A basic, homey, simple soup. According to food historians, fassolatha (pronounced fah-so-LAH-thah) has been around since ancient Greek times. It is the national dish of Greece, representing the best of the Greek way of cooking: legumes, vegetables, herbs, and olive oil. Serving suggestions: Serve Fassolatha with a side of feta cheese sprinkled with pepper and oregano and doused in olive oil, crusty bread, black olives, and salty dishes like anchovies, smoked herring, or others of your choice.
- 1 1⁄2 cups white beans (Great Northern or cannellini)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 carrots, sliced thickly
- 1 large mild onion, grated
- 5 -6 stalks celery, leaves and stalks, chopped
- 1 (28 ounce) canseeded seeded skinned chopped plum tomatoes
- 2⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 8 -10 cups water
- Rinse beans, soak for 24 hours and drain.
- Place drained beans and bay leaves in a large soup pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Remove bay leaves.
- Add carrots, onion, celery, and simmer for 30 minutes longer.
- Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and cook for 30 minutes. The beans should be soft and creamy, but not to the point of disintegrating.
- Remove from heat, season to taste, and serve in bowls, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with chopped parsley. Fassolatha bean soup is served warm or at room temperature.