Fasolada is a white bean or fava bean soup that dates back to the Ancient Greeks and which is popular in both Greece and Cyprus. In fact, fasolada is often referred to as the national dish of Greece.
There are variants all throughout the region, including an Italian one called pasta e fagioli. The Portuguese feijoada is also a variant of fasolada. There are variants throughout the Levant, including an Arab version called fasoulia.
Fasolada is traditionally made without meat, which makes it an important dish for Lent. Aside from the beans, other vegetables that can be included include celery and onion. It will also have a tomato base.
It is typically made with olive oil, or it may be added to the bowl at the table.
Fasolada is thought to have originated with a soup made to celebrate the Greek god Apollo. The name comes from the word faso, which means bean.
- 1 lb dried white beans
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 sticks celery, strings removed and sliced
- 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped (or a 15oz can peeled tomatoes)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
Drain the beans and place in a large saucepan.
Cover with cold water and bring to a boil, skimming off any froth with a slotted spoon.
Add all the other ingredients except the seasonings, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until tender.
Allow to cool slightly, season with salt and pepper, and ladle into bowls.
Serves 6 to 8