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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Greek White Bean Soup (Fasolada)

Greek White Bean Soup (Fasolada)

1 hour, 30 minutes plus soaking time for beans

Free

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.

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve
1 large red onion, chopped
3 medium celery stalks, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound dried cannellini beans, soaked and drained (see note)
2 1/2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (½ cup)
Ingredients
  • 6

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve

  • 1

    large red onion, chopped

  • 3

    medium celery stalks, chopped

  • 3

    medium carrots, peeled and chopped

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • ½

    teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 3

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1

    pound dried cannellini beans, soaked and drained (see note)

  • quarts low-sodium chicken broth

  • 4

    teaspoons red wine vinegar

  • ½

    cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • ½

    cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

  • 2

    ounces feta cheese, crumbled (½ cup)

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Greek White Bean Soup (Fasolada)

Get Ready to Cook

6

Servings

1 hour, 30 minutes

plus soaking time for beans

Tip

Don't skip the step of mashing 1 cup of the cooked beans to stir back into the soup. The mashed beans give the soup a creamy, lightly thickened consistency.

Ingredients
  • 6

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve

  • 1

    large red onion, chopped

  • 3

    medium celery stalks, chopped

  • 3

    medium carrots, peeled and chopped

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 4

    medium garlic cloves, minced

  • ½

    teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 3

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1

    pound dried cannellini beans, soaked and drained (see note)

  • quarts low-sodium chicken broth

  • 4

    teaspoons red wine vinegar

  • ½

    cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • ½

    cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

  • 2

    ounces feta cheese, crumbled (½ cup)

Step 1 of 3

Simmer the beans

3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1
large red onion, chopped
3
medium celery stalks, chopped
3
medium carrots, peeled and chopped
½
teaspoon kosher salt
4
medium garlic cloves, minced
½
teaspoon red pepper flakes
3
tablespoons tomato paste
1
pound dried cannellini beans, soaked and drained (see note)
quarts low-sodium chicken broth

In 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.

Step 2 of 3

Mash the beans

3
medium carrots, peeled and chopped

Using a slotted spoon, transfer 1 cup of the beans to a medium bowl. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the beans to a paste, then whisk the mixture back into the soup. 


Add the remaining carrots, bring to a simmer over medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are just tender, about 10 minutes.

Step 3 of 3

Add the vinegar

4
teaspoons red wine vinegar
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
½
cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½
cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
2
ounces feta cheese, crumbled (½ cup)

Off heat, stir in the vinegar, then vigorously whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with the parsley, olives and cheese.

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