Greek White Bean Soup (Fasolada)
Dried cannellini beans that are soaked before cooking yield a full-flavored soup and creamy, silky-textured beans. To soak the beans, in a large bowl stir together 2 quarts water and 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Add the beans, let soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours, then drain well. Canned beans work in a pinch; see instructions below. We do as we were taught in Greece and use extra-virgin olive oil to give the soup a little body and fruity, peppery richness throughout; vigorously whisking in a few tablespoons before serving, rather than just drizzling it on, does the trick. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to two days; reheat in a saucepan over low, adding water as needed to thin the consistency.
Greek White Bean Soup (Fasolada) with Canned Beans:
Rinse and drain four 15½-ounce cans cannellini beans; measure 1 cup of the beans into a medium bowl, then use a potato masher or fork to mash to a paste. Follow the recipe as written, making the following changes: Add all of the carrots at once; reduce the broth to 1½ quarts; and add both the whole and mashed beans at once. After bringing to a simmer over medium-high, reduce to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally and maintaining a gentle simmer, until the carrots are just tender, about 20 minutes. Finish the soup off heat as directed.
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve
large red onion, chopped
01In a large pot over medium, heat 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the onion, celery, half the carrots and ½ teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the paste begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the beans and the broth, then bring to a simmer over medium-high. Cover partially, reduce to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour.
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