Fasolada (Greek Bean Soup)

Comfort food…Greek style! Thick, hearty, and full of vegetables. Peasant food fit for a king!

Simply Delicious: Fasolada

My dad made this soup almost every week. He’d take it in jars to his barbershop for a nutritious and delicious lunch. He would even bring it with him to his doctor appointments. The nurses were glad to see his because they knew they were going to have a tasty treat.

Susan Tweeton


  • 1 pound dry beans (great northern, lima, garbanzo, black eye pea, lentil)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2–3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2–3 carrots, chopped
  • 2–4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or lamb (optional)
  • 1–2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2–3 quarts water

Dry Bean Preparation

Great Northern/Lima/Garbanzo:

  1. Rinse and soak beans:
    • Overnight Soak Method: In large pot soak 1 lb. beans overnight in at least 2 quarts water
    • Quick Soak Method: Combine 1 lb. beans and 2 quarts water in large pot. Heat beans and water to boiling. Boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand for at least 1 hour.
  1. Drain soaking water and rinse beans.
  2. Add 2 quarts water
  3. Cover and bring to boil
  4. Reduce heat to simmer
  5. Cook for 45–60 (or longer) until beans are just tender (not mushy)

Black Eye Pea/Lentil (no soaking necessary):

  1. Rinse beans.
  2. Add 2 quarts water.
  3. Cover and bring to boil.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer.
  5. Cook black eye peas for 45–60 minutes until just tender (not mushy); cook lentils for 30–40 minutes until tender.

Canned Bean Preparation:

  1. Use equivalent to four (4) 15 ounce cans of desired beans.
  2. Drain and rinse beans.
  3. Add 1½ quarts water.

Soup Preparation:

  1. Lightly sauté chopped onion, celery, carrots, and minced garlic in olive oil. Cover and cook over medium heat until just tender (not mushy). Do not brown.
  2. (Optional: brown ground beef/lamb; drain well).
  3. Add vegetables (with oil) and meat (if used) to prepared beans (approximately 6 – 8 cups prepared beans).  
  4. Add salt, pepper, bayleaves, and oregano (dry beans will require more salt than canned beans).
  5. Add tomato sauce.
  6. Add additional quart water, if desired.
  7. Cover and bring to boil
  8. Reduce heat to simmer
  9. Simmer for 30 – 45 minutes.
  10. Taste and adjust seasonings

Serving Suggestions

This soup tastes even better reheated the next day; it also freezes well.