I can’t imagine of anything better than a rustic and homely Greek bean soup (fasolada) for a cold winter’s day. Healthy, simple and extra comforting, fasolada is with no doubt the national Greek dish! This is the authentic recipe for Greek bean soup, a trademark dish that has nourished generations!
What is Fasolada (Greek bean soup)?
Fasolada is sometimes called the ‘national food’ of Greeks because it is so popular. There are also loads of variations you can add to make it just as you love it. It is a simple recipe that focuses on the beans and a few extra ingredients for extra flavor.
Classic Greek soup: One of the most popular types of soup across Greece
Good for you: Tons of nutritious ingredients make it a great way to boost your vitamin and mineral intake
Greek bean soup (Fasolada) – Nutrition Facts
Greek bean soup (Fasolada) is highly nutritious and filling. Beans are rich in fiber, which when combined with water or liquid make you feel full for longer. Also high in protein, iron and vitamin B, fasolada soup is perfect for that winter flu!
Olive oil, which is one of the vital ingredients of the traditional Greek bean soup, is one of the primary foods associated with the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet and many books have been written about its health benefits.
Olive oil, when consumed raw, gets to keep all its precious vitamins, so when preparing this Greek bean soup, add the olive oil towards the end of cooking time. This will also help the soup to become thicker and creamier.
Tip: Make sure you use extra virgin olive oil, which will surely lift the flavour.
Greek Bean Soup Key Ingredients
Beans: You’ll want the right beans (see below) for the soup to have the right consistency and taste.
Vegetables: Onions, carrots and celery are my choices for the vegetables, all sauteed with olive oil. Tomato paste is added to enhance the flavor and you can add a pinch of paprika if you like.
Select the right kind of beans for your Greek bean soup – Tips
For a Greek bean soup (fasolada), you need to use dry white beans, but for the perfect Greek bean soup you have to use some fresh dried beans that haven’t been laying around for too long.
If the beans are stale you will have to boil them for very long and even then they will not achieve the desirable texture. So how can you select the best beans to prepare your Greek bean soup?
First of all the whiter the beans are, the better. If the beans have a slightly yellow colour that means that they have been laying around for too long and will be tough when cooked.
The second thing you should watch for is for the beans to be smooth on the outside, are not peeling and have not puffed up. If you select the right beans, then you won’t have to soak them overnight, making this recipe far quicker to prepare!
Key Preparation Tips
This super simple fasolada recipe only really needs two main steps to complete:
- Prepare the ingredients
- Cook the soup
Prepare the ingredients for Fasolada soup
Place the beans in a saucepan with plenty of cold water to cover them, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and parboil for 30-35 minutes, or until somewhat soft. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Cut the onion, celery, and carrots into small pieces. In a large pan, add 3-4 tbsp of olive oil and chopped vegetables. Sauté for about 2 minutes before adding the tomatoes paste and cooking for another minute.
Cook the Greek bean soup
Add the parboiled beans to the pan and enough boiling water to cover them with a little extra, then blend lightly. Simmer for about 35 minutes until the beans are soft, adding the lid halfway through cooking.
When the vegetables are almost done, add the last portion of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Allow it to cook for a few more minutes until the soup gets thick and creamy.
Can you add extra ingredients?
You can definitely add other ingredients in your fasolada soup depending on what you enjoy. If you want to add some meat, then diced browned sausage is a good option that works well with the beans.
You can also add some extra vegetables or something like corn to the mix. Or for a minestrone style soup, add a cup of small pasta such as kouskousaki.
How to make Greek bean soup in the slow cooker
Slow cookers are ideal for bigger batches and where you have a bit of time to leave it to cook. The process is very similar as you want to saute the vegetables first to give them flavor.
Add them with the beans, tomato paste and paprika if using along with enough water to cover the beans by around one inch.
Add 1/2 cup olive oil and season then cook on high for 6 hours. During the cooking time, use a spoon to stir and to smash the beans a little so the soup thickens.
Greek bean soup in the Instant Pot
Similarly, with the Instant Pot, use the saute function to book the vegetables, adding the tomato and spice. Add the beans and water then switch to manual mode for 40 minutes. Make sure the pot is sealed.
When it has cooked, do a natural release for 10 minutes or until the pressure pin drops. Stir in 1/2 cup olive oil and go back to the saute mode to simmer for 5 minutes before serving.
Making ahead of time and storing
You can easily increase the batch size of this recipe and store some in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it by allowing it to cool completely and then add it to airtight containers. Remember to leave some room at the top of the container for the soup to expand.
Keep it there for up to 3 months and defrost thoroughly before heating to eat. You may need a little more water as you heat it up.
If you love a hearty soup as much as I do then these recipes below are perfect for a cold winter’s day!
- Traditional Greek Meatball Soup (Giouvarlakia/ Youvarlakia) In Egg-Lemon Sauce Recipe
- Greek Beef Soup Recipe (Kreatosoupa)
- Traditional Magiritsa Recipe (Greek Easter Soup)
- Greek lemon Chicken Soup recipe (Kotosoupa Avgolemono)
- Greek Chickpea Soup Recipe (Revithia)
- Greek Lentil Soup Recipe (Fakes Soupa)
Looking for an authentic Greek bean soup (fasolada) recipe? Find out how to make it the traditional Greek way! This is the authentic recipe for fasolada, a trademark dish that has nourished generations.
- 500g dry white kidney beans or cannellini beans or navy beans (18 ounces)
- 3–4 carrots, finely chopped
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped (if you love onions, add one more!)
- 3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 130ml extra virgin olive oil (1/2 cup)
- 2 tbsps tomato paste
- a pinch of paprika (hot or sweet, according to preferance)
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (min 2 flat teaspoons each)
- To prepare the fasolada (Greek bean soup), place the beans in a saucepan with plenty of cold water to cover them. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to medium and parboil for 30-35 minutes, until slightly tender. Drain in colander and set aside.
- Finely chop the onion, celery and carrots. Add 3-4 tbsps of olive oil in a deep pan, add the chopped vegetables and blend. Sauté for about 2 minutes and add the tomato paste and continue sautéing for a minute.
- Add the parboiled beans in the pan and pour in enough boiling water to cover the beans and little bit more and blend lightly. Place the lid on and simmer the fasolada for about 35 minutes, until the beans are tender.
- Towards the end of cooking time, pour in the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Boil for a few more minutes, until the soup becomes thick and creamy.
- Serve this traditional Greek bean soup (fasolada) while still steaming hot with a few Kalamata olives and of course some village bread. Enjoy!
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 339kcal
- Sugar: 5g
- Sodium: 495.2mg
- Fat: 22g
- Saturated Fat: 3g
- Unsaturated Fat: 17g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 29.6g
- Fiber: 8.7g
- Protein: 8.7g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: Greek Bean soup, Fasolada recipe