Fassolatha (I love the sound of the word) is one of our family’s favourite soups. It is hearty yet suitable for a summer evening dinner or a late lunch.
Fassolatha (Greek bean soup)
- 1 cup dried cannellini beans
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 stalk of celery
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon of ground, dried tomato (see note)
- about a tablespoon of good quality olive oil
- black pepper and parsley
- Prepare the cannellini beans: you can soak them overnight and then simmer them for about half an hour, or you can just simmer them for a couple of hours until they are almost soft enough to eat (you finish them off in the next step).
- Chop the vegetables (onion, carrots, garlic and celery) and add them all to the prepared beans.
- Add more water if you need to and simmer for about half an hour, or until the beans and vegetables are soft.
- Add the tomato paste, olive oil and salt, and boil for a couple of minutes until the soup thickens up nicely.
- Garnish with pepper and parsley.
The dried tomato is one product from our annual tomato harvest. It is as a really good thickener and adds a beautiful intensity to the flavour. You can do without it, and it certainly wasn’t in the original recipe.
You could also used tinned beans instead of dried ones, but they will probably come out a bit mushier in the soup.
Source: Adapted from Our Greek Table (2009) by Pam Talimanididis. Hardie Grant Books: Prahan, Australia.