vegetables | fassolatha (Greek white bean soup)
Serves 2-4, depending on what you serve with it.
This is an adaptation of a traditional Greek dish. It's absolutely gorgeous and very easy to make. By all means use dried butter beans, but I tend to forget to soak them overnight and so I'm afraid I tend to opt for the speedy cheat's version!
Wheat free, dairy free, nut free, meat free version...
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 carrots, chopped
- 1-2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 10 oz (300g) tomatoes, roughly chopped or chopped in half if small or one can of tomatoes (which will make it slightly thicker).
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- ½ tsp garlic puree or 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp tamari
- ¾ pint (420ml) water
- 1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
- Salt and pepper
- Dessert spoon/tbsp oil
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan.
- Add the onions with a little salt, and cook for a few minutes, then add the celery and fresh garlic if using it.
- Cook for a few minutes, then add the carrots.
- Cook that for 5 or so minutes, then add the tomatoes.
- Stir well and cook for a few minutes before adding the water, tomato paste, tamari, garlic puree, cayenne and bay leaf.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
- If you wish, at this point you can take out 3 ladle-fulls, blend and then put it back to thicken it a little. Sometimes I do if I have more time. Add the beans and simmer for 5 minutes. Voila!
Maybe serve with...
Traditionally, this is served with black olives, feta, and crusty bread. but I often serve it just with bread of some description, thinly buttered with non-dairy spread. if I have some leftover, the next day I ladle it over rice or a jacket potato.
For those able to eat wheat...
Serve with crusty wheat bread. I have also served leftovers the next day on a bed of cous cous - by then, it's thickened even more and it's a good way to make it stretch further!
If you have butter beans, carrots and celery leftover, try the bean chilli. If you have carrots, tomatoes and celery leftover, try the pepper paprikash or Scarlett's secret sauce.
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