Fasolada is a traditional white bean soup that is particularly popular in Greece. This vegan dish is loaded with protein from the white beans and full of flavor from the fresh vegetables and seasonings. I decided to change things up a bit and used whole yellow tomatoes instead of the traditional red tomatoes many Greeks use. The yellow tomatoes will add a hint of sweetness to this soup. Visconti is the brand I used and is easy to find http://www.viscontifoods.com/our-products.
I will be using Great Northern White Beans for this recipe. If you’ve never cooked with dried beans, you’re in for a second lesson. Cooking with dried beans may be a bit tedious, but it’s worth it. During one of the countless cooking lessons from my grandmother, she taught me about sorting and soaking dried beans. Yes, there is a process when preparing dried beans. The experience continued with the precise cooking times and amount of additional water needed in bean soups which depends on the quality, age, and condition of the bean. This sounds crazy, I know, It’s just a bean, but this is so useful when cooking. To make things easier, you’ll want to start this process well in advance. First, soak the dried beans in cold water overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse them, then place in a deep pan, cover with cold water, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until almost tender. Please do not use canned beans to speed up the process; it will turn into mush, taste like shit, and Yiayia will be furious.
Once you’ve prepared the beans for cooking the soup, the rest is very easy.
- 1 pound great northern beans, soaked and precooked for 30 minutes
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 large celery stalks, sliced
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 24 ounce can whole peeled yellow tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Heat the 1/2 cup of oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent.
Add the carrots, celery, garlic, and pepper flakes to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables begin to soften but aren’t browned.
Meanwhile, add the canned tomatoes to a food processor and pulse until crushed, 25 seconds or so.
Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oregano to the pot. If using tomato paste, add it now. Add vegetable broth and water, and bring to a boil.
Lastly, add the prepared beans, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, until the beans are tender and the soup has thickened.
Note: If they haven’t fully dissolved, remove the whole garlic cloves from the pot before serving.