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Lefki Fasolada (White Bean Soup)

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a beautiful bowl of traditional Greek bean soup - lefki fusillade

a beautiful bowl of traditional Greek bean soup – lefki fasolada

Fasolada, or white bean soup, is a HUGELY popular – and authentically vegan – dish in Greece and throughout the Greek diaspora. Creamy white beans, sweet carrots, delicate celery and bright parsley in a light, delicious broth – it’s just the perfect comfort food and there’s never a single bean left behind!

Lefki fasolada (λευκή φασολάδα) is the variation featured here, traditionally made without tomato. For me, the soup tastes sweeter and really, more flavorful when the tomato is absent. The veggies and herbs are really allowed to shine and shine they do. The prep for lefki fasolada couldn’t be simpler and with just a handful of ingredients probably in your fridge right now, this rustic, peasant dish will show you exactly how simply perfect a simple soup can be.

Serve hot off the stove with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley or take it along for lunch as it’s really quite tasty served at room temp too! Oh, feel free to add a dash or two or red pepper flakes for an extra pop 🙂

Use small, white dried cannellini beans or canned if you’re short on time. Remember to soak your dried beans for at least 10 hours (or overnight).

Don’t let the soaking step push you to canned though – I usually go ahead and put these on to soak in the morning and they’re ready to cook up that same evening, easy peasy!

dried, small, white, cannellini beans

dried, small, white, cannellini beans

If you do go with canned beans, usually 2 15 ounce cans substitute well for the 1 cup of dried beans and I would shorten your cooking time by about 20 minutes or so.

You can absolutely and easily scale this recipe as needed. I’ve made it for as many as 20 people and it worked fine – a much bigger pot is recommended though 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried white cannellini beans (or 2, 15 oz cans/ drained)
  • 1/2 cup Greek olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (about 2 large stalks)
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt / 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed Greek oregano
  • 5 cups of water

When using dried cannellini beans, soak overnight (or about 10 hrs) covered by at least 3 inches of water. Once you’re ready to start cooking, drain beans and set aside.

In 3 qt saucepan/pot, heat olive oil on low and add the onions and celery, stir gently.

Cook for 5 minutes and add carrots, stir to combine.

Cook for 5 minutes and add soaked (or canned) beans, herbs and spices, stir to combine.

make sure to follow steps above to get draw the most flavor out of your veggies and into your soup!

make sure to follow steps above to get draw the most flavor out of your veggies and into your soup!

Cook for 5 more minutes and add the water. Bring up to a low boil and cook, uncovered, for approx 1 hour until beans are tender but not mushy.

That’s all there is to it!  Lefki fasolada will become one of your favorites from the first spoonful, I promise 🙂

 

a bowl for me and a jar for a friend - lefki fasolada makes every day a bit brighter!

a bowl for me and a jar for a friend – lefki fasolada makes every day a bit brighter!

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17 Responses to Lefki Fasolada (White Bean Soup)

  1. David November 16, 2015 at 12:33 am #

    I’ve been waiting for this one! Thanks.

  2. Joe November 19, 2015 at 1:57 am #

    The olive oil makes or breaks fasolada much more than most of the other recipes you post so I’m glad you take more time in this recipe to preach about getting nice olive oil. Though I prefer navy beans and garlic in mine. I think you should also start hammering into peoples head to use the celery leaves. I see people chop them off and throw them out and then I yell at them.

    • dmitri November 20, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

      Joe: I used the celery leaves to make veggie stock along with all the trimmings of the other veggies.

    • Kiki November 20, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      love love celery leaves! thing is, so often in the market the leafy ends are trimmed down if not cut off altogether so parsley is listed here as a cup or more of celery leaves can be hard to come by 🙁
      they are wonderful though and used everywhere in traditional Greek cooking

    • James Ntoumenopoulos November 14, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

      Joe I do also use the leaves but prefer the lighter coloured ones from the inside of the bunch of celery

  3. Cherie January 15, 2016 at 6:34 am #

    I didn’t have any celery but my daughter gave this 5 stars anyway. Thanks!

  4. Dimitra January 30, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    Don’t the vegetables get too soft adding them at the beginning and letting them cook for that long?
    I grew up in Greece and I was always told that the vegetables should be added half way through the cooking or even later so as not to get “mushy” (?)

    • Kiki January 31, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

      Dimitra, tell you the truth, these veggies are pretty dense and don’t get mushy at all. I get what you’re saying though and do sometimes add veggies like potatoes later in the cooking process in other recipes. In this recipe, because both carrots and celery are pretty hardy and you’re not cooking the soup at a raging boil for an hour, these are fine to add at the beginning. Kiki 🙂

  5. Lorraine January 30, 2016 at 7:00 pm #

    I just made this. I stayed faithful to the recipe, used the celery leaves :D, but since I didn’t want to wait on beans to soak, I used canned.

    I totally agree with you about good olive oil. I checked out the website of the oil you recommend, but sadly they do not ship to Alaska. :(.

    The soup is fantastic! My entire family loves it. It is amazingly flavorful. I see this becoming something I go to again and again!

    Love your website, so glad I found it!

    • Kiki January 31, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

      Yay!!! We’re so glad you’re here, Kiki 🙂

  6. Airyfairycelt May 6, 2016 at 2:54 am #

    I love some Greek food, spent time in Greece but vegan was harder to get!
    How good to,be able to cook for my self though! I do gigantes (different spellings I have seen!) .
    Cooking without tomatoes seems such a change so thank you.
    I do the regrowing of celery in a glass and when it sprouts I plant outside, it is happy in pot too. But I get small stalks and lots of leaves for free! And it keeps coming too!

  7. Rafeeda - The Big Sweet Tooth April 10, 2017 at 3:10 am #

    I landed up on this recipe while searching for some easy Greek recipes for a challenge. I made half the quantity and was wondering how, with such simple ingredients, the soup would taste like. I kept half for HD and carried the remaining to work for lunch the next day. He loved the soup and asked me why I had kept so little for him, which is so unusual of him! 😀 Thank you so much for this simple recipe… will definitely ping back when I post on the blog… 🙂

  8. John Melithoniotes May 15, 2017 at 10:29 pm #

    You might try leaving some of the olive to add at the end, after the cooking is done. That way, you get more of the fresh olive oil flavor.

  9. AV July 4, 2017 at 3:32 pm #

    This is just a pingback: https://tmifood.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/lefki-fasolada/

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Lefki Fasolada (White Bean Soup) | Blogopolis - MyParea - A family of friendsBlogopolis - MyParea - A family of friends - November 16, 2015

    […] Lefki Fasolada (White Bean Soup) […]

  2. Lefki Fasolada ~ Greek White Bean Soup - The Big Sweet Tooth - May 17, 2017

    […] first recipe I chose to cook was this flavorful white bean soup, which I adapted from here. As I ran through the ingredients, I was wondering how this would taste, considering there are […]

  3. Lefki Fasolada | TMI Food - July 4, 2017

    […] Here’s a recipe for this dish. I pre-cooked the beans in a pressure cooker, which does nothing to stop them from absorbing the olive oil and becoming melt-in-your-mouth creamy, but ensured that they were completely cooked. […]

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