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Greek Grandma's Secret Recipe: Authentic Fasolada, the Ultimate Comfort Soup!

Fasolada is enjoyed all year, especially during Lent when Orthodox Christians fast. Its name, from “fasoli” meaning beans, shows it’s a tasty meat-free option.

Embracing Tradition: The Heartwarming Tale of Fasolada, Greece's Beloved Bean Soup

Fasolada, the cherished Greek bean soup, holds a rich tradition steeped in history and warmth. Passed down through generations, it symbolizes family gatherings, cozy kitchens, and the embrace of Greek culture.

Legend has it that Fasolada originated in ancient Greece, often referred to as the “national food of the Greeks.” It was a staple among the working class, valued for its simplicity, affordability, and nourishing qualities.

The heartwarming tradition of Fasolada revolves around communal cooking, where families would gather in kitchens, sharing stories and laughter while preparing this hearty soup. Each household added its unique touch, passed down from grandmothers to mothers, creating variations that made it a personal treasure.

In Greece, Fasolada signifies unity and the importance of wholesome, comforting meals shared among loved ones. Its preparation involves patience, as the beans slowly simmered with aromatic vegetables and herbs, infusing the air with irresistible scents that beckoned family members to the table.

Even today, Fasolada remains a symbol of togetherness, embodying the essence of Greek culture and the enduring bonds fostered over shared meals. Its legacy continues, embracing newcomers and preserving the warmth of tradition in every savory spoonful.

The Greek myth behind Fasolada

Legend says Fasolada began when Theseus promised Apollo olive branches if he defeated the Minotaur. Returning hungry, they made a stew from gathered ingredients—a simple, tasty dish often served with bread, feta, and olives.

traditional Fasolada recipe that's reminiscent of a Greek grandma min

Traditional Fasolada recipe, like Grandma's

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried white beans (such as Great Northern or navy beans), soaked overnight
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

How to make Fasolada Soup

  • Drain and rinse the soaked beans. In a large pot, add the beans and cover them with water (about 8 cups). Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook until the beans are tender but not mushy (around 45 minutes to 1 hour). Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.

  • In a separate pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Sauté until they begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes to enhance the flavor. Then add this mixture to the pot with the cooked beans.

  • Add the canned diced tomatoes, bay leaf, and dried oregano to the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the soup over low heat for about 30-40 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

  • Check the seasoning and adjust if needed. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

  • Serve hot, garnished with chopped fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil, accompanied by crusty bread, olives, and feta cheese.

This Fasolada recipe captures the heartiness and comforting flavors of traditional Greek cuisine. Enjoy!