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( Fasolatha )

White Bean Soup
( Fasolatha )

This must be the most frequently eaten and favourite winter soup in all of Greece. But even this simple bean soup has many points of debate. Carrots or no carrots? Tomatoes or no tomatoes? Garlic or no garlic? If your tap water is hard, use bottled water to soak and cook the beans, otherwise they will never soften.

Image of White Bean Soup<br/>( Fasolatha )
Ingredients

400 g (14 oz) medium-sized white beans like cannellini, soaked overnight in cold water
500 g (1 lb) onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fruity olive oil
teaspoon sugar
250 g (8 oz) carrots, sliced or diced
tops and leaves of 6 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh savory
1 bay leaf
1 clove
1 small hot fresh red chilli, whole, or - teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt

Details

Serves: 7


Method

1.Drain the beans, cover them with fresh water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain them and just cover again with hot water. Bring them back to the boil, cover and simmer for about 1 – 1 ½ hours, until tender. 2.While the beans are simmering, sauté the onions in the olive oil until they turn red-brown, adding splashes of water to keep them from burning. Sprinkle the onions with sugar, and cook for a minute to caramelize, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, celery, sliced garlic, savory, bay leaf, clove and chilli or cayenne. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. 3.When the beans are tender add the sautéed vegetables and 2.4 litres (4 pt) water and bring back to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the beans are very soft. Add salt to taste and serve with crusty bread or the koulouria - sesame seed rings.

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