Fasolatha (φασολάδα): national food of the Greeks

You say tomato....I say fasolada, fasolatha, fasoulada or sometimes fasolia. Whichever way you say it, this meat-free soup of dried white beans, olive oil, and vegetables is called the "national food of the Greeks".

A year or so ago, I posted a recipe for 'slow cooker' Fasolatha. In this post, I am sharing the recipe for the traditional stove top and a big pot method.

This dish is said to have originated in ancient Greece and it has a counterpart in Turkish cuisine (kuru fasulye) and can also be found as fasoulia in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen and the Levant. Within Greece, recipes for Fasolatha are regional and considerably different. One thing most recipes share in common is that the soup is enriched with a good amount of olive oil.

This dish is a perfect winter warmer and a great option for a comforting weekend cook-up. Traditionally, pickled hot peppers or vegetables (called toursi), olives (and sometimes a little cheese) are served on the table alongside this soup - along with, of course, a big bottle of extra virgin olive oil - for those who want to add a little more.

Fasolatha (φασολάδα)


500g dried organic great northern white beans, soaked overnight
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup extra virigin olive oil
1 brown onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 celery sticks with young leaves, diced
3 tomatoes, grated
1 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper or crushed dried chilli
salt, to taste
fresh parsley, finely chopped, for garnish
Vegetable pickles (toursi) and olives, to serve (optional)


1. Drain the soaked beans and place them in a large pot with and enough cold water to just cover. Bring to the boil, for 5 minutes then drain.

2. Again place the beans in a large pot with and enough cold water to just cover. Bring to the boil, for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat. Leave the beans to soak for an hour.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in another large pot over low heat and add the onion, carrots, celery and sauté until softened, but not browned. Then add tomstoes and Aleppo pepper.

4. Drain the beans and add these to the pot with the vegetables. Add enough warm water or chicken stock to just cover. Simmer until the beans have completely softened and the soup is thick to your liking - about 60 - 90 minutes. Add salt to taste just before serving, do not add earlier because it will make the beans tough. Serve with toursi or hot peppers and olives.

1 comment

  1. This is just perfect for the winter. And meat-free sounds heathy, too! :)

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx


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Maira Gall