According to historians, fassolatha (fah-so-LAH-thah) has been a very popular dish in Greece since the ancient times. Back in the poorer times, it represented the only course in a meal and was served with generous quantities of bread. The soup is a favorite dish during winter and combines in a perfect way, the best of the Greek way of cooking: vegetables, legumes, olive oil and herbs.
Although the majority of the Greek soups are made only with vegetables, some also feature meat such as chicken or fish, while the Easter soup is made with lamb. Kakavia – Greek fishermen’s soup – is one of the most famous soups and combines a variety of seafood which can be changed to adapt to any season.
Make your own Fassolatha
All of us like to try new recipes especially if they come from countries we love. If you are vegetarian or plan to fast for religious purposes, this dish combines enough vegetables to give you energy.
To make the Greek beans soup, you will need:
- 450 g dried haricot beans
- 3 table spoons olive oil
- 2 diced onions
- 1 clove sliced garlic (optional)
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 1100 ml water
- 1 can plum diced tomatoes ; keep the juice separately
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 2 bay leaves
First you need to soak the beans over night in cold water. The next morning bring to boil some water and put the beans to simmer for 20 minutes then drain and rinse.
In a large saucepan heat the olive and fry the onion until it turns a bit golden. Add the garlic (optional), celery, carrots and beans. Cook for couple of minutes then add the water and the tomato juice. Simmer for 1 hour (even longer) or until the beans are soft.
Add the tomatoes and the herbs. Boil for couple of minutes. Add the salt and serve.
You can also make “white” beans soup and to do that don’t add any tomatoes. Instead, when the beans are boiled add the juice from a lemon.
While the soup boils you might need to add more water. In a separate pan, keep boiling water and add if needed. Fassolatha is not a puree but it’s not a watery soup either.
When you serve the dish you can sprinkle crumbled feta cheese on top along with some oregano and black olives.