Fasolatha - White Bean And Tomato Soup - (Vegan, Gluten-free) Real Greek Recipes (2024)

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Fasolatha is one of the most favorite wintrycomfort foods in Greece. It's a simple, healthy, easy-to-make white bean and tomato soup. Delicious and nourishing, all made from scratch using basic fresh ingredients.

Fasolatha - White Bean And Tomato Soup - (Vegan, Gluten-free) Real Greek Recipes (1)

This old-fashioned Greek soup is made on the stovetop using dried white beans that have been soaked. We never cook using canned beans in Greece. In fact, I've never come across them in a grocery store either. Except for these giant beans that are already cooked in a tomato sauce.

Table Of Contents
  • Why Dried Beans?
  • How Long To Cook Dried Beans?
  • Pressure Cooker Instructions
  • Slow Cooker Instructions
  • How To Make Thick Bean Soup
  • What To Serve With Fasolatha
  • Recipe

We're very old-fashioned when it comes to cooking in Greece. And we truly believe, that something that's cooked from scratch, is always healthier.

Why Dried Beans?

It's best to cook this soup using dried beans because you get a much more nutritious, thick, and creamy soup. Dried beans have more nutrients (protein, fiber, iron, potassium, and magnesium) than canned beans. Plus they don't contain sodium. So you get to decide how much you add. Also, slowly cooking the beans from scratch means they release their starch into the soup. Yielding a thick and creamy soup.

RECIPE TIP: The trick to tender beans is to simmer gently at a low heat covered.

How Long To Cook Dried Beans?

Dried beans sound like they need much time to cook, in fact, this is not true. Yes, it will take more than an hour but not hours. The important thing is to soak beans in water before cooking. This reduces their cooking time plus makes them more digestible.

If you're using a quality bean label (meaning the beans aren't too old) then one hour of soaking before cooking is more than enough. You could soak overnight if you like but that's really not necessary. As the beans will cook way too quickly and start to break apart.

For this recipe, we're cooking the beans for 1 and 40 minutes on the stovetop.

Fasolatha - White Bean And Tomato Soup - (Vegan, Gluten-free) Real Greek Recipes (2)

If you don't have that much time to spare, you can always cook the beans in a pressure cooker. Just until they get tender and then finish off on the stovetop, along with the rest of the ingredients for the soup. This will take you less than an hour. Or you can use a slow cooker and just put it in and leave it to cook on its own for a couple of hours.

Pressure Cooker Instructions

  1. Bring beans to a boil along with 2-3 liters of water in a cooking pot.
  2. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then drain beans in a strainer.
  3. Add beans along with 1 liter of water (or vegetable stock) in a pressure cooker and cook for about 35 minutes. Release the steam open and check beans if they're tender.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and simmer over medium to medium-high heat while stirring occasionally until the soup thickens.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  1. Bring beans to a boil along with 2-3 liters of water in a cooking pot.
  2. Cook for 3-4 minutes and then drain beans in a strainer.
  3. Add the beans along with the remaining ingredients for the soup and 6 cups of water to the slow cooker.
  4. Cook for about 8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.

Other Traditional Greek Legume Soups:

  • -Ancient Greek Lentil Soup
  • -Vitamin-Packed Lentil Tomato Soup
  • -

How many times I've woken up on a cold & rainy wintry morning to hear someone in the family say -Now that's a day for some Fasolatha!

I don't know what is it with this soup that makes it feel so comforting. Maybe it's that nice and thick texture that's so perfect for dipping your bread in. Or maybe it's your body saying -Thank you for such a healthy and nutritious meal on such a bad day.

Whatever it is, it's one of the best and most nourishing meals to have.

How To Make Thick Bean Soup

To make a really thick Fasolatha you need some REAL extra virgin olive oil. If it's a good quality olive oil it will help thicken the soup. Extra virgin olive oil has a thick consistency that when slowly cooked, gives a soup a velvety thick texture. For best results, stir the soup often from the time you add the olive oil to it.

Here's a quality Greek extra virgin olive oil you can use. See also my post explaining how to skip fake olive oils.

Fasolatha - White Bean And Tomato Soup - (Vegan, Gluten-free) Real Greek Recipes (3)

What To Serve With Fasolatha

Now here's the best part of this delicious white bean soup recipe. The side dishes. Traditionally a Greek Fasolatha is served along with some salt-cured fish like sardines. This tradition goes way back to Ancient Greece.

Ancient Greeks used to make a salty sauce out of the innardsof cured fish and use it to flavor all of their legume soups. Today we simply serve the salt-cured fish drizzled with olive oil and vinegar, as a side dish to this soup.

Fasolatha is also served with Feta cheese, olives, or even raw onions. In the Northern parts of Greece, you may even see this soup served with spicy Greek sausage. Since nothing goes better with beans than sausage!

Whatever you choose don't forget some rustic bread for dipping and a generous sprinkle of freshly ground pepper on top!

SIMILAR RECIPE

A lemony version of Greek Fasolatha that's equally delish but also serves as the perfect base to incorporate some bacon, sausage, or your fave greens into it. Instructions for this are in the post. As well as instant pot + slow cooker recipe instructions!

Recipe

Fasolatha - White Bean And Tomato Soup - (Vegan, Gluten-free) Real Greek Recipes (5)

Fasolatha - White Bean And Tomato Soup

Fasolatha is a white bean and tomato soup with a nice and thick texture. All made from scratch using fresh ingredients.

3.78 from 529 votes

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Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Greek

Keyword: Dinner, gut-healing foods

Prep Time: 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours hours

Total Time: 2 hours hours 5 minutes minutes

Servings: 5

Calories: 458kcal

Ingredients

  • 500 grams /17.6 dried Cannellini beans (or other small white beans)
  • 2 ½ liters (10 cups) boiling hot water (or half water and half vegetable stock)
  • 160 grams (1 large) onion finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 carrots sliced ½ cm (¼ inch thick)
  • 150 grams (1 + ½ cups) chopped celery (include some of the leaves as well)
  • 150 grams (medium-large) extra ripe tomato hand grated, skin discarded
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 160 ml (⅔ cup) extra virgin olive oil + a bit extra to serve with
  • freshly ground pepper
  • OPTIONAL: hot red pepper flakes or 1 small chili pepper

Instructions

Prepare The Beans:

  • Soak beans in plenty of water for about 1 hour at room temperature.

  • Half fill a large cooking pot with water and add the beans. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then drain beans in a strainer.

  • Don't rinse with cold water as this will make their skin come off.

Cook The Beans:

  • Place beans back in a cooking pot. Pour in 10 cups (2 ½ liters) of boiling hot water or vegetable stock. Add the bay leaf, and onion. Season with salt and bring to a boil.

  • Drop heat to low and simmer covered for about 1 hour.

  • Add the tomato paste, grated tomato, celery, carrots, and tomato paste. If using a chili pepper add it at this point as well. Season with ground pepper.

  • Raise heat to medium and simmer covered for 30 minutes more. Giving it a stir every 10 minutes or so.

  • Then raise heat to medium-high (keep it on medium if on a gas stove). Stir often until the soup thickens (see note 1 below).

  • Let the soup stand for 15 minutes partly covered before serving to bring out its flavors and thicken even further.

  • Serve with a drop of raw extra virgin olive oil, plenty of freshly ground pepper, and hot red pepper flakes if you want it spicy.

Video

Notes

Note 1: If you want the soup extra thick and creamy, take a spoonful of the soup with a ladle and blend in a small food processor or add to a blender. Blend until smooth and mix it back into the soup.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Sodium: 70mg | Potassium: 696mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 4512IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 3mg

Tried this recipe?I would love to see! Mention @real_greek_recipes or tag #real_greek_recipes!

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Fasolatha - White Bean And Tomato Soup - (Vegan, Gluten-free) Real Greek Recipes (2024)
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