Fasolada (or as some call it fasoulada) used to be called Greece’s national dish. This was a couple of decades ago. But it still remains super popular. It is very nutritious, easy to make and cheap, what’s not to love? What’s more, you are likely to have all the ingredients handy anyway.
You can cook this hearty soup in two ways: one is red, with tomato sauce. The other is as a white soup, dressed with some lemon. The most common way for families with kids is with tomato sauce. This is possibly because kids are known to like brightly-coloured food. So we will cook this to begin with and the white version a little later.
Some like their fasolada with some added bite. If that’s you, then add some chilli or other hot pepper to your soup a few minutes before you take it off the stove.
Whatever the case, you will have to soak your beans overnight.
Tips for the perfect fasolada
It is also usually advisable to boil your beans in plain water for 10-15 minutes and then throw away the water and proceed with the recipe from scratch with fresh water. This is to avoid flatulence which is the one downside to eating beans.
How creamy your bean soup is very much depends on the batch of beans itself and how old they are. In most cases you can’t control either of these factors. But what you can do is add a peeled potato to your soup. It will help your beans and your soup get creamier naturally (hylosi).
Fasolada is best eaten piping hot with a slice of fresh bread. Despite it being a soup, it’s fairly substantial so Greeks normally eat it as a main course with some salad, possibly our winter Greekslaw.
One last thing: we often cook this in our pressure cooker to save time. Follow your cooker’s/instant pot instructions and halve the cooking time for the beans.