This classic Greek dish is a lovely, light soup with the perfect bean flavor-pairing of celery and fresh thyme. Also known as ‘louvi xero’, black eyed beans (μαυρομάτικα) swimming in bowl of delicate tomato broth is one of the most delicious bean soups you will ever enjoy.
A few simple ingredients with quick prep and you have this one-pot-wonder on the table in 30 minutes. Just cover your dried beans with water to soak in the morning and they’ll be ready to pop into your recipe in the evening. Fast, easy, amazing is this authentic and so very tasty dish.
I like to chop the onions, garlic and celery into pretty small pieces. Feel free to rough chop if you prefer a chunkier soup. And try to keep to the order of steps in this recipe. It helps to really intensify the flavors of each ingredient and then bring together all of the subtle flavors of this soup. I think the celery is really the star here but in a wonderful way that doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. A good dish to make ahead and reheat too!
- 1 cup dried black eyed beans (about 2 1/4 cups soaked)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion chopped fine
- 1/4 cup garlic chopped fine
- 1 cup celery chopped fine
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tsp dried Greek oregano
- 1 tbsp tomato paste dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 1/2 cups water
Soak dried black eyed beans for a minimum of 3-4 hours (when they should begin to be visibly plumper) to as long as overnight.
Add olive oil to 3 qt saucepan and saute onions and garlic on very low heat first. Once they’re just soft and translucent, add the celery. If you add the celery at the same time as your onions and garlic, the water that comes off the celery doesn’t allow the onions and garlic to cook properly.
Cook for approx 2-3 minutes on low heat. Add salt, pepper, oregano, soaked beans and tomato paste dissolved in water to pan, stir to combine completely and let cook for 5 minutes to soak up all the flavors. Add water and fresh sprigs of thyme. Stir gently and cook, uncovered, on low simmer for 25 minutes until black eyed beans are soft.
Remove sprigs of thyme when beans are cooked and serve hot with a piece of crusty bread.
To reheat: add 1 teaspoon of water and heat on low, covered, for 5-10 minutes.
Serves 2-4. Recipe is easily scaled, I’ve doubled and tripled these ingredients with very good success.