Greek White Bean Soup (Fasolada)

I can’t seem to get enough bean recipes. Dry beans are no sweat with the Instant Pot. Throw the dry beans in the pot with the rest of the ingredients and after 35 minutes of cook time, they are perfectly cooked, even if they are old. Using the traditional cooking method, sometimes I would get some beans that would not soften without baking soda. With the Instant Pot, I can get a more consistent cooked bean.

This week I am going Greek. I haven’t done a Greek recipe for a while, so why not? Things are getting busy around here. Our new house is coming along nicely. The showers are being tiled and the drywall is finished. I’m hoping by next winter, we are moved in. I’m keeping my fingers crossed anyway. The Instant Pot helps me on busy days. No need to do a bunch of steps and wait. I can set it up and do something else and come back to a complete meal. The recipe I am using this week is Greek White Bean Soup or Fasolada from Milk Street. Some say this is the national dish of Greece. Some say it is a peasant dish. Everyone agrees this is a dish made with tomatoes, vegetables and white beans. The beans can be cannellini or great northern or even lima beans. I know that I’m going to have to replace the tomato in this dish. I am doing this with a combination that I learned from Vegitalion that replaces tomato paste with umeboshi paste and tamarind paste. However, with that said, I think much of the dish will remain the same. I might even add some meat. Who knows.

Here are the original stats:

  • I removed the added salt to lower the sodium.
  • I replaced the tomato paste with umeboshi paste and tamarind paste to remove the tomato.
  • I increased the servings from 6 to 8 to lower the calories.
  • I added red bell pepper to increase the vitamin C.
  • I deleted the feta cheese to lower the sodium.

Here are the final stats:

Here is the final recipe:

Greek White Bean Soup (Fasolada)

Serves 9

  • 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
  • 4 red bell peppers, chopped
  • ground black pepper
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1.5 tablespoons umeboshi paste
  • 1.5 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans
  • 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

Stovetop Instructions

  1. In a large pot add in the beans and water to cover and soak 8 hours or overnight.
  2. In a large pot over medium, heat 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the onion, celery, half the carrots and bell peppers, 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.
  3. Add the umeboshi and tamarind pastes 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 and olives

Instant Pot Instructions

  1. In an Instant Pot, heat 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmering on sauté mode. Add the onion, celery, half the carrots and bell peppers 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.
  2. Add the umeboshi and tamarind pastes and cook, stirring, until the paste begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the beans and the broth, then pressure cook the beans on high for 25 minutes.  Allow for a natural pressure release.
  3. 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 on sauté mode and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are just tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Off heat, stir in the vinegar, then vigorously whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Taste and season with pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with the parsley and olives.

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