Fasolada Greek Bean Soup Recipe
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This Fasolada Greek Bean Soup, sometimes called the national dish of Cyprus, is a hearty and rustic soup made from beans and vegetables. It’s easy to make and packed with nutrients, making it an excellent choice for a healthy but satisfying meal. Plus, it’s a great way to incorporate beans, which are a staple food in the Mediterranean diet and used in everyday meals in the Middle East, like in the fava beans recipe or this hummus recipe. Beans are not only a great source of plant-based protein, but they also contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are essential for a balanced diet. So, be sure to serve this delicious soup with plenty of olive oil and enjoy the goodness of beans in every spoonful!
What is the history behind fasolada?
This traditional Fasolada bean soup recipe originated in Ancient Greece, where it was cooked for the Pyanopsia Festival to honor Apollo, the Greek God. It is believed to be brought to Cyprus by Greek settlers. Over time, the recipe has evolved to include local ingredients and spices, giving it a distinct Cypriot flavor. The word fasolada is similar to fasulye, the Arabic word for the bean. It can refer to all kinds of fresh or dry beans, usually cooked with lamb and tomato sauce.
How do I make fasolada?
To make fasolada Greek bean soup, you’ll need a few simple ingredients, including white beans, onions, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and garlic. The beans are soaked overnight to soften them and then cooked in a flavorful broth with the vegetables. Then seasoned with bay leaves, thyme, and other herbs and spices. The result is a rich and creamy soup packed with flavor and nutrition—beans: the magical ingredient.
Aside from being the star of fasolada, beans are nutritious and versatile. That offers a wide range of health benefits. They are an excellent source of dietary fiber. Which can promote digestive health and reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions. Beans are also a plant-based protein, making them an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans. Most varieties of beans are low in fat and calories, making them a perfect option for anyone looking to maintain a healthy weight. They’re a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium. All these nutrients are essential for maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases. Some studies have even shown that eating beans regularly may help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease!
A wide variety of white beans!
In this Fasolada Greek Bean Soup recipe, I used navy beans. But as long you use dry white beans, you aren’t just limited to one option. Here are the most common options for fasolada:
- Navy Beans: Also known as Boston beans, navy beans are small, oval-shaped beans commonly used in baked beans and soups. They have a creamy texture with a mild flavor that blends well with many other ingredients.
- Great Northern Beans: Great northern beans are slightly larger than navy beans and have a similar texture and flavor. They are often used in stews and casseroles, as well as in salads and dips.
- Cannellini Beans: This type of white kidney bean is popular in Italian cuisine. They have a creamy texture and slightly nutty flavor that pairs well with various herbs and spices.
These are just a few varieties of white beans available, each with a unique flavor and texture.
Soak the white beans in cold water overnight for twelve hours. Rinse and keep aside.
Heat some olive oil in a non-stick soup pot and sauté finely chopped celery, carrots, and crushed garlic until soft, about 8 minutes.
Add the spices, bay leaf, coriander, cumin, salt, and black pepper, mix well, and add the tomato paste and mix again.
Add ripe tomatoes, then the white beans, mix again, add the broth and the rosemary twigs, bring to a boil, cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer for two hours until beans are soft and tender,
Ladle into serving bowls before topping with lemon juice, olive oil, and chopped parsley before serving.
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Are you looking for a hearty and delicious soup that’s perfect for a cold winter’s day? Look no further than Fasolada, a traditional Cypriot soup made with white beans, vegetables, and spices. This flavorful soup is easy to make and packed with nutrients, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a healthy and satisfying meal.
|2 cups dry white beans (or three cans drained and washed)|
|4 tablespoons olive oil|
|3 carrots (chopped)|
|3 celery stalks (chopped)|
|5 cloves garlic (minced)|
|1 bay leaf|
|2 springs rosemary twigs|
|½ teaspoon coriander|
|½ teaspoon cumin|
|1 teaspoon salt|
|½ teaspoon black pepper|
|4 tablespoons tomato paste|
|4 tomatoes (chopped)|
|1 whole apple (washed)|
|5 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)|
|½ cup bunch parsley (chopped)|
|¼ cups fresh lemon juice|
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