that warms you up. Now you have awesome Greek soul food. Enjoy!

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Jeanette January 8, 2013 at 8:28 pm

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this soup. My husband ate the leftovers every day for lunch till it disappeared, then asked me to make more next week. Thank you for a new staple for our household!

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elly January 8, 2013 at 10:05 pm

So glad to hear it, Jeanette!

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