Fassoulada (φασολάδα)

img_3075Recipe update from Oct.16, 2007:

Fassoulada is a Greek navy bean soup. It’s a standard dish during Lent, appears on the Greek kitchen table on many a Friday when meat is not consumed and frankly, one of the most enjoyable yet rustic dishes in the Greek repertoire of cooking.

img_3074This soup is best enjoyed with some good, homemade bread, some olives and some kind of pickled vegetable. A family fave are these pickled cherry tomatoes (either hot or sweet). Being from northern Greece, our family leans towards the hot cherry peppers.

img_3082-1

Fassoulada can be served as a first course soup but it’s usually enjoyed as a main. With the bread, olives and pickled cherry peppers (or your preferred pickled vegetables), this becomes a substantive and healthy meal.

Fassoulada (φασολάδα)

1 cup of small dry (white) navy beans
1 large stalk of celery, halved lengthwise then cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large carrot, halved then cut into 1/2 inch pieces on a bias
2 medium onions, diced
1/2 cup of pomodoro or tomato puree (passata)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 whole chile pepper
2 tsp. of smoked paprika
8 cups of water
salt to tasteimg_3078

  1. The night before you are to make this soup, soak the beans in water overnight.
  2. Drain the water from the beans and place them into a pressure cooker. Now add all of the remaining ingredients into the pressure cooker.
  3. Close the lid of your cooker (according to mfgrs’ instructions) and place in on high heat. You should have the cooker whistling in about 20 minutes.
  4. Lower your heat to medium and allow the soup to simmer in the cook for an hour. Take your cooker off the heat, release the steam switch and ONLY open the cooker after you cease to hear any whistling.
  5. Adjust for seasoning with with salt, remove bay leaves.img_3088-1

Note: If not using a pressure cooker, you’ll need about 2 1/2 hours on the stovetop with a conventional pot or other vessel.

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© 2007-2009 Peter Minakis

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Peter Minakis

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58 Comments for “Fassoulada (φασολάδα)”

says:

It’s amazing how some dishes resemble one to another in Spanish and Greek gastronomy! This is what we call a Fesolada… the little beans are called fesols!!!

And of course being a legume, I love the dish :D. Delicious pictures Peter!

says:

cooking OSPRIA (the general word for pulses in greek) always takes a long time in our house as i never use a pressure cooker (can’t get used to the damn things)

i start it up in the morning right after the kids get to school, then i leave the house (i’m not kidding) and do my shopping and town errands, and come home to ready pot of bean soup

the trick is to use gas on the lowest setting, keep the pot tightly covered, and add enough water to avoid any possibility of evaporation of liquids…

says:

Can I have a bowl for lunch please? That soup looks really lovely Peter!
Ps: I’m making that pasta dish of yours tonight (recipe post before this)!

says:

I could easily eat this as a main dish. Looks delicious. I had no idea the Greeks had any other soup besides the lemony chicken one!! JK :)

says:

This looks like a very hearty and nutritious soup Peter. I’m not sure I know what navy beans are though – perhaps we call them something different here n the UK? They look a bit like haricot beans.

says:

Peter your photos of your Fassoulada speak for themselves just what a vibrant delicious soup this must be!

My brother would just adore this recipe to try. I am going to pass this onto him with your blog link too. I also would enjoy this soup with a slice or broken off chunk of crusty bread – perfection!

says:

What a perfect soup. I like that you served it with bread, olives and pickled tomatoes – simple foods are the best.

says:

The recipe sounds delicious and the pictures are SO tempting. It is summer for me and suddenly I’m dying for soup, when I normally only think about frappuccinos.

says:

Wonderful Lenten tradition, Peter! Soup is still a “must” at this time of year, in this climate.

I loved your photo of the arch at Thessoliniki (did I spell that right? Probably not – sorry), too. I’ve been teaching my son about Greece this week in Geography, and are using some of your pictures as a first rate travelogue!

says:

S.O.U.P!!! I have such a *thing* for soup, and this looks just wonderful. I wish I could get past my fear of pressure cookers. I’m missing out on so many yummy meals. This soup could very well be the item that breaks the barrier! And those pickled cherry peppers have my name written ALL over them! YUM!

says:

Sorry..I haven’t been around Peter…been travelling and now I’m back to admire your beautiful “soupa”. The pickled tomatoes are a nice touch too!

says:

I love fassolada Peter, I I think the northern Greek addition of some hot peppers really suits the taste of the beans and gives it an extra twist.

says:

this soup looks like something that’d really hit the spot right now, since i can’t get even a smidgen of air through my nasal passages. yep, i’m sick, and your brothy, beany creation would be perfect.

says:

Delicious! That reminds me, I have some beans somewhere that need cooking… And I still haven’t bought my pressure cooker!

says:

mmm…. soup. Peter, I think this is just what I need to cure what ails me. Just looking at the photo makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Great looking meal!

says:

One of my most favorite food experiences involved a white fasolathia in Messinia. Love the pressure cook approach and bay leaf. Now I know what I am making for at least one meal this week.

says:

This loooks delicious! It’s spring today (grilling) but winter is not done with Minnesota yet. Bookmarked this – and grand for Fridays in Lent. Love the pickled tomatoes.

says:

This is one of my favorite things, even though I only started liking it a few years ago! I love how easy it is to just throw everything together and let it rip. You’ve reminded me I haven’t blogged this yet so I may need to get on making a version soon. :)

branka

says:

σουπερ φασολαδα…τελεια..

says:

nice soup! but i have to admit, this winter is killing me and i’m starting to yearn for warm-weather food. i remember when you posted about doing the pickled cherry peppers. those were the warm days! can’t wait till that time again.