“Mum, do I really have to eat this soup?”…was the question I would always ask, when my mum put a bowl of ‘fasolada‘ in front of me, which was pretty often 😦
Fasolada (or Bean Soup) is one Greek dish that my mother insisted on cooking on a regular basis and one that I would always dread to eat. When I complained, she’d just say “you have to eat it because it’s good for you“. My mum would constantly tell us that we should eat pulses at least once a week to be healthy. Of course as a child, I had no idea about nutrition but, what I did know for sure, was that I didn’t like the taste of this Bean Soup. I remember telling myself that I wouldn’t make my kids eat this Greek stuff when I grew up and had my own family – ha!
It wasn’t until I was much older and had a family that I started cooking this soup. By then, I had learned a lot about nutrition and knew what was “good for me” and my family, so Greek Bean Soup made a regular appearance on our dinner table, particularly during winter. Fortunately, my family love this soup and strangely enough, so do I (now), which is a real bonus because, not only is this soup hearty and very delicious, it is also high in protein, iron, fibre and a variety of vitamins.
The star ingredient in this soup is dried beans which is a pulse. Pulses (including lentils, chickpeas and split-peas ), are considered to be nutritious, sustainable and affordable. So much so, that the United Nations declared 2016 as the International Year of the Pulses to help raise awareness for this amazing superfood. So, you see, my mum was right after all 🙂
Greek Bean Soup is low cost to make and can be served as a main meal with just some crusty bread. It’s also really easy to make but, you do have to plan ahead and soak the dried beans in water the night before. If you try cook them without soaking first, the beans will take ages to cook and, even then, they won’t be as tender as they should be, making them hard to eat and digest, so it is really important to soak them.
If you’ve come this far reading, then you must be finding the post interesting, so please take the next step and make some Greek Bean Soup for yourself and your family. It really is worth it! What you need
- 300g dried white beans
- 1 cup tinned or fresh ripe tomatoes – chopped
- 2 medium onions – grated
- 1 celery stick – finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots – peeled and finely chopped
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
Serves 4 – 6
What to do
Rinse the beans, then soak overnight in a bowl filled with water.
Drain the beans and place in a pot with 8 cups cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 1 hour.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the beans and vegetables are tender.
When serving, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top of each bowl.